Sacopee Valley High School - Hiram, Maine
Number of years coaching:20 years.
At a glance: At Sacopee Valley High School in Hiram, Maine, Track Coach Nate Carpenter has led his team to three state team championships and more than 30 individual titles. It’s his ability to inspire each athlete individually to do their very best that has led to the team’s success. Coach Carpenter is known for his one-on-one talks with each runner and his ability to motivate and inspire runners of every talent level.
What piece of advice does Coach Carpenter give an athlete having a bad day to inspire them?
Normally, the advice is just common sense. This is what happened, this is what we need to do to get better or fix the problem and this is what you are capable of as a person and as an athlete, whether it is a problem in life, home or on the track. The key is for me to simply be there unconditionally to support each athlete.
To clarify, the advice really becomes: What is the positive in the situation? What can we build from? What allows us to take back control of the situation? What allows us to learn from the experience? And ultimately, what allows us to grow and get better? Then we have to laugh…as quickly as possible. We need to find the humor and put everything into perspective. As their coach, it is my job to find the positive and the humor.
What makes Coach Carpenter Run Happy?
The most satisfying image that floats into my mind when I hear “Run Happy” is a Sacopee Valley track practice on a warm, beautiful, sunny spring afternoon. Dozens of kids in all shapes and sizes in all levels of physical fitness, in all degrees of competitive spirit, in constant, chaotic motion; working hard, trying to improve, having fun and being a part of something bigger than themselves.