A blog about my journey as an athlete and a woman. Come step into her shoes...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Hill Repeats Anyone?

Last night I was double booked!! First I had back to school night for the High School I am coaching/ADing at, and then I had coffee with the BFF’s. I got home at 10:30pm, the only bad thing was I had to get up at 5am for practice with my Cross Country Team.

This mornings workout was all about HILLS!

The sun was just arriving when I arrived at the park.


I had my team do a 4 mile run of HILLS! I know that they hate them, but hills seriously make you a stronger runner. I wanted them to do some hill repeats but I could tell that the 2 miles of uphill running was killing them.


When we got to the top we enjoyed the most beautiful view.  Thank goodness I had my iPhone on me, I got to capture this moment.


I have a bit of a problem and I need some advice from all of you. A couple of my kiddos are missing practice, they call me last minute to let me know with all kinds of excuses. What should I do? Do I “punish” them? Make them do laps on the track? I am just so nice that it is hard for me to be harsh, but I want them to take this team serious! Any ideas????

Today I get free lunch at work, wonder what it will be?

See you tonight!!!


TheCJ said...

That looks like up off Mountain View?

Katie A. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angie Eats Peace said...

First of all, imposing a punishment is not being harsh, it is enforcing responsibility, which they need to learn.

I think laps or push ups are a good idea, but maybe pose it to them as a group and let them make up the punishments. Maybe have a meeting and serious talk about why punctuality and commitments are important, then get them to suggest ideas for repercussions. That will get them more bought into the rules and feel that they have some control in how they are enforced.

Katie A. said...

Hmmm, did they have to earn their spot on the team? Because if they did, then I would remind them that it is a privilege to be on it, and if they can't make their schedules work then they probably should reconsider.
If it is a walk on, all are welcome team, then I would say that your focus and attention to them individually will be sacrificed. If they know that you will have less interest in them, this might motivate them. You show up everyday, they should give you the same respect, too.
Usually when these things are pointed out, you get a good turn around from those who truly want to be there but might just be over taxed and trying to figure out their new schedule. If they don't, well, cutting them might make sense. Hope this helps - I know you are doing a great job, Coach! :)
*Ooops, first post had bad spelling! Ugh!

Anonymous said...

Be sure to give your kids several "warnings" so they aren't surprised and think you're unfair when you punish them, but beyond that feel free. You are their coach and there to do what's best for them to make them better

Anonymous said...

well rather than restating what katie a said (great advice) i'd say that if you do enforce a punishment, i'd say make it apply to the group. i don't know how close these girls are but on all the teams i've been on, if you're late or have a weak excuse the whole team has to run laps or sprints or whatever. it just makes them more accountable to their peers which may be more powerful

Leianna said...

As a runner I love running hills and knows it makes me stronger. When other people want to run with me and want me to push them I tell them we are running hills and most people hate it!
Even though its hard to punish if you don't they will keep taking advantage of you!
Maybe a call to the parents is a good step to, most parents would be really mad if they knew their kids were skipping!
Good luck!

Runeatrepeat said...

Punishment is not being harsh - you don't do what your supposed to you expect a punishment. Just make the rules and enforce them. Also make the punishment if they are broken. Miss 1 practice - okay. Miss 2 practices = pushups or laps. Miss 3 practices = pushups and laps. Miss 4 practices sit out a meet. This is just an idea...

EatRunLitigate said...

I think you should have a team meeting (so that everyone is aware of the potential "punishment") and tell people that if they have more than a certain number of missed practices between meets that they do not get to participate in the meet. I know it sounds harsh but if they think they can be on the team and run the races (i.e., the fun part) they need to understand the practice is just as important. You could also develop some way to have "excused absences" which you would be the judge of whether they should be excused or not.

Just my two cents.

Anonymous said...

yes you need to give them some sort of consequence. I would make them practice at home, and have their parents sign off on it.
or next time you train with them, they have to stay extra. maybe not yet, but make it a mandatory rule from here on out so that everyone knows, if you miss a practice you have to stay an extra hour or something the next time because you are upset that people are skipping out.
hope this helps spark ideas.

Megan @ Megzz Wins At Life said...

Beautiful views..

when I ran track in hs we had a 3 strike your out kinda rule.. of course family emergencies and things like that were ok but..

1st time missed: 50 pushups after practice everyday for a week.

2nd time missed: missed our next meet

3rd time missed: off the team

Anonymous said...

Set a team rule. Practice should be mandatory, except for illness/family emergency. Otherwise, for every practice you miss, you sit out for a meet. Give them one "get out of jail free card."

I wouldn't make them do push-ups/laps/etc as a punishment for not coming to practice, though. As a coach, I would think you would encourage them to WANT to do push-up and laps on their own! You want to cultivate a love of anything that makes them healthier (and faster!), not make them dread those very things that will help them.

