It’s not a secret that I am enjoy coaching cross country a lot more than track. I personally enjoy running longer distances, I can actually run with the kids on their training runs and the races are so exciting. I was also one of the crazy ones in high school that enjoyed cross country more than track which is probably another reason why I just like cross country more. This year things have been a little different with track and I have my own ‘group’, the one and two milers, which has really helped me feel like I have more ownership in the program and has allowed me a little bit more one on one time with my athletes.
Track season is long. Kids get antsy and I know it feels like we don’t race for a lonnnnnng time. They just have to keep showing up and practicing which can be boring and seem dull. Then all of a sudden we race twice a week and in two short months our season is over. It’s hard as a coach to what it seems like beg for them to come to practice and then when they run dismal times, see their disappointment without saying ‘told you so.’
We had our final invitational two weekends ago and to be honest were looking forward to the Frosh Sophs racing on Friday night, but didn’t even know what to expect from our Varsity team on Saturday. The Frosh Sophs did awesome and it was such a fun evening. They were so excited and did SO well. Saturday came around and the varsity team really impressed us. We were so excited to go into the last week of practice before league prelims and finals. Apparently our excitement didn’t wear off on the kids, and they struggled through another week of practice. We ended our season sending just a few kids onto CIF Prelims, and all of our athletes seemed to be okay with that. Where did the competitive drive go?
Alas, the coaching struggle. Keeping high schoolers motivated throughout a long season when they made the choice to do the sport. Here’s to trying new methods, learning more and growth for next season!