Head Coach Rebecca Hession began running in middle school and has been a member of competitive or community running groups ever since. Hession’s personal passion for the sport helps her daily as she serves as the Boys and Girls Indoor Track & Field Head Coach.
Hession said, “I think that the community aspect of the team is what inspires me the most. I love the opportunity to coach and be a part of a team of not only coaches, but a team of athletes.”
Each season, Hession is responsible for organizing 12 coaches as well as over 100 athletes as they attend meets and train daily.
“My job as the Head Coach is a lot of behind the scenes logistics — to make sure that the officials are gonna be there when they need to be there, that everybody knows when they need to show up. But once people know those details and understand those logistics, and if I can provide the system for that, it’s really up to the athletes to work together, and I think they do a really great job,” said Hession.
Aside from logistics, Hession works to nurture a track and field team that continues to work together and acts as a unit, not simply a group of individuals.
Hession said, “I think of lot of [my job] is just giving [kids] the opportunity in track and field. I think you could approach it as ‘I come and I do my event,’ and that’s one way to do it, and that’s how it might look from the outside, but I think that anybody who’s really invested in the sport knows that track and field is absolutely a team sport.”
Hession’s work to create a community of hardworking runners and athletes has not go unnoticed by the students she coaches.
“She’s really encouraging of the team dynamic, for instance we always do a warm up as a team that doesn’t include just distance, but also sprinters, jumpers, and hurdlers. It’s a really great way that Coach Hession gets us together as a team, we get to meet a lot of new people that way and just be together as a team,” said Jacob Buehler ’19.
Hession’s positivity also plays an important role in her style of coaching and her impact on the team.
“I think one of the things that Coach Hession does best is that she is there for every runner, to help them specifically with whatever is happening, no matter what level they are at. She was there when I was just trying out track and she is still there now that I run all three seasons,” said Giacomo Marino ’18.
Marino’s teammates echoed his statement about Hession’s support and positivity.
Captain Sidney Holder ’17 said, “She cares about each athlete on a personal level, and not just their ability to place during meets. There have been times where I am injured or I talk about an extracurricular I do outside of track and she listens and will ask how I am doing weeks after we originally talked about it.”
The Andover Indoor Track team is made up both of varsity athletes as well as students who use the workout and strength training to get healthier or in preparation for a different spring sport. While there is no formal championship for Indoor Track, the Andover/Exeter event serves as motivation for athletes throughout the season.
Hession said, “Exeter is a culminating team experience, so again whether you are absolutely the typical varsity athlete or you’re new to the program and developing in the program, everybody gets a chance to compete in Andover/Exeter, which is really really exciting. We’re always looking forward to that meet.”