Meet Coach Leah Skinner

My father instilled in me a love for running at a very young age. He competed for the University of Memphis and to this day, he has never gone more than a week without running. I started competing in Knoxville Track Club’s Summer Youth Program in the 3rd grade competing in the 100m and the long jump. I continued running sprints moving up to the 400m until I was a senior in high school, when my high school coach saw potential in me for the distance events.  He convinced me to run cross country the fall of my senior year to help build my endurance for the longer sprints. I ended up winning the first cross country race and every other meet but three my senior year. I found my niche in distance running thanks to my coach who discovered in me a talent I hadn’t been aware of. I began to receive calls from college coaches and decided on the University of Tennessee under J.J. Clark.  I went on to earn All SEC and All Region honors in cross country (6k) and track (5000m). I credit my dad, my high school coach, and all those coaches through my many years of running who instilled in me a confidence in my ability and the motivation to set high goals and go after them with a concentrated intensity.

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While competing at Tennessee, I coached the Knoxville Track Club’s Summer Youth Program. I wanted to give back to a program that had given me so much. It was then that I fell in love with coaching. Watching my athletes achieve their goals and developing their excitement for running was motivating and inspiring for me. They helped me reconnect with why I started running in the first place.

I will never forget the many coaches throughout my life. Some have inspired and pushed me to greatness, while others have shown me what not to do as a coach. All of those coaches laid the foundation for my success as a runner and a person. Our role as coaches is to foster a love for the sport, instill the value of hard work, and help our athletes grow in self-confidence, so they can be successful in sports and life. My goal as the coach for Team Rogue’s Prep Program is to do just that. The program is a great way for young athletes to develop as a runner at any level. I am excited to be a motivator and a cheerleader for my athletes in both running and life, so they will develop a positive healthy love for running and pick-up self-confidence and new friends along the way. Click below to join me: 

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