By Gabe B., Seventh Grade, Krieger Schechter Day School of Chizuk Amuno Congregation
For two years, David Flax has been coaching middle school track and field and cross country at Krieger Schechter Day School of Chizuk Amuno Congregation. Students have enjoyed having him as a coach and appreciate his contributions and efforts to make sure that KSDS’s athletes are well-trained and competitive.
Flax’s coaching career started in an unusual way. He is known within the KSDS community as a runner and marathoner, and father of Rebbeca Flax, a 2011 KSDS graduate. “I have been an avid runner, and Shannon Cohen [KSDS Head of Athletics] one day asked if I was interested in becoming a new coach for the track and field and cross country teams, and I said I would love to do it.” Thus, his career as a middle school coach began.
Flax began running with his daughter on weekends in 2008. “After a few weeks, I started to enjoy running and wanted to run some races. I’ve run 14 marathons, 28 half marathons, and more 5K-10-mile races than I can count,” he said.
With no previous high school or collegiate coaching experience, Flax never expected to become a coach. “I never thought that would come about; that was not something that I was really even thinking about.” The opportunity simply presented itself, and Flax embraced it.
According to Flax, track and field is a competitive sport requiring leg strength and stamina. However, he also believes that track athletes can take their participation less seriously, at times. “I’m just trying to make it fun and enjoyable for everybody,” Flax said.
KSDS athletes admire their coach. Micah B., a sixth-grade KSDS student who has trained with Coach Flax for two seasons, said that his running skills have greatly improved. According to Micah, “[Flax] definitely helped me. He motivated me and taught me ways I could save my stamina, and he motivated me to practice more. He’s a great guy.”
Micah also explains that Coach Flax encourages his runners to run on their own, in addition to the practice schedule. “[Flax] does not use the more traditional ways of getting people to improve. He is lenient and compassionate,” said Micah, who will likely join the KSDS track team next season, his third with Coach Flax.
“[Coach] Flax is very supportive and does not care if [students] get first place in all [their] events, but he just wants [the students] to do [their] best,” said Jessica B., a KSDS seventh-grader and member of Flax’s track team. “He makes us practice a lot, and he really prepares us for the meets.”
The KSDS track and cross country teams have gain popularity since Flax became coach, according to the athletic director. “I have seen more students sign up for our teams since Coach Flax (accepted the job). I have seen our students participate more in races outside of school. Coach has made such a positive spin on running it’s been amazing,” said Cohen, who sees a great future for the program under Flax. “My goal is to continue to have kids sign up that are not comfortable maybe with team sports and to have our training help us start to compete with other top schools.”
Coach Flax has definitely earned himself much respect and admiration among KSDS athletes.
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