I love reading the FLEET FEET Flyer. It's loaded with great information from some incredibly knowledgeable writers (present company excluded). For me, the Flyer's must-read is any contribution from Amy Marxkors. Her last few articles fall among my favorites. They have touched on a couple of foundations for my coaching philosophy: competition and confidence with humility. Unfortunately, it seems as if society nowadays promotes those topics as being mutually exclusive. I believe, however, they accentuate one another and work in tandem to make us better athletes and people.
The running foursome that Amy wrote about in last week's Flyer
are a shining example of how competition and quiet confidence go hand in hand. Knowing all four of those runners, I can tell you that while each of them are one of the better runners in the Midwest, they are also better people than they are athletes. They have moved beyond the "big fish in a small pond" outlook that can often lend to a short-sighted outlook of what competition is all about. The word competition is a derivative of Latin terms meaning "to strive" and "the attainment of something." All runners should keep that in mind. The four women mentioned in Amy's article have tested themselves against the best runners in the nation and have come away stronger as a result. As the proverb says, "Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."
As a coach, I encourage athletes to be the best they can be. By truly testing yourself you grow and "win" as a person even if the competition does not go as planned or hoped. The self-discovery that we experience during training and racing is where we develop the humble confidence of a person that knows, and is comfortable with, who they are and what they can achieve.
Thanks, Amy, and the other Flyer contributors who regularly keep me focused on the big picture of a coach: helping others reach their goals and be all that they can be. Keep up the great work.