Valor Christian coach Greg Coplen has donned the stopwatch around the neck since 2012. And in that short time he's coached state champions in every distance event.
More recently, Coplen guided Colorado distance prodigy Cole Sprout to a stellar 2017-2018 season that saw the sophomore claim three state titles, national class records in the 3,000, and the 3,200, and two Gatorade Athlete of the Year awards.
Coplen's got a recipe, and like my mother's delicious homemade spaghetti, it's good. He shared his Tips from the Top, and even a bonus tip for coaches.
Top 3 Tips for Athletes
1. Patience, Patience, Patience! Running can look a lot like the Rocky Mountain skyline. There will be peaks, valleys and everything in between. In the midst of all of those is the opportunity to just enjoy the journey and the gift that is this great sport.
2. Be Consistent - Consistency in effort makes a better runner. Consistency in attendance makes a better teammate. Consistency in the little things makes the big things work correctly.
3. Be humble, be grateful - Your significance in life is not found in race results, personal bests or personal worsts. After a great race be humble and go hug a teammate that didn't have such a great race. After a poor race be grateful that you've been given the gift of a healthy body. Then go congratulate a teammate that had a great race.
Bonus Tip for Coaches