So you want to coach HS XC and/or Track... - 2005
Below all the RESPONSES you will find THE REQUEST. More RESPONSES
will be posted as they are recieved. Keep checking back.
My thoughts ...
1. There are no shortcuts to success! Focused hard work is the only way
to optimize performance.
2. Control distractions! School, girls, fun, and training must be
carefully managed. Plenty of time for girls and fun later.
3. Plan long term! Yearly volume of mileage should increase each year
through age 30.
4. Develop ability to run long & hard instead of long & slow.
5. Rest to peak!
Must have ALL four things mentioned in following quote:
"Whatever you vividly IMAGINE, ardently DESIRE, sincerely BELIEVE, and
enthusiastically ACT UPON; must inevitably come to pass."
Can't miss one; it won't happen.
I didn't realise in HS that XC was not just a sport but a way of life.
So, I have a list that I go thru with my team taking one item off the
list every few days and incorporating it with XC. I call these "Life
Lessons". The team actually listens. My favorite one has to do with
Peer Presure. I relate it to XC saying that when in a race, you know at
some point, it's going to hurt... real bad. So when it hurts, what do
you do? I tell them that they need to think this out in advance, put
together a race plan, so when the hurt happens they don't have to think
about what they're going to do (since it's real hard to think when
you're tired and in the middle of a race), you just say, "Oh yeah, it
hurts, I decided when it hurts that I will do this." And the decision
is already made. No second guessing yourself at that point in the race
- you do what you decided to do. Same with Peer Presure. You're at a
party, someone offers you some dope, if you already made the decision in
advance, then you don't have to think about your answer - you just say
No Thanks. So there you go - XC and Life - what
you learn from running can be applied to life. My list is cryptic but
here it is:
Recruit your friends
Do's & Don'ts - Foul language = push ups
Conflict list - not for races
Run/Jog/Stretch (don't walk)
How do you score an XC meet?
Why are there 7 on a team if only 5 score?
What's important about runners 6 & 7?
Why are there 10 on the F/S team?
What are some good stretches?
Why do you do strides?
What's the most important part of the race? The warmup
How is the best way to run a hill?
What do you do when you cross the finish line? Arms up, no one
Jog thru the chute - don't walk
Wear your race # on your FRONT.
If you are a 'bandit', peel off WAY in advance before the finish
Don't tell me what you can't do - tell me what you can do.
Something happens - you can either LAUGH or you can CRY - your choice
PEER PREASURE (Decide in advance)
Would you cut a course, take steroids, insider trading? (Strive for
happiness, not money)
HAVE A PLAN (1-5-10) - Know where you are going. Spell out what you
intend to do with your time, life & money (also shows what you don't
plan on doing)
WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE - WHY XC
THINK WHEN YOU RACE
LIFE - Character Development always involves a choice, and temptation
provides that opportunity.
LIFE - Refuse to be intimidated. People feel ashamed just for being
tempted. This is a misunderstanding of maturity. You will never out
What defines SUCCESS to you (not what others think is success, what YOU
think it is)
Be prepared Physically, Mentally AND Emotionally
You have to celebrate that person who is doing well.
F/S - learn how to prepare yourself - LEARN
J/S take what you've learned and apply it. No more watching - now is
TALK : With your body on a daily basis, how's it feel - mentally &
TALK : With your family. Are you honest with them - do you communicate
- your family is just a larger body.
As you can help yourself by understanding your body, so too can your
family help if they understand you & vice versa.
"To Whom Much Is Given, Much Is Expected."
A friend of mine has just been granted the privilege of coaching the
West Forsyth Titans Women's Cross Country team. Being a sucker for a
brunette that can flutter her eyelashes and cause a storm in the South
Pacific, I agreed to assist in some research.
She is compiling a list entitled "What I know now about running that I
I knew in high school."
Any input you can provide would be appreciated. I'll fetch you a beer at
camp in appreciation.
In return I'll promise to post back the compiled list for any HS coaches
that may find it interesting. As a starter, I'll provide my initial
to the question:
Well, since I was mainly a swimmer in high school and spent my T&F time
high jumper, long jumper, and (very) occasional hurdler, I may not be
to relate my high school experiences to your XC runners.
What I can say may relate more to men than women, since testosterone
poisoning has ruined many a good athlete (myself included).
A) I wish I knew about the entire season training plan and WHY we had a
plan. My junior year in HS when I worked out with the college swim team
coach laid out the entire season on a chalk board and talked us through
It was a valuable lesson I wish I had in track.
B) You're not indestructible and permanent damage IS possible. My
will never be what it could have been because of dumb things I did in
school. You can leave out the part about one of the dumb things I did
listen to a coach that said "the more it hurts, the better it is for
C) The more it hurts, doesn't mean the better it is for you. You may not
want to listen to anyone when you're in high school. Fine. Listen to
yourself and learn the difference between soreness and pain. It's
So there it is Aggie Brothers and Sisters, your homework assignment.