Ever since Andover Indoor Track & Field Head Coach Rebecca Hession started competing in the 400-Meter Race and 800-Meter Race in high school, she has possessed a deep love for running. Although she has been coaching at Andover since 2006, this year is Coach Hession’s first year as the head coach of both the girls and boys teams. Overseeing a massive program of 64 varsity athletes spread across 12 different events, Coach Hession has led Andover to new heights this season.
In an email to The Phillipian, sprinter Sidney Holder ’17 wrote, “Coach Hession does it all. It is hard to organize meets, have responsibility for so many students and still be the distance coach.”
Coach Hession, although faced with many responsibilities, says that she enjoys pursuing her passion of coaching track.
Coach Hession said, “I just think coaching is fun. I think it’s a fun way to be active. I love watching athletes grow in terms of their relationships with one another, their support of the team, and as athletes.”
“Track is special because you can come to Andover and know nothing about track and leave as a Senior who has contributed in a really significant way to the varsity program. Also, it’s a life sport. Their passion for the sport can continue after high school and beyond,” Coach Hession continued.
Coach Hession makes it a point to create a day-by-day routine for her runners, as she believes that repetition is the best way to prepare them for success.
She said, “Routine creates rhythm that you can then translate to competition. Oftentimes, I say to the kids that all of the work that you put in day by day should give you confidence for these big moments. For our team, the big moment is our Andover/Exeter meet, which is the peak moment of our season. You have to be confident everyday before that so when you are on the line or about to do your event, you have that natural confidence that you have practiced throughout the season.”
Because she feels that one of her main responsibilities is to create a sense of community for her athletes, Coach Hession has devoted much of her time to establishing a support system within her team.
Holder said, “Coach Hession has made this team so successful because she is a huge advocate of team bonding. For example, this week was devoted to team bonding activities, so we were split up into teams, and we had a mini track meet, which made us work with people who we have not had the chance to meet yet.”
Assistant Coach Patrick Rielly said, “Track is such a wonderful sport because it involves so many people, all talented in different ways, coming together as one team. Although it can feel like an individual sport at times, Coach Hession makes sure everyone remembers how important a strong, supportive team can be.”
Coach Hession has greatly impacted Andover track in the five weeks she has been Head Coach, and she looks to continue her success for the rest of the season.