Creative Coaching Calisthenics
It's nice to give love to the underrated players and positions in sports - a baseball catcher comes to mind, as the things they have to keep up with during each individual at bat - not to mention a game - is mind boggling.
Still, what about the unheralded track coaches?
Coaching is one thing, but let's look at some of the hurdles - if you'll pardon the bad pun - that come into play when a track coach is doing the very underrated task of putting together a roster for an upcoming meet.
"You have the ACT testing dates," one coach began. "You have Easter break, you have Spring Break, you have prom, you have college visits, you have injuries, and I could go on."
All of the above are more than valid but think of the non-joys that comes with trying to put together relay teams during all this. "Keeping up with one or two is hard enough," another added. "But when you have to have four at the same race at the same time there, wish me luck. It's almost as if you need to be able to register 10 or so where you can be assured of getting four there."
As if luck - or in this case 'unluck' would have it - a nearby team member at about this time throws down her cellphone in frustration. Apparently, the #3 leg can't make it - something came up. This particular girl - 1/4th of a contending team - stalks off in frustration.
"I'm seeing this in a positive light," another coach put in. "During the pandemic, we had to learn to think on our feet and adapt more so than ever before. To me, this perfectly carries over into coaching track, as you must be able to accept and change on the fly."
For what it's worth, this journalist agrees and then some with the above statement, as the past two years have taught us to write our plans down only in pencil, because God may need to step in with his powerful eraser.
Still, and in moving on, there's another factor that hasn't yet been mentioned; for lack of a better phase, we'll call it the "Teenage Factor," in that there's simply no telling what's going to happen when you're dealing with the 14-through-18-year-old minds.
"You can't put an old head on young shoulders," one coach said with a laugh.
In closing, props to the track & field leaders out there, simply because there's so much more that goes into coaching than just coaching. Being able to rent buses, constantly being able to get the kids out of school early whereas not to upset the administration and the academia, rounding the athletic credit card and directions on road trips - there's so much more.
Still, enough from me. It's time for the 4 X 400-relay to take center stage. Our team happens to be good - they have a great shot at getting to state.
Wait, oh no, about the state meet ... I think that's the same day as our graduation...