Walker, Texas Ranger
09/06/2015 10:18:39 AM
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Is it just me or does it seem like the number of athletes walking in cross country races rises every year? I try to remind myself that these are kids and that I should be a little more compassionate, but this IS competitive athletics. If an athlete cannot comfortably complete the race distance without walking, are they really ready for competition? Different sport, but a middle school football coach told me this week about the parents who complain because their 7th grade kids are getting manhandled in practice by the 8th graders. His response: "They need to learn how to take a hit in practice so they don't leave a game in an ambulance." Seems like some schools have designated cross country as the "catch all" sport for the kids who want to be in athletics but can't make the cut in the glamour sports. Unlike some positions in other team sports, there is nowhere to hide in cross country. The watch doesn't lie. It is a good thing for kids to run, even if they don't run well. But not all kids are ready for competitive running. The Galloway run/walk routine is a great way to develop a beginning runner of any age...but not recommended for a positive middle school or high school race experience. Am I too old school here? Feel free to pile on. Lee Stubblefield Cassville
Is it just me or does it seem like the number of athletes walking in cross country races rises every year? I try to remind myself that these are kids and that I should be a little more compassionate, but this IS competitive athletics.

If an athlete cannot comfortably complete the race distance without walking, are they really ready for competition?

Different sport, but a middle school football coach told me this week about the parents who complain because their 7th grade kids are getting manhandled in practice by the 8th graders. His response: "They need to learn how to take a hit in practice so they don't leave a game in an ambulance."

Seems like some schools have designated cross country as the "catch all" sport for the kids who want to be in athletics but can't make the cut in the glamour sports. Unlike some positions in other team sports, there is nowhere to hide in cross country. The watch doesn't lie.

It is a good thing for kids to run, even if they don't run well. But not all kids are ready for competitive running. The Galloway run/walk routine is a great way to develop a beginning runner of any age...but not recommended for a positive middle school or high school race experience.

Am I too old school here? Feel free to pile on.

Lee Stubblefield
Cassville
09/08/2015 8:07:44 AM
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Personally I don't enter a kid in a meet unless I believe they can complete the course without walking. Practices are a little different but I do make it clear that cross-country and walking clubs are two different things. Sean Nunn Raytown South
Personally I don't enter a kid in a meet unless I believe they can complete the course without walking. Practices are a little different but I do make it clear that cross-country and walking clubs are two different things.

Sean Nunn
Raytown South
09/08/2015 9:14:20 AM
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I’m torn on this one because if they are trying their best then I don’t have a problem with it. I have been at meets where I’ve seen almost an entire team walk part of the race. I found out afterward that the cc coach was also the basketball coach and required all the kids that wanted to play basketball to run cc. Most of them didn’t want to be there and only wanted to play BB. I don’t like that policy at all.
I'm torn on this one because if they are trying their best then I don't have a problem with it. I have been at meets where I've seen almost an entire team walk part of the race. I found out afterward that the cc coach was also the basketball coach and required all the kids that wanted to play basketball to run cc. Most of them didn't want to be there and only wanted to play BB. I don't like that policy at all.
09/08/2015 3:21:55 PM
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I don't disagree... but I know I have some kids who walked in our last race. I work so hard to recruit these kids, that if they are working hard I want to get them into a race as soon as they are eligible. We create goal cards for each meet, and I know many of my freshmen are setting the goal not to walk. I guess I feel like putting a uniform on their back and having them toe the line inspires them to work harder. That being said, I purposely set up our schedule so that my new kids are not running a 5K until week three. If they have been on the team and training for six weeks and they still walking, then they probably aren't trying and might not need to be on the team.
I don't disagree... but I know I have some kids who walked in our last race. I work so hard to recruit these kids, that if they are working hard I want to get them into a race as soon as they are eligible. We create goal cards for each meet, and I know many of my freshmen are setting the goal not to walk. I guess I feel like putting a uniform on their back and having them toe the line inspires them to work harder. That being said, I purposely set up our schedule so that my new kids are not running a 5K until week three. If they have been on the team and training for six weeks and they still walking, then they probably aren't trying and might not need to be on the team.
09/08/2015 5:59:40 PM
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[quote=runfasttorunfast] I found out afterward that the cc coach was also the basketball coach and required all the kids that wanted to play basketball to run cc. Most of them didn’t want to be there and only wanted to play BB. I don’t like that policy at all.[/quote] @runfasttorunfast When Jim Roe was the Southwest basketball and cross country coach, the offseason basketball workouts were simple: run the cross country workout. they didn't have to be on the team or go to the meets. but after a month of running, they always decided that if they were going to do all that work, they might as well go to the meets. and some of them turned into excellent runners.
runfasttorunfast wrote:
I found out afterward that the cc coach was also the basketball coach and required all the kids that wanted to play basketball to run cc. Most of them didn't want to be there and only wanted to play BB. I don't like that policy at all.


