I’m coaching track now as well. Yesterday was our first meet, and it was honestly one of the most fun things I have ever done. The kids were wonderful. They were so motivated and supportive of their teammates. I was having a great time throughout the meet, but the last event (B 4×400) topped it off. One of my favorite students was running 3rd leg and was falling behind the pack. I ran down to the 3rd turn and started screaming at him…
“C, don’t you dare let this guy pass you. Don’t you dare. Get moving.”
C. picked up his speed, beat the other guy, and collapsed on the turf at the finish line. I (along with the trainer) ran over to see if he was ok. He layed still for a minute, then said he was fine, just too exhausted to stand. I sat there with him and encouraged him to get up. After a few minutes he finally did. I was feeling really bad at this point, like I shouldn’t have pushed him so far on the last event of the day, after he had already done two other races.
As the team walked towards the parking lot, C was standing alone. I walked over to him and asked if he was ok. He said he was, and what he said next makes me want to coach forever:
“If it wasn’t for you giving me that extra push at the end, I would have dropped out. I really didn’t think I could do it.”
Made me drive home smiling