FRIDAY FEATURED FRIEND

Sue Parry McRoberts and I ran Division One Track & Field for the University of Missouri-Columbia.  We both had the honor to be coached by THE BEST coaches in the Big 12 conference and surround ourselves with Olympians every day.  I think I can speak for the both of us, we had a great time "back in the day"! Now Coach Sue  is inspiring new and young athletes at the Dimple Dell Fitness and Recreational Center in Utah.  If you don't know what to expect from your child's coach, read what my friend Sue has to say and how coaches inspired her!

I have been running consistently for over 20 years.  I ran track at Rolla High School in Missouri and went to state in the 400m, 800m, 1-mile relay and 2-mile relay.  I medaled in the 800m twice.  I was the AAU National Champion in the 1000m indoor.  After high school I ran at the University of Missouri-Columbia.  I participated in the 400m, 600m, 800m and 1000m. I enjoyed running at the Division 1 level.  I met so many people and got to visit so many places.  I got to know people who went on to compete in the Olympics, coach Division 1 schools and work in all kinds of athletic venues.
   
As I have become older, I have grown to love Track&Field more.  I have to say that I love kids, love watching them set personal bests, get better day by day, smile when they beat a tough competitor and win medals/ribbons.  These kids find joy in competing, building friendships through sports and discover new interests and talents.  Nothing makes me happier than watching kids succeed!

When it comes to coaching, I think parents should look for two basic things in a coach- Is the coach knowledgeable and passionate about the sport? Does the coach invest quality time with their young athletes? Coaches should be fans of their athletes and teach them everything imaginable to succeed.  As a coach myself, most kids just need encouragement, compassion and enthusiasm more than anything.  I always tell my athletes, "Don't worry about yesterday.  Focus on getting better today.  Today you can be one day better".
Kids- Nothing makes me happier than to see kids succeed.  For me, success can mean all kinds of things.  Trying something new, setting and achieving goals, finishing hard, learning from mistakes, developing a positive outlook, giving it their all, not quitting and being a good sport.  I can't even begin to tell you all the people who inspired me!

Coach Rick McGuire from the the University of Missouri-Columbia was a huge influence for me because he always had high expectations and was  encouraging at the same time.  Even after 20 years, he still has time for me when I see him. His motto was "Win kids with sports not sports with kids".  He was all about the well-being of each kid on our team.  

Every young athlete that knows me knows that they come first and I really don't care what place they finished at.  I want everyone to have fun and fall in love with track.  I want to inspire kids to try new things, have fun with other athletes, discover the joy of all things track and grow up to be active, healthy adults!

Sue, thank you for sharing your passion for running and coaching.  You are an all around class act! Keep moving forward and I miss seeing you Sue!