Meeting Your Expectations
At the beginning of the fall semester, I gave each of my throwers a jar full of marbles and two notecards. The jar contained 24 marbles. Each marble represents a week of the season. The last marble to be pulled out of the jar a week before our outdoor conference championships.
Essentially each week we either move ourselves closer or farther away from our goals. That is where the note cards come into play. On one note card I asked each thrower to share their goals for the upcoming season - what they wanted to accomplish and why it was important to them.
I’m writing this article on Tuesday, December 21, 2021.
Our fall semester went relatively quickly. Our throwers competed in two meets, and overall competed very well. We did throw through some growing pains, but unfortunately I think that can be expected from time to time. And not from new throwers, but from experienced throwers as well.
Meeting Your Expectations
When one experiences set-backs like this, in my humble opinion it comes down to expectations.
What were you expecting was going to happen? Did your work and effort leading up to the meet warrant those expectations?
Those were two questions I asked a couple of my throwers after our first indoor meet.
What were you expecting was going to happen? This question often comes with an unequivocal look of disbelief. I can’t believe coach just asked me that question. Of course I expected to throw far. When I get that response, I follow up with this.
Did your work and effort leading up to the meet warrant those expectations? Now I’m making them think a little bit. As a coach you need to know your audience and in this case your athlete. I feel comfortable asking these types of questions because we spend time discussing these topics during the season (before practice, during practice, after practice).
I am a HUGE proponent of being a reflective thrower. In this instance, journaling and keeping a detailed journal adds support (to either the coach or thrower) when a discussion about work and effort comes into play. When I’m presented with a blank journal with a blank look that accompanies it, I have come to realize that 99% of throwers will look back on the semester and really think about it. That other 1% doesn’t, and when presented with ideas about training they really don’t have much to discuss or care to discuss.
When reflecting back on the fall semester, it is ok if you didn’t meet your own expectations. I understand. Life happens is the response I’ve grown to hear most often the past few years I’ve coached. Make life happen for you.
With about 19 weeks left of the season, there is plenty of time to make life happen for you. How will you reorganize your priorities so you aren’t sitting at the conference meet in May and thinking about what I should have done differently? You can put a lot of pieces in place NOW to ensure your spring semester lives up to your expectations.
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.