Track Life: Go Hard or Go Home

Walking on the track and stepping into the blocks is a huge responsibility on a relay for a college athlete. Track and field athletes have to work hard to perform in front of huge crowds at events like the Penn relays or state championships. Anxiety and nervousness can affect the way one will run or hand off the baton in a relay. Time is very short in a race, and every second counts because there is always competition. Every move has to be made quickly and each one of your opponents are running to win. Intimidation is a big issue with athletes and relay teams at championships because you most likely will know who your competition is.

In track and field, relays are very interesting because these events show how important teamwork is, and during the pandemic, this has been a challenge. In a race, the cooperation has to be perfect. There are four people in a relay that has to have perfect coordination in order to perfectly hand off the baton at high speeds. The athlete receiving the baton has to know when to begin to run out for a hand off. This is based on practicing and knowing how fast a teammate is coming in. The receiver and passer have to both know that they have to hand off inside the marked exchange zones. Each leg on a relay is very important from first to last, but the first leg has to put their team in a competing position in the race.                                       

Practice in any sport impacts the performance of an athlete during competition. Individuals must practice sprinting or their form in order to maintain and improve stamina and their sprint form. It’s great to study and practice a race strategy to avoid or limit mistakes during the little time you have to make decisions. It’s mandatory to work harder and push past the limits in order to see progress. By maintaining and practicing these efforts, it allows athletes to enhance their skills and develop new ones. Without practicing in competitive sports, like track, there will be a noticeable diminishing effort during competitions.

An athlete has to be committed to winning and running faster times throughout track season. Commitment is required in order to maintain and enhance a track team. Without the dedication to various aspects, a track team can fall through.  Dedication is mandatory for athletes to be devoted to sustain growth and health. This may include eating healthy and staying within healthy diet restrictions approved by a health professional. However, commitment also means showing up to practices and meets on time. Despite the many ideas of the impact commitment may have to competing sports, specifically track, maintaining and acknowledging this responsibility is vital in order to see progress.

I had a huge responsibility to maintain progress when stepping on to the track.  I raced competitive athletes and relays, and I had to maintain teamwork, practice, and commitment. In the reduction of these during the pandemic, progress may begin to collapse and fail. These factors affected how I performed during races. When I ran lazy at practice, I didn’t show positive results at a track meet. Working hard and focusing shows during competition. It was absolutely impossible for me to become a great athlete without a strong work ethic when preparing for competition.

My name is Nafis Zollicoffer, and I’m 18 years old. I was born and raised in Philadelphia. I love to sprint and ride oversized BMX bicycles. My major is early childhood education pre-k to 4th grade, but I’m looking to switch to Radiologic Technology. I am on the Holy Family University’s track team and hopefully get to run as soon as possible.