Goals, Commitments, or both
I am so excited for the 2016-17 Track & Field season to begin! I have a great group of athletes returning. We also have a newcomer as well. Awesome things to look forward to this season. As we transition to the start of the season, rather than discuss goal-setting with my throwers, I plan on taking a different approach.
Rather than just focus on our outcomes, or season goals, my focus will be on commitments. My intention for the season is for my athletes to focus on the process of obtaining their goal(s) by implementing a road map to get us there. I emphasize the word us because it will take both of us to make that vision a reality. How are we going to get there?
I emailed all the throwers a road map sheet that outlines what they should focus on as we begin the season. Our plan describes outcome goals and commitments. Their outcome goal is their big picture vision they will have for the season. Their commitments will help them achieve their goal. Without both, we really have nothing.
Jon Gordon recently wrote a nice article about telescopes and microscopes. The telescope helps us focus on the big picture. The microscope helps us focus on that big picture goal. Without a telescope or vision, the microscope may help us with the daily grind, but really won't lead us anyplace because we don't have an end goal. A telescope without a microscope is just as useless. Having a big picture goal in mind without a plan to get there won't help either. I never looked at goal setting quite like this.
My first athlete individual meeting is this upcoming Friday afternoon. I'm really excited about discussing visions with my athletes. I have implemented a similar plan for a high school athlete and coach I will begin working with this Sunday. I will be sure to report back how that first meeting and practice goes.
Until then, thanks for reading!
Over the course of the past 10 days, I have been an active participant in Bonnie Frank's true you periscope challenge. In 14 short months, Bonnie has built her business from 0 clients to multiple clients, specifically helping new business owners with their marketing and social media presence. I would like to thank Bonnie for giving me the opportunity to join her new to periscope challenge group. If you are interested in working with Bonnie, you can find out more about Bonnie at http://www.bonnielfrank.com/. Bonnie, since I started your challenge 10 short days ago, I have had individuals reach out to me via email with regards to coaching and consulting. I have a meeting with a high school athlete, his family, and coach this upcoming Friday. The athlete reached out to me via Instagram and asked me to coach him this season. We are meeting to see if we will be a good fit for each other. Again, thank you Bonnie!
Tonight was the the 10th day of the 10 day #trueyou periscope challenge put together and organized by Bonnie. Our challenge for the night was to share our why. My why is simple, I enjoy helping others reach their specific and unique goals. Whether in the classroom, boardroom, or in a throwing circle, I am passionate about helping others achieve their goals. I feel as though it is my way of giving back. After I graduated from college, I didn't have a mentor or coach I could look up to. I reached out for help, but people were hesitant to help. I'm not really sure why. With track and field, throwing is not that complicated. With the onset of YouTube and all the information found there, anyone can learn how to throw. In my opinion, the relationship between an athlete and coach more often than not makes the most difference in whether that athlete achieves their goals. First thing is first, it depends on how the coach and athlete define their "success". This is going to vary from relationship to relationship.
Over the past 10 years, I have had the great opportunity to coach two Division III Indoor National Champions, multiple All-American's, and numerous conference champions in the shot-put, discus, weight throw, and hammer. One female athlete and most recently a male athlete in 2016. I attribute part of their success to the relationship we were able to establish over the course of their four years of working with me as their coach. Now, I also admit that as the athlete they did all the work. I was there as a coach yes, but once the athlete steps into the circle, there is not much more I can do to assist them.
Below you will find my periscope video from tonight. In this video, I discuss what I have learned from participating in Bonnie's challenge. I also discuss my why.
Please, if anyone has any suggestions or comments as to how I can better improve my periscope skills, share them with me. I cannot provide a better service to individuals if I don't know what to work on. I'm a self proclaimed life-long learner.
Thank you for taking the time to read and watch!
Have a great night!
Throw your story, Part 1
Everyone has a story. For some of us, our stories are similar. For others, perhaps not so much. This past season provided me the great opportunity to reflect back on my story and how I got to coach the DIII 2016 National Champion in the 35lb. Weight Throw.
I never expected my path and journey was going to take me to a throwing circle. Unlike others who may have started throwing at a very young age, I started throwing in 7th grade. I tried out for our modified Track & Field team in middle school because I wasn't good at anything else. I did not try out for our modified Football team. Honestly, I was afraid to. I tried out for our school's modified Basketball team. Out of the hundred or so people that tried out, I did not make the first cut. Only about twenty five or so guys were cut. I remember feeling sorry for myself. I was willing to try out for any sport in the spring season. I had never played Lacrosse or Tennis, so those sports were out of the question. The only sport offered in the spring season that did not cut athletes was Track & Field. Perfect!
That first season was horrible. I do not really remember much from that first season. I could not throw the shot-put 30'. I do not think I threw the discus over 100'. My success for that season was that I did not get cut. I made some new friends, but did not have any expectations for my future Track & Field career.
Something changed, however, in 8th grade. I did not grow much taller from 7th to 8th grade. I've been about 6'1" since I was 13 years old. I tried out for the modified Football team and was voted 'B' team Defensive MVP. I was the starter on the modified Basketball team. I achieved the most success during that spring Track & Field season. I was fortunate enough to have a great throwing coach. Mr. Buddington was our 7th/8th grade Social Studies teacher and throwing coach. Something in my throwing clicked that season, and I went on to break out modified Track & Field shot-put and discus records. I believe my discus record still stands, even after 20 years. However, I would not reach the success I had in 8th grade until my senior year in high school.
Let's fast forward to my senior year of high school. Nothing really special happened between 8th grade and 11th grade. I was a contributing member of our freshmen and junior varsity Basketball teams. I was an alright thrower between 9th and 11th grade. I was able to earn my varsity letter in 9th grade, but besides that, nothing else happened.
As I transitioned to my senior year of high school, I had this burning desire inside me to be the best thrower in Western, New York. Things did not get started very well. I was cut from the the varsity Basketball team. I broke my right pinky finger on the fourth day of tryouts. That was not the reason I got cut. I got cut because I was not a good Basketball player. Simple as that. That turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
It was at this time that I joined the indoor Track & Field team. Even though I had a broken finger and could not throw the shot-put, I was able to participate in all the conditioning workouts. Those eight weeks set the foundation for a successful outdoor season. I did not throw the shot-put very far that indoor season. My best throw if the season was just over 45'. I qualified for our Section V Meet of Champions, where only the top 6 throwers in the region compete. I also competed in the 55m dash and was a member of our 4x200m relay team at that indoor Meet of Champions competition.
In the transition between the indoor and outdoor Track & Field seasons, the local newspaper had a nice write-up on athletes to look out for in the upcoming outdoor season. I was not included in that write-up. In my mind I thought I was one of the best Track & Field athletes in the region. Not just as a thrower, but as a combined sprinter/thrower. I was fuming. I could not understand how I was left off that list. Pretty much ever other thrower in the region was listed, except for me. That set the tone for the start of the outdoor season.
I'll continue with my story in another blog post next week. Until then, what is your throwing story? How did you get involved with Track & Field and throwing? I'm interested and I want to hear from you. #throwyourstory
Thank you 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.