2010 Cross Country
Duel from SRV was national champion!
I hope Deuel, Petersen and Hartley can now get a much deserved break as they have run 5 races the past 4 weekends:11/21 - NCS11/28 - State11/29 - JO Region12/4 - FL West12/11- JO ChampsAdd in all the travel and that's tough work...
I'm surprised at how many people traveled across the country for a little xc meet.
What is the point of running a race across the country that is hardly a higher quality race than NCS, which is held right here? And with NXN and Footlocker already splitting the top talent for high school nationals, does anyone actually view a victory here as a true national championship? Don't get me wrong, those who competed did well, especially Parker Deuel, but what is the point?
In this case you have to wonder is it best for the kids or the coach/parents?
And with NXN and Footlocker already splitting the top talent for high school nationals, does anyone actually view a victory here as a true national championship?I guess Ammar Moussa didn't get the memo, since he ran JO's yesterday...
Yeah I noticed Ammar won, so does that mean he ran JO regionals the day after state, aka the week on NXN? That'd be pretty ballsy.
The J.O.'s are mostly for the younger age-groups in cross country. Even in track the appeal is focused on the pre-high school crowd.However, the USATF (and its various manifestations) predate the NXN and Footlocker by quite a bit, and so maintain their continuity.Also, interest in the J.O.'s varies by region. We don't have much of an investment in it here in California, but elsewhere it is quite popular.As to the utility and usefulness of it, well . . . anything that can be done to provide visibility to our sport, especially on a national scene -- bring it on. If the races, at the high school level, are only diluted versions of the other championship series that are offered, that is of little consequence. What matters is that lots and lots of younger runners are getting race exposure and hopefully they will continue on with their running on into high school and not get sidetracked by soccer or some other obsessively possessive sport.
The SoCal JO Region meet was the week before States and Moussa didn't run. His club qualified, which is probably how he was able to run the championships?Peter - As a HS coach, I'd like to hear your take on those kids running 5 races in 4 weekends at the end of a long XC season? I'm having a hard time seeing the utility of it for their longer-term development especially given all the travel involved. If JO was such a priority why run FL W in between?
I'll Chime in here as a long time coach... To answer your question, you are right, it is a lot of races. If you look at the current trend of colleges there is a reason they have only 4-5 races on their schedule. Travel and racing is hard on the body.But lets also remember the 70's... when American distance running was its best. They ran duel meets (invitationals were few as they hadn't really caught on like today) and they ran hard week in and week out. I firmly believe that it is important for the development of young athletes to race often. It is something that you have to do to learn properly.That said it is a lot of races. You really need to know your athletes and what they can handle. I have been lucky enough to have kids make it to State and Footlocker but really that is enough in my opinion. Running a race even the day after the California State Championship (even at a lesser effort) in my opinion risks injury and burnout. You do not see many back to back 5k's for a reason, it is hard! It is something you need to specifically train for, something I doubt happens at the high school level.But if the kids want to race and go to Alabama for the experience let them. In reality if you are running JO's as a High Schooler you are likely not going to make the Olympics or win an NCAA title. Let the kids, and parents have their fun.Now...if there is an outside club coach pushing to compete that is another issue.
Thanks coach for the insight. I guess my biggest question mark is putting Hartley through that type of grind, even if she wanted to go to Alabama.
All of the kids mentioned, including the winners of older age group races got their start in USATF when they were younger. They all know how to "race" and they came into high school with experience, which is why they are successful prep runners. They may still be involved with USATF post season due to team and coach loyalty. That is their choice and the runners know that the Youth level(13 to 14 yrs) is probably the most competitive in the USATF. The Intermediate level and above not so because most high school kids are done racing or the top runners have raced NXN or FL.
You have a valid point and something I wouldn't do personally, even if the kid really wanted to. You need to have a trusting relationship with the athlete and be able to tell them when enough is enough. There is a thing as too much, as you can see in the fizzled performances from top California runners. I think the athlete needs to know and have a plan for what they are peeking for. With my athletes that have qualified and run in NXN and Footlocker I sat down with them at the start of the season and asked them what they wanted their key race to be. Some say State, some to make nationals, and once (when we were confident they would make it unless something disastrous happened) we peeked for nationals. But extending the season for one...two...or three weeks from your goal race has never really worked out in my 20 years in the sport. And for the most part the kids enjoy State with their team the most, not an individual effort at Nationals.