@runfasttorunfast

When Jim Roe was the Southwest basketball and cross country coach, the offseason basketball workouts were simple: run the cross country workout. they didn't have to be on the team or go to the meets. but after a month of running, they always decided that if they were going to do all that work, they might as well go to the meets. and some of them turned into excellent runners.
09/09/2015 3:20:28 PM
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We have tryouts for our team in cross country, as we do with every other sport in our school. To make the team, each runner must meet the “minimum standard” of running three miles in 28 minutes or less the first week of practice. They have up to three opportunities to do it, but it must be done the first week of practice. Our coaches and alums pace the runners on a flat point to point trail near our school, with one coach running the 28:00 cutoff time. Having tryouts encourages runners to attend the optional summer running club easy runs. We have been doing this for over ten years and we still have a fairly large team (about 45-50 girls each season in a school of 600). Runners know if they do not make the standard, they can come back and try again next year when they are in better shape. We had a runner try out for the team last year and not make it. She came back this year and ran all summer with the team and went from a 33 minute three mile time at tryouts last year to 26 minutes this year. I realize tryouts in cross country are fairly uncommon at the high school level. Many high school students might not see an incentive to do the summer workouts if there is no minimum standard to join a cross country team. This has worked well for our program as it encourages the runners to come in to the season in shape.
We have tryouts for our team in cross country, as we do with every other sport in our school. To make the team, each runner must meet the "minimum standard" of running three miles in 28 minutes or less the first week of practice. They have up to three opportunities to do it, but it must be done the first week of practice. Our coaches and alums pace the runners on a flat point to point trail near our school, with one coach running the 28:00 cutoff time. Having tryouts encourages runners to attend the optional summer running club easy runs. We have been doing this for over ten years and we still have a fairly large team (about 45-50 girls each season in a school of 600). Runners know if they do not make the standard, they can come back and try again next year when they are in better shape. We had a runner try out for the team last year and not make it. She came back this year and ran all summer with the team and went from a 33 minute three mile time at tryouts last year to 26 minutes this year.

I realize tryouts in cross country are fairly uncommon at the high school level. Many high school students might not see an incentive to do the summer workouts if there is no minimum standard to join a cross country team. This has worked well for our program as it encourages the runners to come in to the season in shape.
09/09/2015 5:59:55 PM
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@coachmoran Thank you for sharing, Coach. I was just curious, have you ever ran into any opposition regarding your tryout policy (parents or admin.)?
@coachmoran

