National signing day! I’ve spent 4 years with Nick who feels more like a son to me then just an athlete. It was with great pleasure that I got speak at his official signing today. I’m so incredibly proud to be his coach and I am excited to watch his collegiate running career unfold as he will head off to run for St. Martin’s University next fall. #xc#smusaints#runner#letterofintent#signingday#xccoach#bestjobever
I have struggled this year with the end of our season. Not because I needed to win, that’s never been why I’ve coached.
The district meet didn’t go as our Boys’ team had planned, it was not just a mild loss for them but an epic one. The varsity consisted of 4 senior boys that I’ve coached since they were freshman. We knew this was the year. They went into the district meet prepared to snag one of the team spots to the state meet. They knew they had to work for it, that it wasn’t a given. And it wasn’t. They lost and it sucked..... their faces are still engraved in my mind. Their look of failure. I hated it.... I felt like somewhere along the way I let them down, that there was something more I could have done. I went home from the District meet and I cried. A lot. Not because we’d lost, because I felt like I’d failed them. I wanted those boys to have that win for them because they deserved it.
I know all the quotes about falling down and getting back up and how you have to know failure to know success... I know. I believe all of that. And I know there’s something to be learned from the season and I’m working on that. But it still sucks to see the pain of failure in my athletes.
Our showing at the state meet wasn’t much better, I came home feeling like I’d failed them once again. There’s something to be learned from this meet also and I will but right now it still sucks.
As I was looking through the pictures that were taken at the state meet I came across this one, taken in the finish chute. It brought me to tears. Not because my senior girl didn’t have a good race but because of the emotions and connection captured in this picture.... summed up our season. No matter what happened they held space for each other when things didn’t go well, they picked each other up and kept going. I am proud to be their coach. I’m proud of their hard work and dedication this season. I know I did not completely fail them as that can be seen in this picture. I will continue to look long and hard at how I can be a better coach to them, I will learn from this season but I will also celebrate the real victory of depth of character in them all.
Today is the day...
They ate breakfast together as a Family on the floor they’d trained on all season, read notes of inspiration from their coach (that’d be me 😊), and listened to a motivational speech.... the work is done, they are focused, bodies are fit, minds are strong... there’s nothing left to do but do it... Districts here we come!