We had a heck of a week last week with our first ever Track team camp at Baldwin Wallace, and I would say it was a huge success. Getting the opportunity to bring the whole team back a week before school start practice, team meetings and have guest speakers is a huge advantage for our team over the rest of the conference and I would guess the majority of the teams in the nation. We are very fortunate to have the resources and backing from our administration to do put on such an event with full support.
Monday we kicked off camp with a brief meeting then got into the fun stuff: practice! We did our usual spinal mobility, hurdle mobility and band work warm up followed by a recovery run, some stadium sprints and a core circuit. Following lunch I had the group watch a DVD on Rope stretching by Phil Warton that I bought over break. It gave all of them a few more pointers on technique and some stretches to do with the rope.
Later that night Coach Cole went through our program philosophy, TEAM: FAMILY: PRIDE, and our core values. He also introduced the rest of the staff and found some hilarious pictures of all of us from our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. His meeting definitely set the tone for the week and season.
On Tuesday we did a 2k Time Trial/workout and got a lower body lift in. The time trial went well for the first effort back with a mix of performances. Two of team members, Greg and Alex, had work and a DDS appointment and ran their time trial in the evening. Both ran really well and it would have been great to see mix it up in the group.
That night after our Buca Di Beppo catered dinner, we had Jenniffer Green '94, Rochele (Meyer) Miller '97, Brian Miller ‘98 speak to the team about their experiences as Baldwin Wallace Yellow Jackets. They were able to shed some light on the history and tradition of the team and program and share some fantastic stories with the next generation.
Wednesday we had a medium long run a core session then lunch. For our afternoon session I decided to focus on mental toughness. A lot of people talk about how important having mental toughness is in athletics, including myself. I preach being mentally tough all the time. Over break I decided to be proactive about the subject and find a way for our group to get better at being mentally tough. Just like being physically fit, you have to work at it in order to get better. So I reached out to Dr. Gloria Petruzzelli who was the sports psych we used at Sacramento State. She is an absolute rock star and helped numerous athletes while I was there get better at their mental game. She recommended three books. I purchased them immediately and wanted to use camp to start implementing the ideas from the first book. We spent our afternoon meeting going over our strengths and weaknesses and settng up some exercises for them to continue to work on them on a daily basis. This is a continual process we need to keep working on because this can take our program to the next level.
Our guest speak for the night was Dr. Leo Kormanik. He spoke about injuries, how they happen, how to prevent them and what to do if you get one. Our group took away quite a bit from his talk. He even took some time to stick around and meet with a few kids about specific injuries after. It was great to have someone with his knowledge and back ground as not only a doctor but also as a high level athlete.
Thursday was another recovery run and core circuit. We spent our afternoon session continuing our mental toughness training. Thursday night we have another great speaker, Spencer MacDonald from Humanex. Earlier in the week we had each student athlete fill out a 60 question quiz, they had 40 seconds to answer each question and each question had four answers. There was no wrong answer but each answer gave us what your strengths and weaknesses are. From a coaching aspect we got a complete profile on each kid and what makes them tick. We have some kids that are driven by trying to improve their times and better themselves on a day to day basis and other who flat out want to beat the person next to them and will do whatever it take in training to accomplish. Neither one is bad, but as a coach I now know what buttons to push to motivate each individual and they are all a little different. Spencer went through these profiles with the coaching staff and helped us understand what the results would mean in terms of what motivates each individual. He then did an hour long presentation with the team and had them look at their strengths. He divided them up into groups and showed them what each person’s strengths were so we would know who to turn to for different role of leadership within our team. It was an extremely beneficial meeting for everyone. Plus Spencer did a great job of making it a lot of fun with some interactive activities.
After the Humanex presentation a group of the athletes went out to laser tag. They had a discount night. They team said they had a great time battling each other in the arena.
Friday workout, goals, All-American Steeple Chaser Matt Luck ‘90 came back to speak to our team. He talked about how important a phone call can be and how it can change your life. He also talked about being a family and helping your teammates. It was a great finish to a wonderful week of speakers.
|Group warming up for Sunday long run on the Tow path|
We are very excited to open up our season Friday at Mount Union with the OAC split meet. Field events start at 4:00pm and running events start at 5:30. I am excited to see where the group is. We have a few kids that are ready to go after a great winter break of training. This could be a very exciting season.