Underdogs to Champions

From underdog to State Champion coach, Emily Webb, proves success in her coaching career.

            Webb has been coaching the throwers at Niceville High School in Destin, Florida, for seven years and has helped around 20 young athletes commit to a collegiate track and field team during her time.

“I make it known to my athletes that if you want a chance to throw in college, we can 100% get them there and make it happen.”

            At the start of her coaching career, she had not yet realized what her motivation moving forward would become. Emily noticed that considering throws programs are typically small, they were often pushed to the side.

            It was not until one of her boys lost a gold medal and state championship title due to rules being overlooked that Emily felt a fire inside her to always advocate for her athletes and ensure all their hard work never goes unnoticed.

            To spread the word of the team’s success, Webb created an Instagram page, @nicevillethrows.

            She began blowing it up, highlighting her athlete’s success.

“The more they see how the team is doing, the more it can’t go unnoticed.”

             The Niceville boys track team were 2021 State Champions earning every point from the throwers, one pole vaulter and one high jumper while the girls side placed second.

            In total, there were three state champions and 15 state medals over 12 throwers last year. Out of 11 upperclassmen, nine of them are committed to division 1 collegiate programs.

“It’s surreal and it’s really cool because when I first started coaching, pretty much everywhere throws was pushed to the side. So I have this goal to bring throwing out of the shadows. Last year was very eye opening that it’s actually happening.” Emily stated.

            Out of the throwers that scored at state last year, 10 of them will be returning with a vengeance. Understanding that in track and field, often times only one meet matters, in Niceville’s case, it is the state meet.

            Even with that mindset, Webb’s throwers treat every practice and meet like it counts. They understand that what they do during season only better prepares them for the state championships.

            Emily recognizes the role that the upperclassmen play on the team. With 60 total throwers this year, the veterans act as leaders. The seniors understand the expectations placed on them by their coach and show the first years by example what the culture is like.

            Having a big throws group allows the athletes to practice with their biggest competition. They know that if they want to win an individual state title, they first have to beat their teammate.

            This creates a healthy competitive environment ultimately leading to their confidence in the ring at meets. Although track and field can be an individual sport, once the flight has finished, the team is supportive of one another’s success. Webb has described the team as one big family.

            The Niceville track team receives support from their community and parents as well. Up until a few weeks ago, Webb’s throwers were training out of two rings- a tight squeeze with a team of 60 throwers.

            The team came together and raised money to buy a longer throwing pad fitting 11 rings. The parents donated funds to purchase individual custom cages from TrackBarn.

            Emily discovered TrackBarn when she stepped into the role of ordering gear for the track team.

“I liked that TrackBarn was growing as a company because I am always looking for new stuff.” Emily stated.

            TrackBarn created custom logos for the team as well as an online catalog of gear including; hoodies, sweatpants, zip ups, t shirts and more. The online catalog Is conveniently available all year long for athletes to purchase.

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