Thank you for sharing, Coach. I was just curious, have you ever ran into any opposition regarding your tryout policy (parents or admin.)?
09/09/2015 9:16:48 PM
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I've run into this problem and I've come up with a solution that has worked. I've always been at schools who had a not cut policy for XC. Many years ago, we had a special ed. student come out for XC. There was no way she was going to run even 3K without walking, for less 5K. Yet being part of the team, doing the training she was capable of, etc. was just as important for her development as our stars. So. I made a deal with her. She could put on the uniform and go to the starting line with the team, only when she could run 1 mile, without walking. When she did that she could line up in the race and go as hard as she could to the one mile mark. A manager would satay there until she arrived. If she was over 10 mins., she had to keep stopping at the 1 mile mark until she went under 10. At that point, she earned the right to race to the 2 mile mark, etc. She moved to Atlanta after that season and I communicated with her new school as to how we helped her be part of the team. She never ran past 2 miles in a race for our team. She did however, benefit from being part of the team, learned to work for goals to just put on the uniform and go to the line with the team. She did not delay the progress of the meet or interfere with any other runners or the administration of the meet. The next day her successes were celebrated in the team meeting the same as any other athlete who met goals, earned medals, showed something positive in the race. If she did not, she was among those who were not recognized for improvement. This girl is now in her mid-30's and still contacts me by e-mail or facebook to show her 5k race performances and occasional age group medals. This turned into a win/win for this kid, our team, and didn't delay or take away from the competitive nature of the race up ahead. In fact, her more gifted teammates learned just as much as she did regarding the privilege of Racing and being a good teammate. After retirement, I've gone on to work with other teams. The last 2 years, we've had Freshman girls show up for the first day of practice weighing over 200 lbs. I'm not too bright, but I don't recall any of our good runners being over 200 lbs. These kids are not special needs kids, but they (like most freshman girls) are struggling with self image and hoping to find a way to fit in. I'm not the head coach, BUT the who is won't let his desire to be a successful team interfere with our public school mandate of educating all of the students. We've modified workouts to aid these kids to get to the point of NOT walking for specified distances. Some days they go on the roads with the team, although modified in distance and speed. Other days they stay on campus and do a run/walk program on their own or with kids who are coming off injury, and then meet with the team post work out for weight room and/or supplementary exercises. The last decade or so, we have been timing splits per K instead of miles. This aids our racers in giving them feedback, as to pace, more often and gives these kids trying to earn the right to move up a smaller step to cover. The 200 plus young lady who started this last year, is much slimmer and healthier now. She knows she won't be a varsity runner, EVER, but she's a valuable team member, she has never walked, and is now racing 5K. Her confidence and self worth is through the roof. That is the other side of our sport. We can be as competitive as you can imagine, but we can also find a way to take care of ALL of the kids, if we require them to hit standards, before they go to the next level. I'm excited about my kids racing up front, but I see the development of those who hope to be allowed to finish the race. If all coaches, would just force kids to meet a reasonable standard at 1 mile then 1.5 or 2 miles before covering the entire distance, we could impact lives and still run efficient meets without delaying the next group of racers! Now that I've typed this, I'm old enough to remember when you didn't have to hit a timer standard to run the 10K/oops the 6miler at the NCAA Championships. Anyone who could get there could toe the line. The rule was, if you got lapped, your race was over. There were guys who ran big 3 mile PR's trying to stay in the race for another lap. We've long ago moved past that, but the theory is the same: "Give me what you can for as long as you can and if it's good enough I'll let you go a little farther" Kids have to push themselves to meet the next standard and can't just walk because their coach put them in a meet. Sorry this is long. I share the frustration of the Original Poster & think I may have a solution that doesn't clog up meets, does NOT detract from the stars who are running incredible times and still takes care of all of the kids.
I've run into this problem and I've come up with a solution that has worked. I've always been at schools who had a not cut policy for XC. Many years ago, we had a special ed. student come out for XC. There was no way she was going to run even 3K without walking, for less 5K. Yet being part of the team, doing the training she was capable of, etc. was just as important for her development as our stars. So. I made a deal with her. She could put on the uniform and go to the starting line with the team, only when she could run 1 mile, without walking. When she did that she could line up in the race and go as hard as she could to the one mile mark. A manager would satay there until she arrived. If she was over 10 mins., she had to keep stopping at the 1 mile mark until she went under 10. At that point, she earned the right to race to the 2 mile mark, etc. She moved to Atlanta after that season and I communicated with her new school as to how we helped her be part of the team. She never ran past 2 miles in a race for our team. She did however, benefit from being part of the team, learned to work for goals to just put on the uniform and go to the line with the team. She did not delay the progress of the meet or interfere with any other runners or the administration of the meet. The next day her successes were celebrated in the team meeting the same as any other athlete who met goals, earned medals, showed something positive in the race. If she did not, she was among those who were not recognized for improvement. This girl is now in her mid-30's and still contacts me by e-mail or facebook to show her 5k race performances and occasional age group medals. This turned into a win/win for this kid, our team, and didn't delay or take away from the competitive nature of the race up ahead. In fact, her more gifted teammates learned just as much as she did regarding the privilege of Racing and being a good teammate.

