So a bunch of engineers were working on a problem at NASA and the main guy in charge said, "come on guys this isn't rocket science." Just then one of the new engineers raised his hand and said, "actually...it is!" Having gone to many coaching clinics over the years, you always see some coaches there that are looking for the golden workout or the ultimate training program. It's safe to say that it doesn't exist. Obviously, a coach has to have a general understanding of how a training program should be orchestrated from start to finish, but the bottom line is it comes down to the individual. Our job as coaches is to motivate, encourage, discipline, shape, mold, sand, and polish to ultimately get a finished masterpiece. So if it comes down to the individual "YOU", why aren't more people successful? It comes down to what I call the three D's. Desire, Dedication and Discipline. They are all intertwined. Let's break them down. Desire - The desire to be successful is an innate feeling in all of us. Not just related to sports, but in everything you do. But desire alone doesn't get it done. Desire is dependent upon goals. Not just goals that I as a coach could give you, but something that deep down inside you want to achieve. Goals are something that you have to own. They have to be revisited, changed and should be looked upon as a constant evaluation process. If you have no goals, then what is the point for being out here? Dedication - Commitment is something that in today's society isn't held to a high standard. How many sports fans are committed to a team only when they are successful? How successful would a coach be if they were only committed to best athletes? I have seen many athletes that could have been easily cut from a program their freshman year in high school turn themselves into Div. 1 collegiate athletes. In high school alone, many students join all these clubs because it will look good on your college applications. Rec programs, travel teams, jobs, Dr. appointments the list goes on and on. I as a coach always hear I am going to have to miss practice for this, that and the next thing. I think to myself, are you going to these things and saying you can't make it because of track? I had a job in high school that allowed me to do sports. I have coached girls that had jobs that they left from practice everyday to head off to work. Not for extra money for themselves, but for money to help support their own parents. Discipline - Single mindedness, instruction, self control, obedience and training are all synonymous for discipline. Self discipline is probably the one single trait that most successful people have. Only you can answer if you are putting our sport at the forefront of what you do day in and day out. Only you can tell me if you are giving 100% at practice. Only you can say whether or not you are getting the right amount of sleep every night. Only you can say that you are fueling your body with the right foods. Only you can say whether you avoid gossip and the many other pitfalls of high school pressures. It comes down to self discipline. I was blessed in high school to hang out with a group of guys that wanted to be successful runners. We avoided partying, which I saw many of my other friends get caught up in. To us, Running was who we were and what we trained for day in and day out. Now don't get me wrong, there has to be a healthy balance with sports, academics and, in general, your life. Outside of college I had a group of friends that I played music with. They would have all said that it was the most important thing in my life, yet those that I ran with and trained with would have said running was the most important thing in my life. When I was with that particular group it certainly was, but I didn't let one or the other distract me from what I was supposed to be doing. I say that to say that you need to be well rounded. It can't be running 24/7, but don't put too much on your plate. The old saying of jack of all trades master of none often holds true to many. Now as we look to set goals for the upcoming season, they have to be something that you want. Dr. Falwell always used to tell us in college that most people aim at nothing and hit it with great success. Some of you may need to have commitment as a goal. Some of you may need to have the way you approach practice as a goal. Many of you can get specific, yet be careful. Don't make that mark the sole focus every time you race, jump or throw. You just need to compete. Some of you after reading this may see that the Cherokee Track & Field team is not a club, not a gym, but a program that is looking for athletes that have the three D's. We don't want part timers, but people that want to get plugged into a program that will give you many rewards.