As this time of the year often does, it causes me to pause and reflect on the year that was. Well, 2020 was what it was. But in reflection, I think back to my graduate work at SUNY Fredonia. Immediately after I graduated with my degree in Childhood Education, I enrolled in graduate school. With a couple months off, I attended my first graduate class in August, 2004. The title of the course was Curriculum Design I.
One of the central tenets we discussed in that course was to begin with the end in mind. The focus of my project for that course was to design a 12-week 5th grade social studies unit. On the first night of class, as our cohort was wrapping up our guided activity, the last thought our instructor shared with us was, “Begin with the end in mind”. I find many parallels between that class, the graduate program and coaching track and field athletes as a whole. There is significant overlap with working with throwers too!
The fall semester of the 202-21 season, to some, may be considered a wash. For some sports teams, the winter (indoor track season) has been cancelled. Actually, the SUNYAC conference canceled their winter sport seasons back in October, 2020. At Alfred State, we are still holding on to the possibility of competing indoors. I was able to meet with my throwers a couple of times a week for a few weeks before coaches were told they were unable to practice with their athletes moving forward with the remainder of the semester.
As the semester has now officially come to a close, I’ve begun to think about our outdoor conference championships in May, 2021. Yes, I’m beginning to prepare for the end of the season by starting at the beginning.
Our throwing squad is returning in whole this spring with the possibility to add more throwers that didn’t participate in the fall. We are beginning with the end because it is unlikely we will be competing indoors. The indoor prep will serve as a great opportunity for our athletes to get in shape for the outdoor season I’m confident we will have this year.
In my next article I’ll go into more detail outlining backward design programming (yes, similar to block periodization of some sort), specific to collegiate throwers with the intentions of competing in an outdoor season.
Dr. Charles Infurna
Charles Infurna, Ed.D., is the owner and lead coach of Forza Athletics Track Club. Dr. Infurna has coached National Record Holders, National Champions, All-Americans, and Conference Champions at the Post-Collegiate, Collegiate, and High School level.