After retirement, I've gone on to work with other teams. The last 2 years, we've had Freshman girls show up for the first day of practice weighing over 200 lbs. I'm not too bright, but I don't recall any of our good runners being over 200 lbs. These kids are not special needs kids, but they (like most freshman girls) are struggling with self image and hoping to find a way to fit in. I'm not the head coach, BUT the who is won't let his desire to be a successful team interfere with our public school mandate of educating all of the students. We've modified workouts to aid these kids to get to the point of NOT walking for specified distances. Some days they go on the roads with the team, although modified in distance and speed. Other days they stay on campus and do a run/walk program on their own or with kids who are coming off injury, and then meet with the team post work out for weight room and/or supplementary exercises. The last decade or so, we have been timing splits per K instead of miles. This aids our racers in giving them feedback, as to pace, more often and gives these kids trying to earn the right to move up a smaller step to cover. The 200 plus young lady who started this last year, is much slimmer and healthier now. She knows she won't be a varsity runner, EVER, but she's a valuable team member, she has never walked, and is now racing 5K. Her confidence and self worth is through the roof. That is the other side of our sport. We can be as competitive as you can imagine, but we can also find a way to take care of ALL of the kids, if we require them to hit standards, before they go to the next level. I'm excited about my kids racing up front, but I see the development of those who hope to be allowed to finish the race.

If all coaches, would just force kids to meet a reasonable standard at 1 mile then 1.5 or 2 miles before covering the entire distance, we could impact lives and still run efficient meets without delaying the next group of racers!

Now that I've typed this, I'm old enough to remember when you didn't have to hit a timer standard to run the 10K/oops the 6miler at the NCAA Championships. Anyone who could get there could toe the line. The rule was, if you got lapped, your race was over. There were guys who ran big 3 mile PR's trying to stay in the race for another lap. We've long ago moved past that, but the theory is the same: "Give me what you can for as long as you can and if it's good enough I'll let you go a little farther" Kids have to push themselves to meet the next standard and can't just walk because their coach put them in a meet.

Sorry this is long. I share the frustration of the Original Poster & think I may have a solution that doesn't clog up meets, does NOT detract from the stars who are running incredible times and still takes care of all of the kids.
09/09/2015 9:23:27 PM
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@coachmoran Good conversation here. We don't permit any walkers, nor do we have any try-outs. Here's one story that speaks to why I'm glad we don't have try-outs. This year, we had a freshman who ran over 33 minutes the first time he attempted three miles (and I wouldn't be surprised to hear that he "ran" the whole way). He really suffered with the sport for the first two weeks and looked pretty miserable doing it, no muscle (or smiles) to really speak of, but he stuck with it because he heard it got better. Sure enough, something "clicked" and he realized he could run and train faster. Better than that, he started looking like he was having a lot of fun with it. He recently ran around 14:00 for his first two-mile race, negative splitting it to boot. I see how a tryout could really motivate the guys to come into the season ready to go, but for a new runner like this who maybe a) didn't know he was going to run XC, or b) his parents made him, I would have hated to see him lose the opportunity for growth and companionship he's already experienced. If we cut him after the first week, I don't think we would have seen him again. For me, I think the difference between a new & returning runner makes a huge difference when thinking about a try-out. That kid's story has been one of my personal highlights of what has been a challenging six-week practice cycle for us. Very grateful our season is about to get a big jumpstart with the Forest Park Festival! Coach Gilmore / SLUH
@coachmoran

Good conversation here. We don't permit any walkers, nor do we have any try-outs. Here's one story that speaks to why I'm glad we don't have try-outs.

This year, we had a freshman who ran over 33 minutes the first time he attempted three miles (and I wouldn't be surprised to hear that he "ran" the whole way). He really suffered with the sport for the first two weeks and looked pretty miserable doing it, no muscle (or smiles) to really speak of, but he stuck with it because he heard it got better. Sure enough, something "clicked" and he realized he could run and train faster. Better than that, he started looking like he was having a lot of fun with it. He recently ran around 14:00 for his first two-mile race, negative splitting it to boot.

