Have you ever sat down with like-minded individuals for hours and talked about the topics you are most passionate about? When was the last time that happened? What was the topic of conversation? How long did you talk?
Let’s just say it has been a very, very, very long time since I saw the other side of 1am. Usually I don’t see the other side of 11pm, but this weekend was different. This weekend Luis and I traveled to Columbus, OH to compete in the Buckeye Classic. After the competition was completed, Luis and I joined some athletes and coaches for dinner. Once dinner was wrapped up, Luis and I went back to our hotel, got cleaned up, and met with a smaller group of coaches to talk throwing.
As so much as athletes need support systems, coaches benefit from support systems. Support from other coaches. Others to share thoughts, training, programming, and situations with. It is amazing how much time goes by when sitting with like-minded individuals. Our talk consisted of a couple of main ideas:
I could have spent many more hours learning from the other coaches I was with. With the onset and prevalence of social media, it makes learning from individuals very easy-as long as you know how to sort the good info from the better info. However, there is something so much more personal about sitting down with and speaking to others face-to-face.
One coach and I spent about an hour with me talking about the importance of helping your athletes focus on themselves, what they are doing, and how they can get better. This coach and I are about the same age, competed before Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram were invented. We weren’t able to watch or post videos anywhere. In 2018, anyone can post anything they want anytime they want. Anyone, anywhere in the world can view, in this case, throwing videos of others as soon as they are posted. Essentially, we spoke about controlling what you have control over. A thrower in New York cannot control what a thrower in Florida is doing. With the advent of rankings and lists, one can see what others are doing across the country. However, those are just marks. In the chances that the thrower from New York and thrower from Florida compete in the same meet, those marks are just marks. Just as any other meet-what you did before does not mean that is what you will do again.
My biggest takeaway from speaking to many coaches and athletes this weekend was trust. Trusting your coach, trusting your abilities, and trusting yourself that you have prepared the best you can in order to be successful (however you may define your success).
As always, thanks for reading-Charles
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.