Friday, June 30, 2017

Why I Am Not A Coach


It’s something I’ve never felt I had to write about explaining myself because it is a career path I never considered. Since I am now displaying my life much more in internet writing, I felt this might be something people would want to read. At least for those who know me, it’s possible this is of interest.

I fell in love with running at age 14, where most high school kids are actually introduced to running by participating in cross country or track & field. I was not a natural athlete by any stretch of the imagination, but I guess I liked being what I thought was a good athlete in these sports. I was average at best, but a contributor in the sense I scored the occasional point in a competition.

It’s funny because I remember some people in high school in disbelief that I wouldn’t be competing in college. Those are the people who aren’t seeing the real picture. A 4:48 mile doesn’t get you in the door in Division I, it’s almost a charity to let you walk on in Division II with the expectation you’re most likely going to be cut, and you’re probably in the top 7 on a Division III team. I also destroyed my legs to the point I wake up in pain every single morning. Sacrificing that much to be an average athlete in high school (yes, in the grand scheme of things a 4:48 mile is pretty average in high school)? Well, that’s another explanation for another day.

Now that I’m starting the fourth paragraph, I guess I could explain why coaching has never been in my life view. First off, I work a 9-5, so coaching is unrealistic because you can’t fully invest in your athletes, high school or college level. That’s just the simple, cop out answer though because it’s so easy to say.

The real answer is this. I’ve talked about how I destroyed my legs in high school to the point that trying to even jog produces unbelievable pain. 2 rounds of PT in a span of 5 years treating a problem that no specialist has any idea to what’s going on was a waste of money. If I can’t keep my own running body healthy, how am I expected to keep the bodies of high school athletes healthy? Now I’ve designed my own coaching philosophy as kind of a “what if”, but I feel I couldn’t go through with it. I have knowledge that could be useful in coaching, but at the end of the day, I have no confidence that I could produce athletes with results and that I’d ultimately break them. They’d never see their true potential due to that. I understand injuries come with sport, but mitigating that is a result of good coaching and smart athletes. Could I coach well? I have no idea and I’ve kept myself out of trying for this very reason. Plus the 9-5 thing too. Scheduling is so unrealistic.

I will admit, however, during my time volunteering at my high school track team, there is a sense of satisfaction watching athletes do well. Definitely enough to break some of my own rules in order to make coaching happen. Who knows if it’s in the cards for me? Something to really think about as time goes on.