Presented by Dunn Neugebauer, Coach
About This Coaching Thing...
Kids are pulled into so many directions. Better. Faster. More. Still, the bottom line is, more isn’t better, rest is often your best training. If you don’t take time for renewal, you won’t be a better self for anyone, mainly yourself.
My advice to 14-through-18-year-olds: Be a boy. Be a girl. Do your best, but don’t forget to hang out with your friends. Watch the new YouTube video. Flirt, make memories while you’re supposed to be studying for tests; have random conversations in the hallways. Balance, baby, balance – a VERY underrated word.
You see, it’s about scared freshmen girls who mature so much they talk your ear off just two short years later. Boys making a game out of yelling in the stretching circle. Getting up at dark thirty on a Saturday – it sounds tough, but as Tom Hanks said, it’s the tough that makes it great. Seeing Jackie, Nick, Aidan, and Welden nailing it at Milton this weekend. Sweating. Healing. Back to class. Off to see a movie. Balance!
As for my finish line, they get better. They enjoy each other. They still have lives or they well should have. And as for the graduates, Jayaraj and I got a text last Wednesday from a former runner now at Sewanee. It seems her roommate is getting mad at her because “she won’t shut up about her cross country and track days!”
Let’s see now: Win? Lose? Tie?
Call me crazy, but this is sounding like a win to me. And God Bless high school sports, the way they’re meant to be.
- Dunn Neugebauer coaches cross country and track at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School in Atlanta. He’s written a couple of books, but besides writing, his favorite things are still coaching and random 22-second conversations with kids between classes.