Coach’s Corner

Cross country’s very own Miles Mason

Ethan Willard, Staff Reporter

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Q: What do you find most fulfilling about coaching cross country?
A: That you don’t have to be the most physically talented person to have success in this sport. That every athlete that participates does so on equal terms. There’s no starters and backups. There’s no 1st string, 2nd string, 3rd string. Everyone gets to compete in every meet. Everyone gets to set a goal and aspire to achieve it through their own hard work and dedication. That there is no discrimination among the team members. Once you are a part of cross country, you are a part of the TEAM and the FAMILY.
Q: Why did you start coaching cross country?
A: I wanted to give back to the sport that gave so much to me and hope that I could make a difference in at at least one person’s life like my coaches had done for me.
Q: Now that it is wrapping up, what was your favorite meet this season?
A: Nike Portland Invitational, an overnight trip for all of the student-athletes that have earned it. It takes place at Portland Meadows race course in Portland Oregon during the 5th week of the season. It’s a highlight of our season every year and is a special event for the kids. They get to compete against some of the best cross country runners and teams in the country while running on a fast course and getting a great experience with their 2nd family.
Q: Do you like to run on your own time?
A: As much as my body will allow me to.
Q: How long have you been coaching?
A: 4 years at Arlington High School and now 8 years at Shorewood
Q: How do you budget time between your personal life and coaching?
A: It’s always a challenge, but I just block out the time I need. My family is so patient and caring and they really enjoy being a part of this too, so that helps.
Q: What do you dislike about running?
A: That most people only see the negatives of running, that it’s difficult and requires hard work, rather than the positives. If they would just give running a chance, like the fantastic kids that do XC, they would learn that the positives far outweigh the negatives and they would gain a lifelong passion for running.
Q: What do you think you could improve on in coaching?
A: Being more patient, both with increases in training and with the development of each of the athletes. I’m so competitive that I tend to get excited early in the season and push too hard too early. I need to be patient and trust the process. That will only help the athletes.
Q: What is your strongest trait as a coach?
A: I think I connect to the athletes right away since I’m still a big kid myself. I’m positive and pride myself in knowing all about every athlete on the team regardless of their ability level.
Q: What do you think the team can improve on next season?
A: The team is amazing and they had a phenomenal year. They could all improve on their off-season preparedness. Also, focusing on the process of improving each and every day rather than focusing on 5k times/PRs or results. Trust the process.
Q: What do you think the team did well on this season?
A: They were super committed from the beginning of the summer through the state meet. They worked hard not only for themselves. This TEAM became a FAMILY this year!
Q: Do you see yourself coaching 5 years from now?
A: Absolutely!!!

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Coach’s Corner