In his 19th year as a coach at Andover and eighth season as the Head Coach of Boys Cross Country, Jeff Domina continues to be driven by his love for the sport.
“My favorite thing about the sport is running with a pack, out on the trails. I coach because I love to run and because it’s an honor to work with these guys,” wrote Coach Domina in an email to The Phillipian.
According to Captain Alex Fleury ’20, one of Coach Domina’s most distinguishable qualities is his commitment to the sport and his constant encouragement.
“My favorite thing about Coach Domina is his devotion to the sport. Every day, he’s always out there with us, excited to get going with the workout and to see us get stronger and more experienced. He always looks out for each and every one of us, making sure we are having the best season we can,” said Fleury.
Coach Domina emphasizes the importance of teamwork during both meets and practices, according to Fleury and Anthony Minickiello ’20.
Fleury said, “At practices and meets, he emphasizes the technique of working together. We work in groups in both practices, and these translate over to success by running together and pushing one another in meets.”
“He emphasizes staying together during races. The importance of staying in a pack and not losing sight of each other [is] that in a pack, if runners from the same team stay together, we can push each other and make each other run just a little bit faster, which is all we need to sometimes secure that place that we need,” said Minickiello.
In addition to his belief in teamwork, Coach Domina highlights staying healthy and building a strong team bond, according to Ellerman Mateo ’21.
Mateo said, “I would say [he emphasizes] teamwork and running together. Also being aware of your body and eating healthy, making the right choices and getting enough sleep. And just making friendships with the guys on the team and meet together as one. Even though it’s technically an individual sport, you do need your team to help you out when you’re racing and you might feel a little down. You need to encourage your other teammates to finish.”
To prevent injury, Coach Domina helps his runners to acknowledge their physical limits, according to Minickiello.
Minickiello said, “Probably the biggest thing he’s taught me was when to start and stop doing dry land outside of practice… As the championship meet approaches, we’re supposed to rest our muscles and get ready for the meet… I need to take a break sometimes, but Coach Domina gives me a pretty good sense of how far in advance to stop doing extra dry land, so I can be perfectly tapered for championships.”
Coach Domina instills a passion for the sport into his runners through his own dedication and enthusiasm, according to Fleury.
“Coach Domina has taught me to be a dedicated and devoted runner. I would not have the work ethic I currently do, both inside and outside of Cross Country, if it weren’t for his constantly positive attitude and representation of a dedicated runner,” said Fleury.
Coach Domina’s open line of communication with Fleury and the team aids in creating a successful team environment, according to Fleury.
Fleury said, “Being the captain of the team, Mr. Domina lets me know about things that are going on with the team. He trusts me to take care of things related to the team, and I let him know about things that I notice that should be worked on or things to take pride in.”
According to Coach Domina, his goal is for every runner is to improve throughout the season.
Coach Domina wrote, “My philosophy is that every kid, from the training group right on through the varsity seven, should develop happily and healthily as an individual runner and as a contributing member of the team. The team’s goal for the season is to see every runner develop as described above and to hit its competitive peak at Interschols.”