To The Coach Who Never Gave Up On Me
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To The Coach Who Never Gave Up On Me

Thank you a million times.

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To The Coach Who Never Gave Up On Me
Emily Sutton

Coaches play a huge role in an athlete's personal development within a sport. Without a strong leader, the followers will be lost and uncontrolled. I am so lucky to have been blessed with some of the best coaches throughout my years as an athlete, and there are no words that can express my gratitude towards them.

I started a new sport my freshman year of high school, and I was so eager to begin. Although the sport was completely foreign to me, I was ready to tackle it with 100% of my effort. I knew what I was capable of having grown up playing so many different sports.

As soon as I stepped on that track, I knew this sport was meant for me. Not only did I have some of the best teammates by my side throughout my four years as a track-runner, I had an amazing sprint coach.

I was the type of athlete to form a strong, humorous bond with my coach. Why spend five to six days a week with someone you can't have fun with while putting in the required work for the sport? It made the rough practices more bearable and the lighter practices even more fun.

With track came a lot of responsibility and anxiety. Did I mark my steps completely? Am I going to complete the hand-off correctly? What if I rise up out of my blocks too soon? Even the most minor mistakes in track can lead to a complete disaster. Track has some individualistic aspects to it, sure, but I was very involved with the team aspect of track as well, and I never wanted to let my teammates down.

Going back to the stress and anxiety that came along with track, a good coach is needed for the daily pep talks and the even more serious pep talks before your event is about to start. There is nothing more reassuring than standing in your lane, swaying back and forth, feet lined up accordingly, tennis balls on the track where they needed to be, commotion going on around you from the other events, and hearing your coach out of all of the voices cheering for you in particular.

My favorite thing was crossing that finish line or completing a hand-off and stepping off the track and my coach standing right there ready to tell me what needed improvement and what he was proud of during the race. He never belittled us or made us feel inferior. I can honestly say, without my track coach, I would not have had such a successful track career. I owe it all to him.

Larry, thank you for always pushing me out of my comfort zone and helping me succeed in every event you entered me in. Although there were times when I didn't think I could do it, you were always right there to reassure me that I could.

Even throughout my injury-journey, you never gave up. You never gave up on any of us. You saw something in each and every single one of us runners that we couldn't see in ourselves. You helped diminish the stress and helped us focus on the end goal: setting a new P.R. or, in our 4x100 and 4x200's case, breaking a few school records along the way.

My love for track only grew stronger throughout my four years running, and I could not be more thankful. I loved that sport.

Thank you for always pushing me and for the constant but gentle reminder, "Do you wanna be good, or do you wanna be great?" I am so happy I made the choice freshman year to run track because without it I wouldn't have the friendships that I have now or the forever guidance from the best coach a girl could ask for.

Thank you for helping me fall in love with track the way you did.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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