Hitting The Ground

Players, coaches connect to create a one-track mind


Charlie Rosser

Girls varsity cross country huddles around Coach Michelle Breuer before their Warrenton meet. With the end of their season approaching, the girls for a win, little did they know that this race would allow them to go to state.

Being an athlete is no easy feat. It requires constant training, strategizing, and dedication in order to maintain and improve skills. Freshman cross country runner Resse McDevitt believes that a strong connection between coaches and players can be a huge defining factor in overall performance. Strong relationships within her sport allow for open communication which in return leads to more personal growth within a season. 

This being her first season McDevitt had little to no expectations of what she would be able to achieve, but she had one goal. She wanted to take a shot at setting the freshman girls 5k record. Little did McDevitt know her goal was about to come true. On Saturday, Sept. 11 McDevitt would become the new official record holder with an impressive time of 19:04. After this meet McDevitt came to the realization that her coaches were able to create an environment that pushed her farther than she ever imagined. 

In McDevitt’s eyes, a good coach is someone who can push you to the next level on and off the field.   

“The best coaches are the ones that create a deep love of the sport in you,” McDevitt said. “[They] push you outside of your comfort zone, and are someone to look up to and talk to in all areas, not just the sport you play for them.”

She tries to work hard for all of these people [which] pushes her to work harder [and] allows her to inspire others and push them to compete as well. ”

— Michelle Breuer

While McDevitt strongly believes in her coach’s ability to push her forward. Her coach, Michelle Breuer, believes McDevitt’s dedication to her sport not only benefits her, but also inspires the people around her. 

“She has many people pushing her to succeed,” Breuer said. “She tries to work hard for all of these people [which] pushes her to work harder [and] allows her to inspire others and push them to compete as well.” 

For many athletes, their coach is someone they spend a great deal of time with. For many it is important for them to feel they are properly supported by them. Having a coach who ensures their support can help them feel valued which in return can help them reach their goals further down the line. 

While being a good player is a very important factor in any sport, for Junior Arman Sams a good coach is someone capable of working with and alongside their players.

“A good coach needs to be willing to slow down,” Sams said. “[Being able to] explain the steps needed to perfect [a skill]”. 

The benefits for having an amazing coach are enormous, but not every athlete is that lucky. There are many who lose their passion for their sport all together because of a lack of support. Without proper support athletes begin to doubt their own abilities which in return can cause a lack in motivation to continue moving forward. 

McDevitt sheds light on the impact a bad coach can have on their athletes. 

“The worst coaches make you second guess yourself and take away your love of the sport,” McDevitt said. “They can take away your confidence which will make you struggle with [moving forward]”. 

With player and sports connection being a huge underlying factor in athletes performance many are desperate to have that connection to move forward.  

McDevitt examines the impact a player’s connection to their coach has on their performance. 

“I think the more you are supported by your coach,” McDevitt said. “The more freedom you have to put all of your energy into the sport.”