Finding the right mix of young athletes and veterans is a challenge on all sports teams, and it is no different for Greg Thiel, head coach of the USF indoor track and field team.
“When you’re young in any sport, you’re going to have great days and bad days,” Thiel said. “Consistency is going to be something we’re really trying to instill in them because we are young.”
The team’s young athletes will be tested Saturday as they travel to North Carolina to participate in the season’s first scored meet and the second meet of the year.
Thiel said his team is ready for what will undoubtedly be a stiff challenge this weekend as it faces opponents from the Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference.
“It’s exciting to see where you are at compared to other colleges in the country,” Thiel said. “It’s kind of a prelude to conference (competition).”
Thiel said the key to success on a team with a lot of talent is strong veteran leadership.
“We’re going to look to those (veteran athletes) to be the stabilizing force,” he said. “We want them to teach (the younger athletes).”
With several freshman hurdlers, Thiel said he hopes to rely on leadership from experienced throwers and long distance runners on the team.
“Our older kids are obviously (a strong part of the team),” he said.
Thiel said he hopes the team will come together this weekend.
“(We’d like) real good team chemistry,” he said. “Hopefully they’ll get behind each other.”
- Rob Brannon