As we close out 2016 and turn to 2017 several thoughts come to mind. First of all, we are happy with and proud of our first year as a new club. We set out to create a new middle distance club for the west end of the GTA offering a high standard of coaching and competitive opportunity, and we feel our vision has come true so far. But this is just the beginning, and 2017 beckons with a new set of goals and challenges.
Our sport is relentless. Training and improvement is a 12 month process (with planned breaks) and last years success does not guarantee this years’ results. Even Melissa Bishop and Andre deGrasse cannot coast this year and expect to be right where they finished off last year.
A U.S. Olympian once said that he loved running because there was no hiding or excuses in running-the guy that works the hardest usually wins. I often allude to that statement myself in a slightly different way; that unlike rep hockey or soccer, no coach is cutting a deserving athlete for subjective reasons; if a runner who was previously far behind his teammates improves and wins big races, no one suggests that he or she shouldn’t have won. Just the opposite, we congratulate the athlete and the coach for a great job.
This note is aimed primarily at our older athletes. I will never suggest that the youngest kids have to work harder. I just want them to learn to enjoy running and to come to learn that training harder is fun on their own. But for the older athletes, the reality is that a gentle (and sometimes not so gentle) nudge is needed!
I mentioned to my own group that this year’s senior OFSAA cross country champions, Martha MacDonald and Andrew Alexander started 2016 without any certainty that they would be this year’s champion. Neither of them would have been considered the favourite. But what both of them had done was to achieve a steady improvement over the past couple of years leading up to a big breakthrough this year. And I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that both of them increased their training significantly in order to achieve this breakthrough.
We can do the same, but it starts with the commitment to train harder and smarter. Its really up to you the athlete!
Happy New Year to all, and in particular thank you to the Club Executive for all your hard work this past year.