By Jon Hopkins
“It’s something I’m not used to doing, and I wanted to challenge myself by doing something I have never done and that’s why I became a track coach.”
That was the response I got when I asked Ms. Mclaughlin what she thought about becoming the new throwing coach for the WHS track team. Mclaughlin, who has no previous track experience, has shown tremendous confidence even though she is being tossed into the fire with a very inexperienced group of throwers, on a track team with high hopes for the season.
“It’s obvious that the team we have here is an inexperienced group, but I believe with every day of practice, we all take a step in the right direction, and that includes me as a coach. Every day I think about the steps we need to take to become a better team individually, and as a team. Our goal here is to improve throughout the season obviously, but we can’t do that unless we get the most out each other every single day we step onto the track.”
Mclaughlin is determined to be a coach, and it’s easy to tell by the way she prepares on a daily basis. It’s clear to see that she doesn’t want the throwers on the WHS track team to be considered the weak part of the team. She wants everybody to put in the same kind of effort she puts into the team on a regular basis.
To add onto the effort she puts in on a daily basis for the throwing team, she also is a Physical Education teacher at WHS. So I asked if her teaching abilities help with becoming a coach. Here’s what she had to say:
“Absolutely, in school I have to teach kids from a variety of ages, some are easier to teach than others, but it definitely helps that I get to coach the same kids that I teach in Gym class. Obviously some of the kids I coach are little difficult,and don’t always listen, but most are really good, and are fun to be around.”
When it comes to coaching, some days are a little more difficult than others. With this being Mclaughlin’s first year being involved with track, she really had to learn on the fly when it came to throwing.
“I look forward to coaching about 95% of the time, most days are really fun and I learn a lot, but some days can be harder than the others. Overall I enjoy coming here to have a good time with the same kids I’m used to having in class, and I learn a lot in the process, so it’s a plus plus.”
It is still early in the season for the WHS track team only having played in 2 meets so far this season, and recording 1 win and 1 loss. So, there is definitely a lot of time left in the season for WHS and plenty of room to improve. Mclaughlin has shown that she truly enjoys being a coach, “So, far I have really enjoyed being a throwing coach, mostly because I am learning so much about a sport I have never done before, and that I get to spend some time with kids outside of school.” and she addressed whether or not she will continue to coach after this year. “As long as they let me!” Mclaughlin said jokingly, “I really enjoy coaching you guys and I would definitely do it in the future.”
It is a challenge that Mclaughlin loves to face on a daily basis. She has proven to be a determined person, I mean it’s hard enough to coach a sport you have played, but to coach something you have near no experience with and enjoy it, now that’s a challenge, and she is willing to face it every single day.