Daylon Daily: New Coach, Same Expectation

Daylon+Hicks+prepares+to+jump+at+the+Hayward+Premiere+in+Eugene%2C+Ore.+on+April+2.

COURTESY OF DAYLON HICKS

Daylon Hicks prepares to jump at the Hayward Premiere in Eugene, Ore. on April 2.

DAYLON HICKS, Evergreen reporter

At an early age, I learned that in order to achieve success in anything I do, I need coaches to guide me through the challenges of life. In high school, I always believed that I could do whatever I set my mind to on my own, but there were times when I made situations harder for myself than they should have been. The main reason for those early struggles was I did not listen to my first two coaches in life: my mother and father.

My parents were my coaches before anyone else. They are the main people in my life who coached me to not only be the best person I can be, but the best athlete I can be.

I remember the time during youth football when I cried because I didn’t have the opportunity to play wide receiver, and my father told me not to cry in front of the other coaches. He taught me to hold my head high despite the pain I was going through.

My mother, during middle school, went toe-to-toe with the principal fighting for my free-dress policy. Attending a private Christian school, the main rule was Monday through Thursday, you had to wear a uniform and on Friday, you earned the right to the free dress policy.

I never realized until I was older, but she taught me how if you believe in something, you should fight for it. These lessons helped me grow year by year in college.

Entering my first year, I was nervous because this would be the first new coach I had since my father coached me throughout middle school and high school. I learned to just showcase my talents on the track and to be a student learning from Douglas Fraley.

Coach Fraley was a coach who pushed me to the max. There were times during the years he coached that I was frustrated and angry, but throughout each year, I grew as an athlete and he was one of the main reasons why.

He was a coach that liked to test me in ways that I had never been tested before. In his last year of coaching during the 2021-22 season, he wanted me to understand the potential I had and that every time I jump over the bar to realize that potential.

I was able to compete in the Pac-12 Track and Field Championship for the second year in a row despite issues with my toe because coach Fraley was able to push me beyond my limits which helped ascend my mentality going into my senior year.

When he announced his resignation from the track team last summer, I was a little frustrated because I thought he would guide me for my senior year, but I understand the importance of his coaching because he taught me some tools that are essential entering this year. 

Through the summer, both my father’s and coach Fraley’s teachings helped my training where I was able to push myself past the stages of comfort. I wanted to be as uncomfortable as possible during my workouts because I improved so much as an athlete.

Derick Hinch, the new coach for my senior year, is a coach who pays attention to detail in each workout. Being around him for only three weeks, it’s difficult to get a full understanding of his coaching, but he helped me on the technical side of track which is beyond essential.

In order to be a great track and field athlete, you must have great coordination and pay attention to the little details which he emphasized in each drill with running staying upright or high knees bringing the knee up explosively. 

His success at Cornell and what he’s able to bring to the table is something I am beyond excited to see because with where I am at right now, I believe I will elevate as an athlete through coach Hinch’s teaching.

I know I have much to learn not only on the track, but as a human as well and I am beyond excited for what the future has to offer for me.