This week, we asked our interns, who are also volunteering as coaches for our Exercise to Achievement program at Harbor Athletic Club, to share their experiences. This is one post you’re not going to want to skim!
From Coach Allen…
There are three buzz words that come to mind if anybody were to ask me how Exercise to achievement is going. Those three words are teachability, respect, and sportsmanship. All three of these adjectives not only describe a successful athlete, but a successful individual. These qualities that are already starting to show, and directly expresses how responsible and trustworthy every athlete from Exercise to Achievement has become.
The first buzzword that comes to mind when talking about E2A is teachability. After all of my past years as an athlete in multiple different sports, I have never seen this many athletes so eager to learn. Every individual not only pushes themselves to do better in everything they do, but even when they have a question or concern you can tell they are more than willing to listen to improve.
Alongside a strong willingness to learn comes respect. Every athlete has been more than respectful when a coach is speaking and is happy to comply with their instructions. Respect and teachability go hand in hand with every athlete in E2A. Furthermore, I have never seen so much professional behavior for guest speakers. I remember in my youth every time we had a substitute the room turned into absolute chaos – not here. From what I have seen, every athlete has given their utmost attention to every speaker we have had. Once again, a perfect example of teachability and respect perfectly demonstrated by individuals who are determined to better themselves.
Finally, sportsmanship, represented not only during their training sessions but shown in their downtime as well. A courtesy ‘good job’ or ‘hey, you can do this’ – goes along way and has been demonstrated numerous times since I have been here. Constant compliments and encouragement are thrown around the track as if it was confetti. Also, on the bike path and hearing someone say “passing on your left,” is a reoccurring theme I have heard, which has caused me to remember this myself back on campus!
These qualities that I have seen since my time at E2A not only reassure me that these kids will do great on their upcoming triathlon, but assures me these athletes will display these qualities in their everyday lifestyle.
From Coach Brianna…
The Exercise to Achievement program has been an exciting and enjoyable experience for the kids as well as the coaches. All of the kids bring a positive and enthusiastic energy to each and every practice, which creates a great training atmosphere. Their constant hard work allows the kids to maximize their time practicing at Harbor Athletic Club. Every session, we start off by engaging the kids in a team building activity. This not only warms the kids up for their practice, but also helps create strong, trusting relationships among them. After warm-up, we break up into two separate groups, and work on swimming, running, and biking, depending on what the plans are for the day. This allows the kids to get comfortable with these events before race day, so they can breeze right through it. We have also brought in impactful guest speakers, that have really made the kids think about why they want to do this, why eating healthy is important, how privileged they are to be able to participate, and the importance of safety.
As a volunteer, it has been very rewarding to see the kids grow and improve every single practice. On the first day, a couple of the kids could barely even get on their bikes and really struggled to start pedaling, and now they hop on, no problem, as if they were just taking a walk in the park. They aren’t even fazed! These kids have all excelled by leaps and bounds in every aspect from swimming to running to biking to problem-solving. They are all so eager to be the best they can be, which helps push others around them to do the same. This group of kids is truly dedicated to what they are seeking to achieve. I am looking forward to the last weeks, and see everyone reach their true potential. They will all do big things in the Middleton Triathlon!
Thank you, Allen and Brianna, for your dedication to this organization and to our young athletes!