Saturday, July 23, 2011


Below is a thought I had a about a week ago, that I decide to write down. The prose is fairly marginal, but hopefully the point will survive that…

Anyone (or very nearly anyone) can run. Pick up one foot and put it in front of the other. Now repeat. Now  faster. You are running. Not that difficult.

Now running at a world class level – 4 minute miles, 2 hour marathons- that isn’t quite so easy. To do that isn’t just a matter of picking your feet up and putting them down fast. You have to run efficiently. Your form must be perfect (or as nearly as possible). Little details become important, like how you hold your hands and head, how you lean, how to take each step.

To run at that level really requires the help of a coach; a subject matter expert, someone who can observe from the outside, someone who can see and correct your mistakes, adjust your method, elevate your intensity. A good coach is able to see where you are weak and develop training programs for you, specifically designed to help correct those weaknesses. A good coach pays attention to all the little things you might miss; adjusting your stride, reducing bounce, relaxing your fingers. I have had the pleasure of being trained by a few good coaches. I can attest to the difference a good coach can make.

Now, when you consider how valuable a coach can be in such a simple activity as running, imagine how absolutely indispensible a coach is for a more complicated activity, such as basketball, or soccer, or… loading a dishwasher, or folding laundry.

Yeah, how many years did it take ‘til you could fold a shirt satisfactorily? It takes a good deal of training and encouragement to manage a thorough cleaning of a bathroom- all those nooks and crannies. Who knew dust collected on baseboards? Just how full is ‘full’ for a trash can?

So next time you are standing in the middle of the kitchen, on the verge of screaming, as your racecar driver extracts herself from a major collision involving oatmeal, yogurt and peas, your two star forwards attempt to determine who touched who first, and your shortstop wanders about aimlessly with his sisters underpants on his head. Just remind yourself. This is still the preseason. There is still time to pull this team together coach.  Repeat to yourself  “Patience, Practice, Proper Form, Proper Discipline”  (A few extra Jumping jacks never hurt). Go team!

No comments:

Post a Comment