All about consistency for MCHS cross-country coach Trapp
Twenty years into coaching track and cross country, head coach Todd Trapp said that new runners and different team dynamics keep him coming back year after year.
Originally from South Dakota, Trapp was looking for a community where he could ski when he found the coaching job in Craig 20 years ago. He was just an assistant coach for track and cross-country then, but he has since taken over coaching the Bulldogs in consecutively successful seasons. This year’s squad has 25 students on it — 13 girls and 12 boys.
“One of the biggest things with running training is consistency,” Trapp said. “Every day you’re just building on the day or week prior. Consistency is huge. It’s the only way to be successful. In order to build endurance, you have to be consistent.”
Trapp said that philosophy of consistency can be carried over into life beyond running, as well. When coaching, he pushes his runners by starting them low, and then over the course of the season, the goal is raised, and runners begin running farther and farther by the end of the season.
Last weekend, the MCHS boys placed second and girls fourth during Friday’s Coal Ridge Invitational.
Not all of the runners join the team with a lot of long-distance running experience, Trapp said, so that means each student works and pushes themselves at different levels and at their own paces.
“The best part of coaching is seeing kids improve through the course of the season,” Trapp said. “You want to see them have their best races at the end of the season, so that they can see that their work is worth something, like in life. You want to see success coming from the work you’re putting in. Cross-country is similar to life in that way.”
Trapp added that the goals of this season do not differ from most other seasons: qualify at regionals in order to compete at the state level.
“We always have the ultimate goal of qualifying for the state meet,” he said. “That’s a goal for both teams. That’s something that we are working for each meet of the season — just getting closer and closer to the regional meet — and the top four at regionals qualify for state.”
In order to keep having a consistently good squad, Trapp said he keeps good communication between himself and middle school coaches. As a PE coach himself, he also recruits from his own classes, as well, so he credits some success to good recruiting and building relationships with other coaches and students.
Though every year is different, Trapp said he looks forward to motivating each of his runners to push themselves to their best. He said coaching both the boys’ team and the girls’ team brings different challenges, but getting to know all types of students and athletes keeps him coming back season after season.
“Every kid is so different. You have highly motivated kids that you can tell to do a run and they’re already motivated,” he said. “Sometimes you don’t have the kids that are motivated, so you have to find what hooks them, so we’re seeing results at the right time of the year. It’s always great as a coach to see kids perform really well, and they can see the product of the work they put in.”
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