You Only Get One Lap

You Only Get One Lap

I didn’t want to look back on my life one day and have regrets.

—Adam Steinwachs, Head Coach, University of Dayton Track & Field

Adam Steinwachs knows he only has one chance at life—only one lap. Recently he made a radical decision to run that lap with no regrets.

In his second year as UD head coach, Steinwachs led the dismal bottom-of-the-conference program to a second place A-10 finish. In addition, under his four-year watch the track and field program garnered its first NCAA All-American and two qualifiers for the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

The two-time A-10 Track & Field Coach of the Year has been living one of his dreams of being a head Division I coach, yet found another dream still tugging at his heart…the Military.

I didn’t want to say, ‘Why didn’t you try that when you had the chance?’ It’s natural in your life to get comfortable and not try something different. But sometimes that can cost you your dreams.

And so, he’s leaving coaching to join the Army (and just in time to get in under the age requirement). Not your typical career move. Yet one I deeply respect!

Too many coaches develop tunnel vision, becoming so entrenched in their careers that they ignore other dreams and passions. As a result, they miss out on meaningful relationships, service opportunities, hobbies or fun!

Coaches who never figure out how to pursue other interests during their working years oftentimes get to the end of their careers with their identity so wrapped around coaching that they don’t know who they are or what they like outside of their sport. Some coaches stifle dreams for so long that they eventually dismiss them as impractical or just plain missed opportunities.

This is why I’m so impressed with Steinwachs’ decision! It’s counter-cultural in the world of coaching. He’s following his heart and passion rather than the false belief that because he’s a great coach, he must be one for life (or at least the next 20 years). Tough decision to make, especially in the face of such success.

May we all have the courage to not only pay attention to, but also act upon the dreams and passions that continue to tug at our hearts! After all, we only get one lap.

What do you think of Steinwach’s decision? How have you embraced or ignored the dreams that tug at your heart? Please leave your comment below.

4 Responses to You Only Get One Lap

  • Jiesteinwachs

     Thought I’d check on you Flyer Fan. Looks like your still hiding in the shadows.

  • Joesteinwachs

    Flyer Fan, My son’s record at Dayton,and the improvement he brought to a dismal program stands.To hide behind Flyer Fan just tells me you have a problem.

  • coachzonars

    Hi FlyerFan,

    Thanks for chiming in. Felt like I did adequate research online prior to the article and all the info I found indicated that Steinwachs was a good coach who helped his athletes achieve their potential. Obviously he has faults too. I was simply representing that he was making a counter cultural decision and I admired him for it—especially since it involves a commitment to serve our country.

  • FlyerFan

    You might want to delve a little deeper into someone’s story before being so “impressed.”  Steinwachs’ coaching days are over, whether he joins the military or not.