Coach’s Corner: Bullitt East’s Lenny Raley

Coach’s Corner: Bullitt East’s Lenny Raley

Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic is proud to sponsor the weekly “Coach’s Corner”, featuring a high school coach from women’s athletics in the local community. Since 1974 the Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic has served the local area for orthopaedic problems and musculosketal issues. The sports medicine program has team physicians for local high schools which provide sports physicals and urgent care for athletes. Click here for details on SPORTS INJURY URGENT CARE.

This week’s “Coach’s Corner” feature is Lenny Raley, head track and cross country coach at Bullitt East. If there is a coach you’d like to read about, email suggestions to ashli@louisvillewomensports.com.

1) What is your history with athletics in your personal life?

I have played sports all of my life. I played basketball through high school. I played baseball through 6th grade. I started running in the 10th grade. I was a member of the cross country and track teams at Western Kentucky University from 1978-1983.

2) How did you obtain your current coaching position?

My son was running cross country in middle school. An opportunity opened up at Bullitt East and I was hired at the school. I have been coaching here for 10 years.

3) Who do you look up to?

There are a lot of persons who have had a positive influence on me. My high school coaches (Jim Wallace/George Radford at Trigg County) were men who influenced me greatly. I still seek advice from them today.

4) What are two primary goals you have for your team this season?

The main goal each season is to help each student-athlete grow as a person and to be a better runner at the end of the season than when they started the season. Also, for the team to advance to the state championships.

5) What is the hardest part of coaching for you?

I have a real passion for coaching. Sometimes the athletes are not as motivated as I to accomplish the results that I feel are possible, so it is a never-ending process to find ways to bring out the motivation in each runner.

6) What qualities do you hope to instill in your players that they can take with them to their families, careers, and society?

One main quality that I stress daily is “Hard Work Pays Off”.   I also speak a lot of trust, confidence and honesty as pillars to a successful life.

7) How do you motivate your best athletes to work even harder?

We are in constant communication about striving daily to be the best we can be, so they continue to push themselves to get to as high of a level as possible.

8) What is one mistake you’ve made in your coaching career, and what did you learn from it?

That is constant. Saying the wrong thing at the wrong time can be very discouraging to an athlete. This has happened and I needed to apologize and move forward.

9) How do you handle criticism from parents, athletic director, the media, and others?

That can be challenging at times. I try to reflect on my actions and evaluate to see if I need to make any changes going forward. I can always learn a valuable lesson from others.

10) What is the greatest philosophy you live by?  

Life is not fair, so don’t compare. God has blessed me more than I deserve and I want to be more thankful each day for his grace and mercy on my life.

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