Sometimes I can be a little intense at my athletes’ races. This is evident in me running around the course yelling encouraging words, communicating tactics, and urging the athletes to keep going. Some coaches have a cool, collected style – they sit back and watch the hard work pay off. I think this is a perfectly good strategy for some – I just can’t do it. I feel like the work is only half done when the gun goes off.
You see, I believe in the power of the coach. I believe that just as we motivate throughout the training, we can affect the outcome of a race based on what we do and say on race day. I believe that the right words from a coach in the middle of a race can result in athletes performing significantly better and that the simple sight of a coach on the course can encourage athletes to maintain their effort. When I am running around the course yelling, it is because I believe my performance as a coach will directly impact the race. I am connected to the athletes and we are racing towards our goals together.
Yes, I can be a little intense at my athletes’ race. My words in these race situations are never negative, never angry, and never intended to tear down. I am intense for them – because they matter to me. We are connected towards a common goal. When you toe the start line, know that I am toeing it as well.