Just my thoughts. Great blog!

Katerina said...

I am not sure at that age that punishments will incent them to come again. If you want to do it then yeah, pushups, crunches, extra laps will all help

Mrs. LC said...

I've never been on a cross country team, but if the kids want to be on the team, don't they want to participate in the meets? Maybe set up a system where if they miss x number of practices they can't participate in the next meet. Try to find ways to help them learn responsibility instead of "punishment", ya know? You are a beautiful woman with the grace and strength of God on your side, and I know you can shape your kids to be better young adults. :)

Amie said...

as a competitive swimming coach, i definitely agree with anonymous, don't use push ups or extra running or anything like that as punishment, because you're reinforcing the fact that push-ups an extra running is a "bad" thing, which we know it isnt! when kids missed my practices without a good excuse we wouldn't let them swim on the relay at the next meet. talking to parents is a good idea too, get the parents on your side and you'll see the kids more! so if i were you i would impose some consequences. if they miss a certain amount of practices they dont get to compete at the next meet. or maybe they don't get to join the team when everyone goes for frozen yogurt after practice or whatever. make sure you make it very clear to all the runners and their parents what the consequences are so that you dont have a pissed off mom asking why her kid isn't competing! put it in writing and send it to everyone!

Mandee Lei said...

Honestly I would have a public policy that is the same for all team members and is well known by everyone. For example, if you miss 1 practice you have the penalty of 'x' amount of extra laps. If you miss a certain number of practices without prior notice, I would kick them off. I know that sounds harsh but if they aren't going to show up anyway it won't matter. Plus if you let them know in advance what the penalties will be then perhaps they will keep themselves in line better.

Random Am I said...

I'd say use the guillotine or shock collars... but that's just me!

Anonymous said...

Wow I'm impressed you were up this morning after a busy night!! But beautiful scenery must have been a good motivator :)

I agree, that maybe first having a team meeting and talking about responsibility with the kids is a good idea, maybe warn them of the possibility of punishments in the future.

Anonymous said...

I say only allow a certain number of absences. After that, they're off the team.

Lizzy said...

that view is unbelievable!

Don't be to harsh, but maybe tell them that every practice that they miss they have to do a certain amount of push-ups, crunches, laps. You know something that will benefit them in the long run anyways! hope this helps!

fusionjaz said...

I would think common sense coaching would be to motivate, lead, encourage, inspire, support and mentor kids.

This would be a good incentive for them not to give up, quit or lack motivation. The normal teenager doesn't really have discipline to stick to one thing than finish.

Kids, in general, today have low self-esteem, low attention span or just don't really care about life or anything. Let alone exercise or sports. Sports to them may be 'Reality-TV.'

I would think they would want to try harder knowing they're feeling good about themselves running cross country. Don't you think?

If they fail, feel hopeless, can't do it (thinking) - If you have a pow-wow pep-talk with all of them, ask them what they think they're getting out of running, etc. Understand where they're coming from. - May be more effective than telling them to do 50 sit-ups for missing a class.

This little clip just goes without saying:


monicac2 said...

I would think a good rule would be - more than 3 absences, and you're off the team (barring certain extreme circumstances).

I think having to impose and monitor situps/pushups/laps would be too awkward for you - unless the pushups/laps were so few that, ultimately, they weren't much of a punishment at all!

Beth S. said...

I did track in grade school, high school, and in college.

We got the most 'punishments' in high school. Definitely extra hills, extra laps, and extra sprints. The worst was missing meets! Definitely don't have people sit out a meet for one missed practice. The only time that happened was if someone missed a week of practice.

I feel that a certain level of harshness is necessary for a cross country/track team. It's something that all my past coaches have had and we definitely respected them for that. There is definitely a fine line though.

Anonymous said...

I think you have to "punish" them.

I teach H.S. and have experience coaching and trust me, accountability matters! You may want to consider having a team meeting to come up with consequences for missed practices together. The kids take more ownership of their actions when they are involved in the making of the rules and accountability factors. Just a thought!

Meredith said...

Do the other coaches at your school have set guidelines for missing practice? I would piggyback on what they do. That way if a parent asks or question you, you have strength in saying that this is the same protocol that Coach X follows. Can you tell I'm a teacher and always have to deal with parents questioning?? :)

Hillary said...

As a teacher I would say you have to do something to show that you are the authority and for them to take it seriously. THey are just pushing their boundries with you to see what they can and can't get away with. I remember in cheerleading, we had a demerit system and we'd get them for infractions. If we got to a certain amount we had to sit for part of a game or something, but we could work them off with things like situps, laps, even volunteer work around the school.... just something to think about. Also, I'm sure you do this, but reward and emphasis the positive things so the non-followers have something to look forward to achieving! Good luck!