In high school my first coach for cross country was Coach Bennett. To this day after being part of other coaches programs, Coach Bennett is still my favorite coach by far. He gave difficult and rigorous workouts that led to 5k times I did not believe I could run in my entire running career. He would tell me exactly what the goal of each workout was and how each workout would prepare me for having a successful season. He could explain the science behind each workout which really made me trust and believe in his program. This trust is a very important element when dealing with coaches because if you don't believe in the program then you will not have a successful season. Besides his extensive knowledge of training he was also able to motivate me to run as best as I could no matter my ability. No matter how good you are as long as you work hard he will treat you like the most talented runner on the team. No other coach has ever been able to motivate me the same way and without his coaching I would not be running today. Thanks to his help and motivation, I have the chance to pursue running after high school. With Coach Bennett's coaching, anyone will be able to develop and reach their potential as runners.
Jim Bennett was my coach for my freshmen, sophomore and junior year of high school. These were three of the most transformational years in my life as a runner. Some of it may be attributed to the simple fact that I was growing up and would naturally get faster, but what really made me the runner I am today was having coach Bennett guide me through those years. Anyone could have simply given me and my teammates workouts, and prepared us for the meets ahead, but it takes a special person to truly motivate and inspire athletes to be the absolute best that they can be and that's what coach Bennett did. Even now as a collegiate athlete, I am still driven every day by the memories made and values learned while running for coach Bennett. I know without a doubt that anyone who attends North Charlotte Running Academy will develop the same passion for running that I and all those who ran for coach Bennett now have.
Coach Bennett inspired in me a love for running that has lasted well past my years on his cross country teams. My journey started as a 10 year old, motivated by Coach Bennett to run a local 5K. After competing at the middle school level, I had the opportunity to run for Coach all four years of high school which culminated in a 7th place finish at the State Championship my senior year. I continued running at the collegiate level achieving my varsity letter at college for four consecutive years. Since finishing my scholastic cross country career, I have finished two marathons with a personal best of 2:57:58 and have coached the past three seasons at the high school I attended.
What separates Coach Bennett from the myriad other coaches I have had throughout my life is the way he deeply loves and looks out for everyone on the team showing individual attention, encouragement, and support to runners from the front of the pack to the back. The lessons of respect, hard work, and discipline I learned on his cross country teams have served me well way beyond high school in running and in life.