Going the Distance

On March 26, 2012, in Uncategorized, by Matt Williams

Hi all,

As a former Brophy distance runner, I have joined the other side this year as an assistant coach for the Cross Country and Track teams.  It has been a significant time commitment this year, but it has been one of the most rewarding activities that I have been involved with.

Almost every day after school, I change out my teaching clothes and into my coaching clothes.  Some days, I simply time the runners and offer encouragement.  Other days, I’ll run with the guys.  Not only is it a great way to stay in shape, but it is a great opportunity to converse with the students and other coaches and get to know them better.

Many times, the highlight of my day has been the practice after school.  Brophy has an amazing group of distance coaches that is knowledgeable and cares about the well-being of the runners.  Three of the coaches are Brophy alumni, and two of them are former distance runners themselves.  I have worked mainly with the underclassmen this year.  It has been so rewarding to see inexperienced and out-of-shape freshmen and sophomores transition into talented runners with a lot of promise.

Distance running attracts a very unique type of Brophy student.  Guys who run distance are willing to put in countless hours at grueling practices with little fanfare or glory.  The sacrifice and hard work involved speak volumes about the character of the young men who partake in it.  I have really enjoyed getting to know these great young men this year.  Some of my favorite memories have been the ordinary school days when I have run with the guys up the Bridle Path and just talked about life, school, movies, etc.

Photo of the cross country team and coaches

            We have a dedicated group of guys, and I think they are going to accomplish great things this season.  Just last week, one of our runners returned from a nasty sinus infection to run the 4*800 relay.  He wanted to run the first leg, but I put him 3rd because I knew he was still a little sick and didn’t want him to push himself too hard.  He proceeded to run the fastest leg of the relay, and then get sick right after his race.  He could have taken the afternoon off and gone home sick, but he decided to compete and run his fastest 800 time ever.  These stories are the norm, not the exception, when it comes to distance runners.

              Track season is in full swing, and we have two meets this week.  I look forward to seeing our runners push themselves and better their times in 1600, 800, and/or 3200.

Until next time,

Matt Williams

 

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