Q&A With Daniel Colina

Why did you decide to become a private coach? 
I decided to become a private coach because players need to pay attention to detail to improve specific aspects of their game, and that may not necessarily happen in a team setting.

What do you enjoy most about coaching? 
What I enjoy most about coaching is experiencing the growth and development of an athlete. Most athletes will focus on their weaknesses in order to improve, but I capture my athletes’ strengths first, thus building confidence. Seeing my athletes’ confidence grow strong in order to work on their weaknesses brings great joy to my track and field coaching experience.

What can a client expect from private lessons with you? 
Clients can expect a passionate, energetic and knowledgeable coach. I conduct my first lesson expressing the fundamental science behind throwing an implement. Depending on my client’s skill level, we build a strong foundation focusing on technique. Following technique breakdown and analysis, I will then incorporate throwing specific exercises. All of my exercises will mirror the form and momentum of throwing the specific implement while maintaining strong form combined with proper conditioning (Javelin, Shot Put, etc.). At the end of our session, I will give an overview of what we worked on and the next steps for improvement. I will write down their strengths and what needs improvement. My client will have a deeper understanding on how to train and prepare for our next session.

What is your coaching style or philosophy?
My coaching style consists of patience with the athlete and strong mental preparation. As an honest and disciplined coach, I will never mislead an athlete by “sugar coating” anything. I won’t praise incorrect form. I take full responsibility for an athlete’s performance, meaning that if my athlete has a weak performance, then that is a reflection on my coaching ability.

What is your favorite moment in your athletic career? 
My favorite moment in my athletic career is becoming the number one ranked javelin thrower in the nation for NCAA Division 3. In March of 2009, I had not competed in the javelin for two years. On the day of the meet, my coach gave me a JV jersey because he did not know how far I could throw since this was my first meet. After I threw the javelin, the track officials only had a 200 foot measuring tape. As the track officials scrambled to find measuring tape longer than 200 feet, my coach sprinted to the javelin runway. He waited in suspense for 15 minutes for the accurate measurement. As soon as they yelled out the mark, I received a standing ovation from the audience and a varsity jersey from my coach. During that meet, I threw a school record breaking throw of 213’10 feet, which allowed me to be ranked first in the nation for the entire season.

Do you have any success stories from coaching an athlete? 
With one more year of classes to finish at Keene State College, I had the opportunity to be an assistant throws coach. One particular athlete I worked with had a great throwing arm but no mechanics. I kept him on a strict track and field training regimen developing core strength with javelin specific medicine ball throws. After generating core strength, we worked on the fundamentals of hip power and core activation. At his second meet he threw an impressive mark of 207’6 feet, ranking him 6th in the nation for NCAA Division 3. As a freshman thrower, this was a great accomplishment for my athlete and a success story that I will always be proud of. My athlete ended his javelin career throwing 217 feet and was a 2-time All-American javelin thrower.

Did you participate in your sport in high school and college?
As a high school athlete, I participated in basketball and I participated in track and field. I was a four year varsity basketball player and two year captain. I participated in high school track and field for one year as a 400 meter sprinter and javelin thrower. I ranked 6th in the Maine State championships in the 400 meter sprint with a time of 52.07 seconds and 1st in the javelin throw with a mark of 179’10 feet. I began my collegiate athletic career as a basketball player at Dean College which is a NJCAA Division 2 basketball program. After one year I transitioned to track and field at Keene State College where I excelled as a two time top ranked javelin thrower.

Who is your favorite coach and why? 
My favorite coach is my first and last private coach for the javelin throw. His name is Rich DeStefano, a two time U.S Olympic trial qualifier in the javelin throw, standing at 5’6 and 165 pounds. He was an absolute inspiration to all javelin throwers who feel that they do not have the genetics to be great. Rich taught me the art of patience within the javelin throw. As I learned to be a patient thrower, I instantly noticed results. Coach DeStefano trained me to be a javelin technician and a great thrower. He is a student of the javelin throw and was dedicated to my improvement far beyond being paid for his sessions. Coach DeStefano is an inspiration as an athlete, coach and human being.

What is your favorite sports related movie? 
Rocky IV

What’s your mantra or favorite saying (in the context of sport and/ or life)? 
“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!” —Rocky Balboa

Do you have any special talents or a surprising thing someone might not know about you? 
I performed at a pre-game show for the Boston Celtics doing Harlem Globetrotter type basketball tricks. I have performed in many arenas but the Boston Celtics pre-game show was my most memorable moment.

I am also a spoken word poetry artist who has performed all over New England and the Mid-Atlantic on open mic nights and in competitions.

What team do you root for most enthusiastically (any sport)?
Boston Celtics!

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