Page 21 - CHSCA Fall-Winter Magazine 2020-2021
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ing away from the bar on the high jump, Kilis appreciated the atten- tion to detail Logan and his coach- ing staff paid to breaking down techniques. “Breaking everything down, it gave you that reason why. When you understand why you have to do something and the phys- ics behind it – like, as I lift my hips as I travel over the bar, my feet are going to kick out after – and then you try to convert it into a visual/ mental image in your head of you doing it. He would always say, ‘Pic- ture yourself doing what we talk about, doing the right technique. Picture yourself being successful, and then you will always carry it through.’ And he always ended up being right. He just broke it down in a manner that stuck in people’s heads.”
While his well-structured tech- nical practices helped develop his student-athletes physically, the positivity of Logan’s coaching style is what resonated most with them mentally when it came time to compete. “He could look at you and see that you were overthink- ing or stressed,” says Kilis. “If you were worried about something or if your head wasn’t in the game, he would come over and just lighten up the mood, lighten up the air, bring you back down to earth.”
Having fun while competing, Kilis believes, is vital to actually succeeding. That mental chal- lenge is often the most difficult for high school student-athletes pushing themselves in front of col- lege coaches with the hopes of put- ting on a good show to make the next team. “The stress always ele- vates,” says Kilis. “But you have to enjoy what you’re doing to do your best. Otherwise, you’re wasting energy stressing about it and over- thinking it. Coach Logan would say, ‘This is what you’re here to
do. We know you can do it, you did it in practice. You’re capable of doing above and beyond what you’ve done in practice. Now, just go have fun and do what you know you can do.’”
Logan has always shared that positivity with his own student- athletes, as well as their opposi- tion. He has always exemplified good sportsmanship as an ambas- sador for the track & field commu- nity by being someone who roots for all the participants to achieve their personal bests. “You want to see success with everybody you meet, because you never know who’s going to end up becoming somebody special,” says Logan. “And, at the same time, you learn from each other.”
Kilis recalls, “Other teams’ individuals would be either strug- gling or had questions – if it was during a multi-event and their coach couldn’t watch their jump or throw technique – he would help them out. He would watch and say, ‘You might want to think of your approach this way, or keep your hips up, or extend all the
way through with a shot.’ He was always there to help anyone and everyone, because he knew all the athletes there could reach their potential. If he could help them, he was open for it.”
Beth Sarnacki, the long-time coach at Cromwell High School, can attest to how his mentorship positively affected her and her student-athletes. “Any time we got together, yeah, we were com- petitors,” she says. “But it wasn’t just about their own kids. That always made me feel like we part of something bigger than our own schools.”
Logan has embodied that spirit of the track & field community, which he calls “cooperative rather than cutthroat.” His commitment to incremental progression for the athletes he coaches, as well as the opportunities he wants to see advance for all student-athletes, has influenced that community through the many leadership roles he has taken on through the years.
He has been a stalwart mentor within the old COC, the NWC, the CCC and the CIAC as a committee
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