“I think I just learned over time that I have to be able to trust my own instincts and portray whatever I’m saying to an athlete with complete confidence and with complete backing of the head coach because you never want to diverge. And I know sometimes young coaches, they’re so excited to coach, they want to do everything they can that is within themselves to start coaching but you have to remember [that] you have to back your head coach because you’re backing the culture and you’re backing what they’ve created and I think it’s really important to be a really good sidekick even though you’ve got bigger goals than that. You’ve got to kind of fall in line with that culture and really cultivate it and have confidence in doing that, and over time then you get to come up with your own pillars or your own culture, but it takes years and years and years to do that, I think.”
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Jenna Wrieden is the assistant coach at HOKA Northern Arizona Elite, where she’s been on staff since January. Prior to moving to Flagstaff to work alongside Ben Rosario and crew, she coached in the collegiate ranks since 2006, most recently as an assistant at Louisville, where over the course of 4-1/2 years she worked with several All-Americans. As an athlete, Jenna ran at Arizona State, where she was teammates with Des Linden and Amy Cragg, and—fun fact—in 2014 she set a world record for the fastest half marathon ever run on a treadmill.
I always enjoy talking to fellow coaches and this conversation was no exception. We talked about Jenna’s new role, how it came to be, and what the transition has been like so far from the collegiate to the professional ranks. Jenna also told me about how she got her start in the sport and what spurred her pursue coaching after college, how her own relationship with running has evolved over the years, and a lot more.
Jenna Wrieden: Instagram | Twitter
the morning shakeout: Instagram | Twitter
Mario Fraioli: Website | Strava
This episode is brought to you by:
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Music and editing for this episode of the morning shakeout podcast by John Summerford.