Why Do We Compete? A Coach’s Dream

Over roughly the last 8 years, I had the opportunity to coach with and learn from a leading figure in the running world. What struck me the most about Tom Fleming was his passion to see everyone succeed. Talent is nice, but passion, dedication, and commitment are the keys to success.

Yesterday was the NJ Meet of Champions and here are some words I prepared to share at the meet.

While we pause for a moment here today to celebrate the life of a friend, coach, and mentor to many people, I want to leave you all with the special outlook that Tom had in this sport. 

Quite simply, Tom Fleming loved running. Track and field, cross country, and road racing all gave him energy and a lust for seeing athletes push themselves. As much fun as seeing a fast time could be, Tom loved to see those athletes with passion, heart, and desire. Each day out is another opportunity to improve, to find and set a new best, and to push yourself to new levels. 

I’ll leave you with this today. Find your passion, whether running or something else, and give it the respect it deserves to improve and be your best each day. Chase down those personal bests and keep on pushing. 

So, why do we compete? We compete because we want to win. We want to see how training can reward us for all the countless hours of commitment and practice. But most of all, we compete because there is some internal drive that pushes us to succeed and develop, to find new limits and stretch them, and to delve deeper in our quest to be better today than yesterday.


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