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GATFXCCA Spotlight

NAME: Levi Sybert (Richmond Hill)

Coaching Highlights:

Started with 5 athletes total in Spring of 2007. 4 teams in the top 4 since 2016. 8 state champions since 2010. 17 Region titles since 2012. 

How long have you been coaching and at what schools?

17 Years. Oakland High (TN) | Siegel High (TN) | WKU (KY) | RHHS (GA)

How did you get into teaching/coaching? 

Track & Field opened up so many doors for me in life not possible from my upbringing. Once I realized that I was not going to fail out of college after the 1st year, I changed my major from Music Business (Belmont) to education in order to give back. I intended on coaching in college, but after coaching at Oakland during my student teaching, I fell in love with the moldable potential of a high school athlete. So much room for growth, both physically and mentally.

Did you have running in your background?

High School (Eastwood High-Ohio)

Colleges (Belmont-TN, Virginia Tech-VA, MTSU-TN, WKU-KY)

What would you say is your overall coaching philosophy/motivation?

Philosophy: At the high school level, successful athletes are 65% mental and 35% physical ability. I look to attack the 65% potential and slow roll on the 35%.

What is your opinion about the state of XC/Track in Georgia right now? Any changes you'd like to see happen?

Georgia is about spot on for XC. Slowly progressing forward in Track. 

GA is light years better in TF regarding GHSA policies since I started at RHHS in 2007. TF is still extremely limited in the opportunities it provides its athletes in competition though. We need more than just 2 entries per event at the region meet and more relay events. The competition field of TF is very diluted with the 7 classification setup, causing podium performances to be lower which reduces post high school opportunities for our athletes. Allowing more than just 2 students to represent a school in an event will bring better competition to the state level while inadvertently providing a team atmosphere similar to the success that the sport of XC has when you have 7 athletes working towards the same goal.

How are you different now as a coach vs when you started?

I started out a very technical coach regarding training and focused 90% of my time on that. I have transitioned to developing the athlete’s mind and social role in the team, spending 70% of my time on that.

What are the things about coaching that you really enjoy? 

Seeing growth in the student’s social, personal confidence, and performance. Knowing that I had some sort of role in that progress is very rewarding and keeps me coming back.


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