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The Importance Of Athletes In The Team

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The one thing about the kids from Ellis Tech that I coached during my time there that I was most proud of was the fact that – during the season – they hardly ever gave me one ounce of trouble. As I’ve reflected upon my time there, I believe one of the main reasons was that we had built a mutual respect for each other. They knew from day one that I viewed them as equals, was basically trying to make them both better runners as well as human beings and that I always tried to speak with them instead of at them which was often unlike many of the other adults in their lives. As one of my runners from that time told me years later: “we didn’t want to let you down.” While hearing that made me feel proud, it didn’t take away from the fact that…show more content…
Unfortunately, after that last State Championship, and because of the loss of so many veteran performers, a new team leader never emerged and with it, arose a team of individuals that, despite my urging in various ways, accepted a work ethic that was nowhere near what it had been over the past few years. Even though it took me awhile to recognize it, it appeared to me that this new team’s view and mindset was something like: “I’m working harder than I ever have in my life now, what more do you want?”, and I really couldn’t disagree with their assessment. Though they all did what I asked of them most days in practice and gone were the days that I had to pull one of them aside in the hallway because of some type of classroom issue, the one thing that was clear was the losing didn’t bother them very much at all. However, the straw that broke the camel’s back occurred at the end of what would turn out to be my final cross country season at Ellis Tech. Each year, I always geared the team’s training towards the last race of the season, which usually was the State Class Championship. If we didn’t do well during September, but I saw progress being made, I was satisfied. As I’ve told every team I’ve ever coached: “People don’t really care how many teams you’ve beaten during the year. They want to know how you did in the State
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