High School XC Coaches Break it Down
We have so many awesome HS Coaches in our Oiselle community; we want to celebrate them and share some of their wisdom! Each of these 5 coaches answered the following questions:
- How long have you been coaching and what is the thing you most look forward to every season?
- What is your favorite workout day with your team?
- What is your coaching "moment of power"?
- If you could give HS parents one piece of wisdom that you knew would be internalized, what would it be?
Great advice from these awesome coaches!
This is my 8th year coaching both XC and track for LHS. Cross country is definitely my favorite season and I always look forward to our first meet as it sets the tone for the rest of the fall. I love our long run day. On Saturdays, we meet up at the Battle Road Trail which is a beautiful, rolling, hard packed road that goes on for miles. There are usually several other teams out on the trail with us (other high schools, colleges and clubs) which enhances the positive energy due to the instant camaraderie among peers. The girls love it, too, so it always puts all of us in a good mood.
My moment of power is watching things “click”. We train in groups because the only way to be successful in racing XC is to close the gap among your teammates. When the girls work with each other during a race I know our training has paid off. Last year at our Divisional meet, four of my top 5 girls came in within a second of each other. That was amazing.
Parents: Let your kids advocate for themselves. They know what they need as much, if not more so, than you do at this stage in their lives. Step back and let them take the reins during these formative years. It will serve them so well in the future.
This is only my 3rd year in an official role but feel like I’ve been at it a lot longer! I love watching the team camaraderie develop through runs, workouts and pasta dinners. It makes me so happy knowing that the memories and friendships they’re making will last a lifetime.
I really like a workout we did recently on our home XC course of 5 x 1ks on gentle up and downhill soft surfaces. Any workout they do where they are slightly anxious before it begins but get that incredible sense of satisfaction when they accomplished it feels really great.
Parents: focus on the long haul and don’t expect instant, amazing results. Success comes from steady, consistent running and if they like what they do, it will come naturally.
I’ve been coaching since 2012! Each season I always look forward to seeing athletes come together from various backgrounds and become each other’s biggest fans on and off the race course. My favorite workout day with our team is our Neon Greenlake Scavenger Hunt! It’s a great secret fartlek workout too that goes the distance all around the lake from Super Jock & Jill to the Rose Garden at Woodland! I make a fun GooseChase scavenger hunt with an assortment of challenges, and each training group has a captain who is in charge of snapping photos & videos for their group. It’s also a great way to get photos for our team Instagram.
They begin their celebration of a good race with writing on the back of their bibs with a motivational quote or mantra to keep their minds focused while racing. After a good race, our team celebrates with sharing kudos with each other and lots high fives. I know it’s simple, but it’s meaningful.
We spend all season prepping them to fly on their own when it matters most at championships, so I feel a great sense of pride when our athletes can take ownership of their team and go out there and race without looking back. Another moment I know I’m coaching for all the right reasons, is when athletes fall and have the courage to get back up again, on and off the course, to truly embrace their potential as good people, not just good runners.
Parents: every person on the team is meaningful, whether they are first or last. Coaches have everyone’s best interest at heart. Trust the process and know that your child will be challenged in various ways physically and mentally in order to overcome barriers they thought were impossibilities.
This season is my 6th year coaching XC and track at a very small, very rural high school. I love watching the new athletes as they discover that they are better at an event than they expected. But I also enjoy seeing the growth in the more experienced athletes.
I love hills! We have a great one that is rough but gives them a hard workout and a lot of confidence because they know they’ll see that same kind of hill at the state meet.
There is nothing better than working with an athlete on specific goals and knowing that they’re trying to trust you, they’re doing what you ask but they just aren’t sure. And then they have that one race that you’ve known all along they could have and you can just see their confidence soar.
Parents: you have more power than you know, please use it wisely. Your support, or lack of, can determine how successful I am in coaching your child and also how well they will perform. Let me be the coach and you be the proud parents, no matter what you think of the results you are currently seeing.
I've been coaching since 2005, I'm usually most excited for our Alumni race and picnic, secondly for our league meet. I love long run Monday for sure! Miles of convo, water and snack stations, spending time on your feet, being outside after school.
The team sings "You raise me up" in a big circle with their arms around each other after getting off the bus. It always makes me cry, especially when it's the last meet for the seniors.
When we have our Monday meetings, we recognize PRs and performances from the past meet, talk about what we can improve and I let them know the plan for the week. I try to include myself in the "improvement" category. Sharing the plan for the week helps them see and "buy in" for the work ahead.
Parents: comparison is the thief of Joy. Please don't compare your child to their teammates or other competitors. This is also advice for athletes, however it's been my experience that more often than not, it's the parents who plant the seed of comparison. And it's a hard weed to get rid of!