Chanman's Blog


The first day of practice

Posted in Coaching,SHC Track & Field by Andy Chan on January 28, 2011
Tags: , ,

One of my favorite parts of coaching - gathering the team for an inspirational talk

The first day of practice

The first high school track & field practice of the 2011 season is just days away. I always look forward to the first day of practice because it’s a day of beginnings – a day full of hope and optimism for what is ahead. I always try to have some inspirational words to kickoff the season. Below are my opening remarks from last year.

“The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.” – Juma Ikangaa, marathoner

Has anyone heard this quote before?  What does it mean to you?

First off, to me in our sport, winning is about personal achievement, not the conquest of an opponent. To improve, to surpass goals, and to set personal records (PR’s) are “wins” in our sport. You don’t have to be first across the finish line or have the best mark in a field event to be a winner in track & field.

By that definition, I think we all want to “win,” right?  We have goals like sub-60 in the 400, 21 feet in the long jump, 100 feet in the discus, sub-6 or sub-5 in the mile. Or, maybe your goal is just to make this team?

The will to want to win is not enough by itself. We can talk about wanting to achieve those or other goals all we want. But that’s just talk. Every athlete in the WCAL is sitting at the first day of practice right now and they all want to win just as much as we do.

But, if you want to actually hit those marks, to actually “win” by this definition of victory that I have given you, then you must have the will to prepare. That is what can separate you from the hundreds of other athletes in the WCAL.

Some of you have been preparing in the weight room, up to three times a week since last summer. Others have started preparing for this track & field season in the last month or two. Some of you start today.

Now we all start preparing together. Because those PR’s, those goal, those “wins” will not happen if we don’t prepare. Starting now. Every day.

It will be challenging. Right now, everyone wants to win and is willing to prepare. But will you feel the same way in half an hour when we’re working out? Or next week, when it’s raining? Or when we’re doing a very hard workout in April? 

My hope is that the answer is YES. Because that’s what it takes. That’s the mentality that I want from you. That’s what makes you special…maybe more special than other track & field athletes. That’s what makes you FIGHTIN’ IRISH!

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