April 7, 2010

"Mamma, we're, like, getting good at running!"

What can I say right now besides WOW. Last week if I would've posted on my track team's progress and my feelings about the group of youth, it would not have been pretty. Last week I was frustrated, actually YELLED (screamed) at them for the first time all season. I felt like they had quit on me mentally and physically. Luckily, this week turned over a new leaf.

One thing that I am really loving right now is that the athletes and I are becoming closer. We talk about stuff, enjoy each other's company, and a lot of them make me laugh. In general, I like them. A lot.

We got a rocky start on Tuesday, as I got to the middle school and had a little frustrating experience encountering one of two people on Earth I can absolutely NOT stand. I was a little flustered, but we were on our way to race at a country school with similar talent (or so I thought) as us. We were late, and all the bleacher seats were FULL. We found a nice seat on the grass, and right away they started throwing and jumping events. It was SUPER windy, so we weren't expecting much.

Then we had the usual situation where the hosting school doesn't have enough timers and I was forced to time. I really hate doing this. Not the actual timing, but I feel like it takes away from my coaching. I would much rather spend my time watching only MY athletes and offering encouragement, but whatever. I knew we would be golden on the jumping events, as we have a guy that can SOAR, likely will be in the top finishers in the state (for 4A). The running events started, and that's when I started noticing that we were placing in the top 6 a lot. We didn't have too many first places, but a strong showing on places 2-6 (point-scoring slots). After the first 8 events, they announced that we were in first place. Whhhhaaaatttt?????? We still had the distance events to go, and I knew this wasn't our strong suit. We soon moved to 2nd and were able to hold it the WHOLE night!

Here are a few of our best moments-
Hurdler girl finally got to compete, but she came in last. I was sooooo proud of her, as it was close and she cleared every hurdle without even so much as tapping one. Side note about her- she is the only person that calls me "Becky". Many of the athletes call me Coach Becca or Coach J. She calls me "Miss Becky." Normally that name would totally aggravate me, but this girl is so special, cute, funny that I just love it. After her race she says, "Miss Becky, I know I sucked and came in last, but that was FUN!" LOL.

Two crazy sprinters (that I think are hilarious) had a little wager on the 300 hurdles. Before the race, they kept begging me to place a bet on one of them. I KNEW who would win, but I kept quiet the whole race. They both ended up placing in the top 4.

One of my slower distance runners broke 6 for the first time in the mile. This was a HUGE goal of his; so that was very exciting to watch. Also, the 2 mile race ROCKED. One of my distance guys alternates between the mile and two mile. His cousin went to one of the competing schools and he was really wanting to beat him. We discussed strategy all week and I felt like had a great chance of meeting his goal. He also wanted to break 11, and I felt like he had a good chance at this, too. In the first 400 cousin took the lead, but my guy fell right behind. The strategy was to let the cousin pace the group for the first mile, then reevaluate. He followed that to a "T" and for some reason fell back on lap 5. I shouted at him to get back on his shoulder and stay as close as possible until he felt like he could pass for good. (I thought he was fading.) I was keeping track of the time, too, to help pace him for his sub 11. He was 5 seconds off pace, so this worried me. When 2 laps remained, he passed his cousin, on the straight-away JUST like I taught them. Cousin fell in behind and stayed close. My guy picked it up at the start of the final lap, but so did cousin. Then cousin passed and my guy fell WAY back. I thought he was done, until the last 200 when my guy just started sprinting his guts out, passing in the last 50 meters for the overall win!!!!! Man, very exciting stuff.

In Eagle fashion, the team was there to cheer for the whole thing, and I was ever grateful for their camaraderie. We got on the bus and did the usual passing of my cell phone to call parents. I overheard one gal talking to her mom, "Mamma, we're, like, getting good at running!" Yep, I couldn't of said it better myself.


  1. Anonymous4/07/2010

    reading all your posts on the team makes me wish i had taken track more seriously when i was younger. granted i didn't have a coach like you (so maybe that was part of the problem) but still...you make me want to go find a team and join. think that your middle schoolers would accept me?! haha

    i'm so happy that your kids are getting out there and ENJOYING what they do. i know in my community there are too many athletes that are doing it just because their parents are making them so it's so refreshing to see kids like yours.

    and thanks for the kind words on my blog. i've been feeling down a bit because of my lack-of-running as of late but it's so uplifting to hear you tell me that it's okay :) you rock :)

  2. reading your coaching posts makes me miss my days of coaching in nashville. i loved those girls. not once did it feel like a job to be out there.

  3. This recap is great. I love it! Congrats to your team!!

  4. I love love love reading these posts! So uplifting!

  5. What an inspirational post; Great Job Coach!

  6. As a team member, one of the most exhilarating feelings I can remember is that of seeing my team step up together like that and score points. It's infectious; someone has a good race/jump/throw and the next one gets fired up and it snowballs. I can't even imagine how awesome it must be for the COACH when this happens. Congrats!!!

  7. Anonymous4/08/2010

    Rebecca, this is so awesome! Congrats!!

  8. Anonymous4/09/2010

    That's great that the kids are actually having FUN. I love the comment that girl made : )
    My one "regret" from high school/middle school sports was taking them almost TOO seriously and getting down on myself. It should have all just been for fun! Now when I play sports (because it's less frequent and not on a real team), I just have fun with it and I enjoy it so much more!

  9. Well done, coach. It's a fine line between it being all fun and games/"everyone's a winner" versus being too results-driven/turning it into work. You've got them right in the sweet spot between extremes, and I bet a lot of these kids continue with it through high school and adulthood because of that.

  10. Awesome job Ms. Becky!!!

  11. I always thought track was stupid when I was in high school. I'm wiser now and kinda wish I did it way back when