EN 101 – Composition I
is how I’d come to envision a coach; his body lankily maturing, with his face
flaunting the standard salt and pepper mustache of the 80’s. Running is
something he never gave up. Forest Gump
is actually one of his favorite movies. He is a man of many quotes and would
say, in his Gump voice, “I just like running.” Whether it’s cross country or
track and field, he makes running fun since he’s not the type of coach to stand
there and yell at you to push hard; he’ll actually be out there with his pupil
– pushing them no harder than he pushes himself.
of information, he has the track team gather around him so he can further
motivate and educate them. He makes sure to have their undivided attention. He
may be a fun coach, but he’s also a stern one. He lives by the motto, “Treat
others the way you want to be treated.” This isn’t something he has to speak
out loud; it’s easily transcribed through his actions. So since he listens when
it’s time to listen he expects the same when a movement for educating arises.
the fastest way to get from point A
to point B?” he asked the group of
teenagers seated before him.
a straight line.” One of the runners stated. This kid happened to also be on
his cross country team.
but on the track,” he responded, “it’s on the inside.”
It seems as though he
recycles his well taught lessons and tailors them depending on the subject.
They were both right. The best answer would probably be via the shortest
distance. All that really matters is that he gets his points across.
On meet day, he corrals the
team together as he frantically attempts to remember every little thing. The
things that he feels need to be accounted for are: the tent, pitons,
stopwatches, log sheets, extra jerseys, Gatorade, protein bars, and to make
sure the personnel were present who were in relay races. The teenagers are
split between the two busses. One bus is for the girls and one for the boys. They
couldn’t be allowed to occupy the same bus for obvious reasons.
Upon arriving he divvies out
tasks before heading to the coaches meeting, while the team finds an area to
nest and sets up the tent. Staying out of the sun and conserving as much energy
as possible is of high importance to Haga. Even if the team members are
finished with their events they may be asked to jump into another if someone
else is unable to. As many coaches do, he darts from event to event – cheering
on every person on the team that he can possibly make it to. Each event is just
as important as the next. He never yells too much or pushes too hard to get the
results that he expects. Of Course, he likes to win just as much as the next
person, but as long as participants give it their all then he’s satisfied. As
the day progresses Haga is still in full force, wanting everything to go as
It seems that if you do want to ruffle his
feathers, dropping a piton during a race was a sure way to go. The relay teams
do a lot of hand-off drills during normal practices. It seemed to double when a
stick is dropped on game day. Another thing he doesn’t seem to like is laying
or sitting after finishing a race. “Get up and jog it off,” he’d always
encourage. It’s as if he can see the strength that cowering behind the pain.
Just laying down isn’t going to fix anything. Jogging the pain away, hydrating
and stretching are the real remedy.
The two-mile run is one of
the last races and the apprehension within the distance runners is quite apparent.
The rival team, Vicksburg, has one of the fastest distance runners in the
region and it’s no secret. “False evidence appearing real.” Haga expresses to
them. He explains how they have nothing to fear since fear is not real and that
“pain is nothing but weakness leaving the body.” Like I previously mentioned, this
is a man that is full of quotes.
This isn’t just an after
school activity for him. He truly loves the sport. Watching the young adults
grow and guiding them towards unlocking their full potential is what gets him
out of bed every morning.