St. Mary Marauders track and field coach Kelly Prins said there is a direct correlation between time and success.
“If you put the hours in, usually you will have success at the end,” said Prins, whose girls track and field team found a great deal of success this year including finishing first at the Nike High School Grand Prix Track and Field Invitational on May 11 in Toronto.
Prins, who was awarded the Kinsmen Sportsperson of the Year Award last week, said education and time are the key elements to achieving success as a coach.
“Biggest thing for me is education. I try to take in any opportunity I can to learn from some of the best coaches,” Prins said of attending a coaching conference in Ottawa last weekend.
“I try to read all the literature that’s out there in my area, I never take anything for granted,” he said. “I never believe that I have all the answers, I am always looking to add knowledge, whether it be on the technical side of things, training, conditioning or developing programs throughout the year that enable the athletes to peak at the right times.”
Track and field is an individual sport, but it takes a team of dedicated athletes, parents and supporting cast members to bring it all together, helping Prins lead his athletes to success on the track.
“It’s a group thing, we’ve got administration here at our school and within the school division that have helped support me along the way,” Prins said. “They help me do things to develop the program. Also, the parents that I’ve had these last few years have been second to none.”
Prins attributes his recognition by the Kinsmen to a series of outstanding achievements by his girls the past year, including Amanda Lepage who broke two provincial records and Katelyn Lehner who placed in the top five at the Pan-American Junior Championships in Colombia.
“I have been lucky to have kids that are hard working, dedicated and determined individuals,” Prins said. “Just an amazing group of kids, not just athletic wise but just good people. Good work ethic, those girls came together, they did the best they could throughout the year.”
As a coach, Prins’ role is to bring the team to a head and bring the individual contributions of all the team’s members together.
“The biggest thing is to be the eyes of the athlete,” Prins said. “The athlete does their thing physically but you are the eyes of the athlete. You are always trying to learn little subtle things in a technical model that you can use with your athletes and ensure they execute, knowing how to put a program together throughout the year so that that athlete is at their peak form when it matters at a championship level.”
Prins, along with Kinsmen female athlete of the year, triathlete Christina Charles and male athlete of the year Lukas McConechy, will be honoured at the Kinsmen Sportsman Dinner on Nov. 2 at the Art Hauser Centre.
Moving forward, Prins looks to keep the success of the past year going.
“As far as down the road, I want to be able to repeat accomplishments, to be able to continue to progress,” he said. “You can always get better, to see the kids continue to compete at a high level.”