Janota's Learning Leadership Lessons

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), April 5, 2011 | Go to article overview

Janota's Learning Leadership Lessons


Byline: Dave Oberhelman doberhelman@dailyherald.com

Neuqua Valley's Jaime Janota has gained an appreciation of a track and field head coach's responsibilities -- now that he is one.

Though it's proved to be a community effort, Janota has taken the reigns as the Wildcats' interim head coach with Mike Kennedy on a year's sabbatical in Washington, D.C., serving in the Department of Energy as an Einstein Fellow.

Like any sport, everything comfortably falls into place when it comes to practices or meets. It's the stuff in between, the administrative duties, that Janota has described as "like playing Whac-A-Mole."

"Now I think I see the much broader perspective of head coaching," said Janota, who as a distance coach never had to worry about picking up the bus keys or sending regular e-mails to 1,000 people on his list.

"It's another world of getting stuff done," he said.

The coaches on Neuqua's staff have quickly discovered it's best to "divide and conquer" the various chores Kennedy handled.

Sprints coach Steve Saul, throws coach Dave Ricca, jumps coach Matt Ragusa and Paul Vandersteen, the head boys cross country coach who's also helping out, have all chipped in to help make this season as smooth as possible for the athletes.

Having a better understanding of the program's infrastructure will help Janota down the road, he said. …

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