I see how a tryout could really motivate the guys to come into the season ready to go, but for a new runner like this who maybe a) didn't know he was going to run XC, or b) his parents made him, I would have hated to see him lose the opportunity for growth and companionship he's already experienced. If we cut him after the first week, I don't think we would have seen him again. For me, I think the difference between a new & returning runner makes a huge difference when thinking about a try-out.

That kid's story has been one of my personal highlights of what has been a challenging six-week practice cycle for us. Very grateful our season is about to get a big jumpstart with the Forest Park Festival!

Coach Gilmore / SLUH
09/09/2015 9:42:47 PM
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@coach_gilmore Looking forward to Saturday and hope the young man has a great day and is on his way to another SLUH success. A similar success story on the female side. Katy Bundy came out for track as a freshman at Marquette HS. It took most of her freshman season for her to break 7:00 in the 1600. She then tried XC as a sophomore. She made the back end of the varsity team in 10th grade. In her JR. year, she was the Missouri Class 4 State Champion in XC! I was talking about this with a young coach as our kids toured the New/Really Old course at FP. Katy wasn't a walker that Missle-silo addressed, but she certainly addressed your point of not having cuts/try outs. As the late Jaquine Andujar always said, "You never know man, you never know!"
@coach_gilmore Looking forward to Saturday and hope the young man has a great day and is on his way to another SLUH success. A similar success story on the female side. Katy Bundy came out for track as a freshman at Marquette HS. It took most of her freshman season for her to break 7:00 in the 1600. She then tried XC as a sophomore. She made the back end of the varsity team in 10th grade. In her JR. year, she was the Missouri Class 4 State Champion in XC! I was talking about this with a young coach as our kids toured the New/Really Old course at FP. Katy wasn't a walker that Missle-silo addressed, but she certainly addressed your point of not having cuts/try outs. As the late Jaquine Andujar always said, "You never know man, you never know!"
09/09/2015 10:20:30 PM
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@coachstove @coach_gilmore Actually, our administration had the idea for implementing the “minimum standard” for cross country at our school. This happened the year we had 72 runners come out for the team and only two coaches. Initially, I wasn’t crazy about the idea because I liked the idea of everybody participating. Then something interesting started happening. Our team started getting better. Once we implemented the minimum standard, many of the runners were better about attending the summer running club with their teammates and were able to do better during the season than when they did little to no running in the summer. I’ve had parents of prospective runners ask me why we have tryouts when nobody else seems to. I tell them cross country is a varsity sport just like all the other sports at our school. The beauty of it is there is not a limit to the amount of athletes we can keep for a squad, it is up to them and how much they are willing to work in the summer. I also tell parents that runners who come in to the season out of shape are more likely to get injured than runners who train throughout the summer. Everybody who wants to run at our school is well aware of our tryout policy and people have responded favorably for the most part. I have found that the distance is the not hardest part for athletes to get used to. The hardest part is getting acclimated to the heat and humidity in August. The good news is 90-95% of the athletes who come out for our team make it.
@coachstove @coach_gilmore
Actually, our administration had the idea for implementing the "minimum standard" for cross country at our school. This happened the year we had 72 runners come out for the team and only two coaches. Initially, I wasn't crazy about the idea because I liked the idea of everybody participating. Then something interesting started happening. Our team started getting better. Once we implemented the minimum standard, many of the runners were better about attending the summer running club with their teammates and were able to do better during the season than when they did little to no running in the summer.
