Calvin Cross Country Coaches' Philosophy
Cross country at Calvin College is a platform for growth. I believe that God had brought student-athletes and coaches into this stage at Calvin to develop in their walks with Him. We rally around a passion for running, and the desire to challenge our bodies. Striving to do the best with the talent that God has given us is the catalyst during this season of our lives. Young student-athletes are ripe for challenging and development. The coaches at Calvin share their years of experience. Together we push and develop each other.
Physical growth is the most obvious form of development, that prospective student are looking for. "Will my times and performances improve if I come to Calvin?" is a common question that is asked. The answer to that is probably! We run a strong program based on strength training. Student-athletes that are motivated to work hard and buy into training smartly will most likely improve. We have a purpose for each individual with what needs to be accomplished in our training and the coaches aren't afraid to make necessary changes if we "read it" from the student-athletes we are working with. The sign of a great program is shown with the development from top-to-bottom, not just the highly recruited talented athletes. There should be physical growth at all levels inside of a program.
Mental growth is fun to work on and watch at Calvin. The coaches love to see the belief and confidence grow as a student-athlete develops. Coaches work constantly with the athletes to stimulate desire, determination and perserverance. The coaches get to know the athletes and what makes them respond. Most importantly, there is a belief that is instilled by the coaches that dreams can come true. Consistently, Calvin athletes compete all four years of their eligibility and develop to their best as juniors and seniors. It's fun to see the transformation in four years of a student-athlete who leaves confident and equipped to follow God's plans for them.
I believe that the key to developing individual and team talent is to provide a secure, positive environment. After watching so many world class athletes compromise their lives and hurt their chances at the big track meets, I realized the importance of providing an environment where the athletes could count on their teammates and coaches. I believe that many of the lessons that our student-athletes learn through this process helps them develop emotional stability. I also think this stability will help as these athletes get married and have families of their own. A positive, encouraging environment is the most effective as we strive to get the most out of our bodies.
The most important growth that I love to see is spiritual growth. To watch the upperclassmen live out their faith unashamedly gives me great joy. Being a Christian is a lifestyle. You can't just turn it on and off at your own discretion. Inconsistent living does not really witness very well.
We believe that God has orchestrated our team. He has brought each one of us together to share our talents. Collectively, we can do amazing things and be a powerful witness. We thank God with the running talents He has given us. But we don't stop there. We realize that our running is not an "ends" in itself. We are not only focused on the trophies and championships. Our running is a "means" to further God's purposes. We embrace this and run out the door realizing that we are doing what God has brought us here to do during this season of our lives.
I believe strongly in the overall experience our student-athletes receive at Calvin College. For a person who loves to run, wants to see how far they can take their talent and wants to strive from a Christian perspective, to be the best they can be, there is no better place than at Calvin College. This is a platform for growth. We sincerely hope that you will join us!
Sincerely, Calvin Head Men's and Women's Cross Country Coach Brian Diemer