Racing Is A Responsibility
Racing is not a right. Nor is it a privilege. It is a responsibility.
What is the athlete responsible for?
To leave nothing on the table. Show up. Deliver. Execute the race objectives. Compete with integrity, where their actions on the track match their intentions/goals going into the competition. To finish and say, "There is nothing more I could have given today, that was everything I had."
What is the coach responsible for?
To precisely articulate (aided by the athlete's input) the objectives to be achieved each race. Concretely define what satisfactory execution looks like in action on race day. And maybe, more importantly, what common mistakes are to be avoided. To support the athlete in defeat, and applaud them in victory.
I believe, the coach and athlete, together, are responsible when the athlete fails on race day. When the athlete succeeds they own it 100%, as they are the ones who ran the race. Not the coach, who simply watched the action unfold. Of course, the coach can - and should - be happy for their pupil's success, but it needn't go beyond that.
You may wonder why I don't think a coach should take any credit for the success of an athlete. The coach's reward are the learnings which athlete's compeitive success (and failures) bring. Those teachings are invaluable and are what provide the meat of a coach's education. As the famous line in the song, "Getting to Know You" reminds:
That if you become a teacher
By your pupils, you'll be taught
Same holds true if you become a coach.
Thanks for reading. I'm glad you're here. // jm