When I was in 3rd grade I had a classmate, (we will call him Roy Jones), scream in people’s faces when he scored a touchdown or if you made a mistake.  I still remember his loud voice and his open mouth yelling “yea, yea yea!!!”  I wish there was a way to go back in time to just shut him up, but I can’t.  What I can do is talk about the parent sitting next to me today at my daughter’s church volleyball game.  He was Roy as an adult – not Roy himself, but the same way:  loud, obnoxious, acting like that 9 year old kid, blaming the referees for close line calls, etc.  – very unsportsmanlike.  I thought of Roy and here comes my next blog post.

Being a Sportsman Means….

Being a good sport to me is everything about sports.    The handshake after a tough loss…. with the losing team or player.   The humble touchdown score – a simple spike of the ball and walking away.  The pass to the player who is not the best and letting him or her get into the game.  Helping the player up after a really good play.  Not cheating with the rules or with performance enhancing drugs.   Getting cups of water for the whole team at halftime.  Including the freshmen in team bonding events.   So many, but all of you know what the right thing to do is.

The Running Sportsman…..

There are 3 finishes that stick out for me over my 35 year running career.   In 2000 I ran my first 20K in Newark.  I was cooking down the final hill, stride for stride with a teammate I had not yet met for a photo finish.  We gave each other a handshake at the finish – well deserved.  A few years later another sprint to the finish at the Hook Mtn Half and the lady next to me was about to lose it and slow down.  I said to her, “cmon – beat me!” She came back for a photo finish and we hugged it out.   Right to 3 weeks ago when Bill Fever and I went back and forth 3 times in the last 400 meters at Giralda Farms – he got me!   I went right over and shook his hand.   He deserved it…..

What is Sportsmanship to you?  Do you have a good story that exhibits good sportsmanship?

Trials of Miles,

Coach Nick


Nickolas Joannidis
Nickolas Joannidis
I have been running for over 35 years, having done practically every possible racing event or distance from the 100 meters through the marathon. I competed in varsity high school cross country and track at Saddle Brook High School in the mid-1980's, varsity cross country and track at Division II Pace University and finished well over 200 road races since then, including 20 marathons with a lifetime best of 3:14:50. I was the president of the Hoffmann LaRoche corporate running team for 7 years, growing the team from 25 to over 90 during his tenure. I coached many of these runners to achieve their goals, whether they were beginners or advanced. In 2011 I was an assistant coach for the Fair Lawn Recreation track team, helping the 10 to 14 year old group. I am currently personally coaching dozens of runners, from beginner levels to advanced levels and getting them to be prepared to meet their goals.

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