I've had parents of prospective runners ask me why we have tryouts when nobody else seems to. I tell them cross country is a varsity sport just like all the other sports at our school. The beauty of it is there is not a limit to the amount of athletes we can keep for a squad, it is up to them and how much they are willing to work in the summer. I also tell parents that runners who come in to the season out of shape are more likely to get injured than runners who train throughout the summer.
Everybody who wants to run at our school is well aware of our tryout policy and people have responded favorably for the most part. I have found that the distance is the not hardest part for athletes to get used to. The hardest part is getting acclimated to the heat and humidity in August. The good news is 90-95% of the athletes who come out for our team make it.
09/11/2015 9:07:54 PM
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My problem has never been those new kids that come out and have never run before. I can be sympathetic with them trying to be runners as long as they are trying every day. My biggest irritation is the kids who are juniors and seniors who keep coming out for the team for the social aspect of being on the team, but yet they never seem to push themselves. I also cringe whenever I have a female runner ask me if they can just practice, but not race in the meets. It’s as if some people look at cross country as a participation sport rather than a competition. It makes me think of an idea that mandates that if kids want to stay on the team each year, they must meet some kind of improvement from year to year. I don’t know how I’d measure that though as there are many factors that can play a role.
My problem has never been those new kids that come out and have never run before. I can be sympathetic with them trying to be runners as long as they are trying every day. My biggest irritation is the kids who are juniors and seniors who keep coming out for the team for the social aspect of being on the team, but yet they never seem to push themselves. I also cringe whenever I have a female runner ask me if they can just practice, but not race in the meets. It's as if some people look at cross country as a participation sport rather than a competition. It makes me think of an idea that mandates that if kids want to stay on the team each year, they must meet some kind of improvement from year to year. I don't know how I'd measure that though as there are many factors that can play a role.
09/14/2015 8:39:39 PM
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[quote=Coach_casa]My problem has never been those new kids that come out and have never run before. I can be sympathetic with them trying to be runners as long as they are trying every day. My biggest irritation is the kids who are juniors and seniors who keep coming out for the team for the social aspect of being on the team, but yet they never seem to push themselves. I also cringe whenever I have a female runner ask me if they can just practice, but not race in the meets. It’s as if some people look at cross country as a participation sport rather than a competition. It makes me think of an idea that mandates that if kids want to stay on the team each year, they must meet some kind of improvement from year to year. I don’t know how I’d measure that though as there are many factors that can play a role.[/quote] @Coach_casa +1. We are in the same boat. If I had any minimum standard I honestly would have zero girls on my team this year. The two girls that I have cannot break 30:00 yet for 5K. Sean Nunn Raytown South
Coach_casa wrote:
My problem has never been those new kids that come out and have never run before. I can be sympathetic with them trying to be runners as long as they are trying every day. My biggest irritation is the kids who are juniors and seniors who keep coming out for the team for the social aspect of being on the team, but yet they never seem to push themselves. I also cringe whenever I have a female runner ask me if they can just practice, but not race in the meets. It's as if some people look at cross country as a participation sport rather than a competition. It makes me think of an idea that mandates that if kids want to stay on the team each year, they must meet some kind of improvement from year to year. I don't know how I'd measure that though as there are many factors that can play a role.


