Coaches' Corner: Coach Todd on the New Normal

MileSplit AZ reached out to a handful of coaches in Arizona to get their reactions to COVID-19. Note that these interviews were done before the official cancelation of the 2020 high school track and field season.

Coach Larry Todd
Tempe High School

Q: How many years have you been coaching in Arizona? At Tempe High School?
I've been coaching in Arizona since 2005 and this is my 3rd year at Tempe High.

Q: What's your brief running/coaching background?
I have been coaching sprints and jumps since 1996. I've been lucky enough to work with some of the best jumpers in Arizona and San Diego history.

Q: What has been the level of disruption to athlete training and competition because of COVID-19?
We are creatures of routine. With the onset of the pandemic, we have abandoned what we knew as normal.

Q: What have you been telling your athletes during this time? Are they on some sort of modified training regimen?
Training has been modified to home workouts but I fear the season has been lost without being able to correct bad habits

Q: How do you keep athletes motivated during this time?
I just want them to think of the big picture and future goals. If you want to obtain them you will get your workouts completed

Q: How are your seniors handling this situation?
This is a rough transition for the seniors. Especially the ones that had hopes of earning scholarship money. My heart goes out to these kids.

Q: What, if anything, is positive that may come from COVID-19, that you have witnessed or heard in regard to your team/athletes?
The kids have taken the opportunity to get reacquainted with their families again. Many have found out that the school is a big part of their extended family

Q: What are your thoughts about a high school season this spring? If there is track by late May/June, are you going to suggest your athletes do club races?
If USATF is able to continue the season that will be a nice thing for the kids because I don't believe the high school season will be able to continue with the stoppage being thrown in the middle of the season.

Q: What's been the biggest challenge for you as a coach during this time?
Not being able to have face-to-face conversations. I miss the daily interactions with my athletes so I can get a pulse of what's happening in there lives.