Team Dynamics

Track has officially started, finally. I have been waiting for this day to come since cross country ended in the fall, and it sure has taken forever. For me it’s also a first – my first season with my team since I came out.

These past few months of training have been hard. Going through the school day knowing that I still had to go run 8 miles after all of the work that I put in was killing me. I did not have a steady training partner during that time, which was also a struggle for me. The few running partners I had were people who I ran with only about one time a week. One of them was a cross town rival, so it was great to see him outside of the competitive races. We went on many runs and seeing him progress served as a great tool to make sure that I kept on getting out the door every afternoon. Since track has started I have teammates who I run with and depend on every day which is much better in my view.

Having a supportive team is one thing that all successful programs are built around. A basketball team would not be successful if all of the players were self-centered and did not pass to each other. A football team would not be successful if all of the players were not unified under the goal of trying to win the championship. A high school track team would not be successful if people were there only for their own personal gains.

Many people view track as a sport that is all built around the player instead of the team. This does not take place on a team that has a dynasty of winning league titles and districts titles. If people were in it for themselves they would not do extra events just to gain a few more points for the team.

On my track team we have come together in order to win every single dual meet as well as invitational. The team is more important than the individual. Our coach stated in one of the first few days of practice that the goal of our team is to win it all. We want to go all the way. We have the talent and the depth on our team; it just matters if people are able sacrifice a little in order for the betterment of the whole. I know I will be doing multiple events at every track meet as well as invitational.

I take this as an opportunity instead of a setback. Some people could see this as me sacrificing a little time in each race due to the fatigue that will set in after each race. I do not think of it this way because our team looks upon me and all of the others to gain as many points as possible. Also, being on the medal stand multiple times is a pretty nice reward. It will be grueling doing both the mile and two-mile at invites, but they are all set up in order to give us optimal amounts of rest in between each race. At some meets you have at least 5 hours in between these races because usually they are both the first event and the last event.

Some LGBT athletes they feel that their coming out will take away from the team dynamic that has been built. I have heard from some people that this happened to them on their own sports team, even so far as to the team being divided over the issue. I am lucky to say though that my team sees past my sexuality.

They see all of the hard work I am putting in every practice in order to achieve the best that I can do. I am happy to say that even though my mind went through the worst possible scenario that could take place hundreds of times before I came out as well as after I came out, that it all turned out well. Just remember, though, that we all have different situations and just because my own coming out went about as well as it could, that doesn’t mean everyone will have the same experience. There is no time limit on when you have to tell people, just do it when you are ready.

 Brad

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About Brad,Robert,Ben

We are three kids from three different time zones, with one common goal. This is our voice:
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3 Responses to Team Dynamics

  1. Craig says:

    Best of luck with your outdoor season Brad! Its great to read that your team dynamic has not been disrupted and I agree with your statement on track as a team sport. While our individual times allow us to qualify for states and get into college – nothing beats the feeling you get when your relay wins a state medal or breaks another school record!

  2. Jay M. says:

    Looking forward to seeing the results as the season goes on! I’m sure it will be awesome. Certainly your mindset is a coach’s dream, as well as your work ethic.

    I’ve probably told you before, but you are an excellent example of someone for any young man to look up to. Gay or straight, being who you are, 100%, to everyone around you, means a lot. And the fact that your coming out went so well speaks to your character as much as your friends’ feelings towards such a “thing”. Your experience is an inspiration to so many guys stuck in the closet with little hope of coming out. Your last sentence speaks volumes.

    Thanks for being here, and being willing to share your life in such an open way. Even for us older guys, it means a lot.

    Peace ❤
    Jay

  3. JC says:

    Good luck with the outdoor season! Here in CT we just finished our indoor season and don’t start outdoor for another week.

    You’re right about track being as much a team sport as an individual sport. Take a look around and you’ll notice that many top athletes has somebody on their team that helped them get there because they’re able to train together and help push each other to another level. That was the case for me, and I think Craig can confirm it is for him.

    Earning a record or a championship is indeed special. I’ve been lucky in winning individual (five) and team state championships in high school, and winning state championships as a coach. I actually feel more rewarded as a coach when an athlete wins a championship than I ever felt for myself when I won one! There are many special moments throughout all our athletic careers, but winning a championship is extra special because so few actually get to do so.

    And thanks for the wisdom about coming out. To those of you reading this and wondering how you’ll know if you’re ready, all I can say is that you’ll know. There’s no common denominator that tells every person he/she is ready. You’ll just know when the time is right.

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