@Coach_casa

+1. We are in the same boat. If I had any minimum standard I honestly would have zero girls on my team this year. The two girls that I have cannot break 30:00 yet for 5K.

Sean Nunn
Raytown South
09/22/2015 11:57:20 AM
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There is no high school sport doing more to reverse the tide of obesity/diabetes/hypertension/hyperlipidemia in our society than cross country. On behalf of primary care physicians on he front line of this battle let me thank each and every one of you for allowing as many young people as possible to acquire the habit of daily vigorous exercise in a social setting that supports and nurtures excellent life style habits. It is an enormous amount to ask high school cross country coaches to be both the coaches of competitive XC teams and organizers of a "club sport" environment that promotes healthy living. Bill Bowerman and Arthur Lydiard coached world class athletes and were figureheads on the citizen running boom of the 1970s, but each of you is doing the same good work they did in your respective zip codes. I agree that each coach and program has to decide what committment of time and effort is possible from the coach to devote to the noncompetitive participant, and what standard of effort and committment is needed from each participant. Coach Beatty has made some excellent suggestions about how slower runners might have the experience of participating in meets without slowing the overall progression of the meet excessively. The anecdotes above make a compelling case for Coach Beatty's assertion that "youneverknow," (Joaquin Andujar's favorite "word" in the English language.) I did not know that we had lost Joaquin until reading your post, coach. Joaquin felt that he was as large a threat at the plate as he was on the mound, and during a rare burst of offensive prowess was asked how he would pitch to himself. "Fastball right down the middle, what you think, I am going to try to strike myself out?"
There is no high school sport doing more to reverse the tide of obesity/diabetes/hypertension/hyperlipidemia in our society than cross country. On behalf of primary care physicians on he front line of this battle let me thank each and every one of you for allowing as many young people as possible to acquire the habit of daily vigorous exercise in a social setting that supports and nurtures excellent life style habits. It is an enormous amount to ask high school cross country coaches to be both the coaches of competitive XC teams and organizers of a "club sport" environment that promotes healthy living. Bill Bowerman and Arthur Lydiard coached world class athletes and were figureheads on the citizen running boom of the 1970s, but each of you is doing the same good work they did in your respective zip codes. I agree that each coach and program has to decide what committment of time and effort is possible from the coach to devote to the noncompetitive participant, and what standard of effort and committment is needed from each participant. Coach Beatty has made some excellent suggestions about how slower runners might have the experience of participating in meets without slowing the overall progression of the meet excessively. The anecdotes above make a compelling case for Coach Beatty's assertion that "youneverknow," (Joaquin Andujar's favorite "word" in the English language.) I did not know that we had lost Joaquin until reading your post, coach. Joaquin felt that he was as large a threat at the plate as he was on the mound, and during a rare burst of offensive prowess was asked how he would pitch to himself. "Fastball right down the middle, what you think, I am going to try to strike myself out?"
09/27/2015 12:48:12 PM
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As a newer program, it has not been easy trying to balance the competitive side with the inclusion aspect. But, truth be told, I would rather provide an opportunity for a kid to be a part of my program (yes, even if they have to walk some) than to discourage their participation. The idea of creating a team shouldn't be about wins or championships. Those ebb and flow. Creating a welcoming and inviting environment for anyone who wants to take part is something that will out last the trophies and the plaques. If I had turned away every kid who would walk in their meets, I wouldn't have two of my greatest success stories in kids who went from a 30+ minute 5k to losing 30-75 pounds and racing on the varsity rosters at the state level. My two cents for what it is worth.
As a newer program, it has not been easy trying to balance the competitive side with the inclusion aspect. But, truth be told, I would rather provide an opportunity for a kid to be a part of my program (yes, even if they have to walk some) than to discourage their participation. The idea of creating a team shouldn't be about wins or championships. Those ebb and flow. Creating a welcoming and inviting environment for anyone who wants to take part is something that will out last the trophies and the plaques.

If I had turned away every kid who would walk in their meets, I wouldn't have two of my greatest success stories in kids who went from a 30+ minute 5k to losing 30-75 pounds and racing on the varsity rosters at the state level.

My two cents for what it is worth.
09/28/2015 10:55:21 AM
User
SUBSCRIBER
Joined: Dec 1969
Posts: 344
If I had turned away every kid who would walk in their meets, I wouldn't have two of my greatest success stories in kids who went from a 30+ minute 5k to losing 30-75 pounds and racing on the varsity rosters at the state level. Wow! A hearty, "strong work" to them and you, Coach.
If I had turned away every kid who would walk in their meets, I wouldn't have two of my greatest success stories in kids who went from a 30+ minute 5k to losing 30-75 pounds and racing on the varsity rosters at the state level.

Wow! A hearty, "strong work" to them and you, Coach.
09/29/2015 8:14:56 AM
Coach
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 38
We instituted a standard for returning runners only this year. New runners/freshman could just show up, no standard. Returning boys had to be able to run 5, 6 or 7 miles on the first day of practice without walking based on grade (sophomore, junior senior). We had some returning upper classman that decided not to come out because of the standard. We had 4-5 that tried but could not hit the standard the first day of practice. They stuck it out and retested within a couple weeks and were allowed to join the team. This is the first year we have done this. At this point, I think we will do it again. Our injuries are way down and the JV kids have improved much more than usual.
We instituted a standard for returning runners only this year. New runners/freshman could just show up, no standard. Returning boys had to be able to run 5, 6 or 7 miles on the first day of practice without walking based on grade (sophomore, junior senior).

We had some returning upper classman that decided not to come out because of the standard. We had 4-5 that tried but could not hit the standard the first day of practice. They stuck it out and retested within a couple weeks and were allowed to join the team.

This is the first year we have done this. At this point, I think we will do it again. Our injuries are way down and the JV kids have improved much more than usual.

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