Sept. 3, 2009
This season we're going to do our Blazer Blog a little differently. We're going to provide our fans, family and friends a chance to follow the team, one week at a time, through the eyes of a different student-athlete each week. In my first year as a head coach I have tried to share the message that EVERY member of our team plays her own unique and important role. It is sometimes easy for runners outside of the top five to feel like they don't make a difference for the team, but looking ahead to the future of the cross country program we want everybody (including alumni, fans, family, friends and other supporters) to have an equal share in our success.
One thing I have learned in my career as an athlete and a coach is that the act of running fast, in itself, holds no meaning. Sure, there are accolades, crowds cheer and you get jolly slaps on the back. What the casual observer misses is that after the lights fade and the trophies tarnish, the meaning lies in the effort along the way, the lessons learned and the friendships forged. We're only just finishing our third week of practice and I feel like we have already made giant leaps in building a winning chemistry where effort and teamwork are paramount. Hopefully the outcome will be some tremendous individual and collective athletic accomplishments. More importantly, and what I'm sure of, is that we will graduate student-athletes who have found meaning in the process and are prepared for success in whatever it is they want to do after college.
As I've said in a couple interviews, the culture that we aim to build is one where everybody gives 100 percent every time they show up to compete and train. The team is working so hard right now that if somebody were to give less than their best effort, they just wouldn't fit in. That's a great feeling and regardless of the outcome, it's the first step to becoming successful, not just in running but in all pursuits. If Plato was right when he said, "The beginning is the cheifest part of any work," the future of UAB cross country is very bright.
We start our season this Friday in Nashville and I hope to see you there. My mom's driving from Iowa to catch my first meet as a head coach, so if you're not there you better have a pretty good excuse. I look forward to meeting all of the Blazer cross country fans, especially the family and friends of the student-athletes that I've been fortunate enough to work with so far. If you can make it to Nashville on Friday be sure to wear your green and gold and introduce yourself to me.
Head Cross Country Coach