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Q&A: Quite a coach

Woodbridge head man Varvas breaks down how he runs his elite program.

November 20, 2010|By Devin Ugland, Daily Pilot

A: We feel that we have training philosophy/programs that include all the major components needed to help the athletes improve and perform well in the meets.

Our coaching staff is knowledgeable in the training and in the handling of these young adults.

Winning attitude. Our first few teams at Woodbridge were successful and all the other teams want to match the previous year's accomplishments. Our teams want to do well individually and as team.

Making running fun by adding social activities like Juice Club runs, team dinners, etc.

Taking trips (Hawaii, Mammoth, etc.) occasionally as a team.

Luck in who decides to join our team.

Q: When you coach, are you coaching each individual runner, or are you trying to motivate them as a team?

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A: We do both. We know that if all the individuals reach their potential as runners, our team will be the best it can be. However, to get each individual to train toward becoming the best they can be, the team goals help the individual focus better.

Knowing that the team is depending on a certain runner helps that runner train harder. At times, if the individual was the only thing that mattered, an individual runner could slack off knowing that they will only let themselves down. The team is much more powerful than the individual.

Q: What does the future hold for Woodbridge cross country?

A: We have a very good group of frosh/soph athletes to go with returning varsity runners for next season. All four girls will return and we will have 5-7 new runners trying to take a varsity spot away from the current ones. On the boys' side, we lose two of our top five to graduation but we have some pretty good possibilities for replacement. I think we will be as good if not better.

Q: What advice would you give a young athlete who was considering getting involved in cross country?

A: Be patient (it takes a long time to get used to running distance and developing the strength needed) with expectations. It is a long journey. Use a good pair of shoes and avoid overworking when starting out. Have fun so that running will not get stale. Learn as much as possible about running and competing. Read books about runners and about training.

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