I started my coaching career in 1997 at a college in New Jersey. I was the head coach at 24 years old, which made me one of, if not the, youngest head college coach in the country. I was very proud of that. I was fresh off my bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the top schools in the world for exercise physiology and biomechanics. I was arrogant. In the years since, I have grown as a coach, an academic, and a person, but the deep passion has remained the same. Here’s a few things I love about coaching.
* Being a scientist and researcher. I love applying the science and research to cause specific physiological changes that will enable a runner to get faster. I love finding out why something works and why something doesn’t work. I love hypothesizing and trying training strategies to test those hypotheses.
* Being an artist. I love organizing all of the training components and workouts into a systematic, progressive plan and balancing the right amounts of stress and recovery.
* Being a student. I love learning. I believe knowledge is power. I love understanding physiology, biomechanics, and training, and what it takes to get faster. I’m always reading and studying.
* Being a teacher. I love teaching the how and why of effective training so that the runner understands why we’re doing what we’re doing and can become part of the process.
* Being a strategist. I love strategizing with my athletes on how to train and race.
* Being an inspirer. I love inspiring runners to see and do what’s possible. To be in that position is truly a gift.
* Being a competitor. I love producing athletes and teams who beat their opponents. I have always been extremely competitive.
* Being a pursuer of excellence. I always want to be a better coach and I want my athletes to be better athletes.
Whatever it is you pursue, be a pursuer of excellence.