The subject of this week’s Coach’s Corner feature is David Long who is the head coach of the Collegiate track and field team.
1) What is your history with athletics in your personal life? I was a swimmer and soccer play in high school and swam for four years in college at the division 3 level with Grove City College. I have been coaching for our 20 years (soccer, swimming, and track) and athletics has played a tremendous role in my life and has shaped who I am in many ways.
2) How did you obtain your current coaching position? I came to Collegiate in the fall of 2008 as the Upper School Dean of Students and took over the track program the next year as I had coached track and field in Pennsylvania for five years.
3) Who do you look up to? I look up to my parents who taught me the value of hard work and need to live life with a positive outlook. My high school and college swim coaches impacted me greatly because they helped me to believe in myself, pushed me to dream big and not be afraid to fail, and showed me that they cared about me as a person instead of only as a swimmer.
4) What are two primary goals you have/had for your team this season? 1.) To help each individual athlete to become their absolute best. ( This is different for each kid as some are reaching for a state medal and some are looking to get a pr in an event). 2.) In the past few years we have pushed our athletes to dream big and to push themselves to see that they can compete with the top teams in A track and field.
5) What is the hardest part of coaching for you? The time commitment is hard as I have two small children and the logistics of putting a line up are always a challenge as we have athletes with multiple commitments.
6) What qualities do you hope to instill in your players that they can take with them to their families, careers, and society? 1.) That winning is not the end. Instead it is the desire to give your absolute best. 2.) To dream big and not be afraid to fail. 3.) To believe in themselves and to push themselves to be great (as good is the enemy of great)
7) How do you motivate your best athletes to work even harder? I use a number of different methods as each athlete is different. Some like to be given positive feedback, others like to be pushed. One thing I try to do with all of them, is to get to know them as a person so that they know that their growth as a person is the most important thing.
8) What’s your favorite memory as a coach? There’s too many to name! I enjoy seeing my kids give their absolute best and the smile on their face when they are able to find success (be it a Regional or State medal or a new PR) because they were willing to put themselves and were not afraid to fail.
9) What does coaching bring to you or your family? It brings a lot of joy as my boys get to hang out with the team and my children get to see me working with amazing young people.
10) What is the greatest philosophy you live by? “Success is the peace of mind that is a direct result of the self-satisfaction in knowing that you did your best to become the best you were capable of becoming.” – John Wooden