Thanks long-time coach for good stuff on planning for the peak. As for the anonymous comment prior, loyalty to club is great but at some point the JO coach has to have their athlete's best interests in mind even if the kid still wants to run. Racing JO Regionals a day after States and then traveling to SoCal for FLW and then Alabama for JO Nationals on successive weekends seems much for a 9th grade girl at the end of a long season IMHO....
Some great comments about this subject.I think this is a decision that has to be made between the runner and coach and what feels right for both of them.
For HS coaches, are you involved at all in the athlete's decision-making process when they run JO meets after XC and track seasons are over? It must be challenging when a kid has more than one coach....
Yes it is frustrating when there are other outside forces at work such as parents who know better and club coaches who recruit your athlete.The athletes I spoke of that have made it to FL NAtionals and NXN all had a working relationship with me. I trusted and respected their opinion and input and they trusted mine. We worked together for a common goal and it paid off. That said, there were club coaches recruiting them and they spoke with me about it. I told them my opinion and I trusted them to take it or not. Others have listened to the club coaches and moved directly in to post-season races and an entire of indoor track and then out door and then more training during the summer. I can only advise during the off season. And for the record these athletes usually burn out toward the end of the season, and often end early due to injury. These athletes generally have the least amount of fun and do not enjoy the high school experience as they have a hard time bonding with the team. They try to make too many people happy: parents, club coaches, teammates, their HS coach...it's too much.Remember these young bodies need the sleep and the little things to train like this or risk injury. These kids are often the top of their class and taking SAT prep courses, etc. My only advice in this scenario is to take the entire month off...no running. If you have ever read "train hard, win easy" which follows the Kenyan training camp for year this is exactly what they do. You cannot sustain that kind of training and intensity year round unless you are a genetic freak. And unless you are top 5 at Footlocker or NXN you are not on the list, sorry.
When kid extends their track season over the summer to compete at USATF JO Nationals at the end of July, that is a different type of running than training for the upcoming XC season. Shouldn't the summer be about long runs and heavy mileage?
I guess that's going to depend on what that athlete's focus is. If he/she is a track athlete, then it really doesn't matter. That track-trained athlete is still going to be in better shape than a good portion of their team, come August and cross-country.
"Yes it is frustrating when there are other outside forces at work such as parents who know better..."Sometimes, like it or not, parents DO know better. Have you taken a look at the DyeStat 'coaching positions available' link lately? Am I the only one who finds it disturbing that many of the listings for head track coach say experience is 'preferred, but not necessary'? A whistle and a clipboard does not make someone a coach, and certainly doesn't make that person an expert whose opininon is beyond reproach. I might hazard a guess that on a percentage basis, there are more idiotic high school coaches than idiotic club coaches... An athlete can switch clubs a lot more easily than they can high schools, and a bad club coach will quickly find him/herself without a team. The incompetent/burned out high school coach has a fresh group of subjects every year, no matter what.
As the saying goes there is no "I" in team and we all know cross country is a very much a team sport and it seems the team concept is getting lost here. I don’t know who this writer is and why they are so negative on high school coaching, but it doesn’t matter. What is important though for the High School coaches out there to know is that the majority of parents and our children hold you in great regard. Your selfless dedication is recognized and you should know that your coaching is helping to instill in our kids traits of teamwork, hard work, and excellence which serve them greatly in their scholastic and personal lives today and in the future. Bravo!
Yes there are people out there who don't know what they are doing. In fact if you ask any GREAT coach and they will probably tell you the same. We all don't know what we are doing. We take what science teaches us, what experience has shown us, and common sense slaps us in the face with...fix it all together and hope it comes out something positive.While there are poor coaches out there, I am sure there are poor performers in your career choice as well. Eventually they get weeded out. I had 9 different coaches over 8 seasons in high school. I came no where near my potential in high school, went to Community College and later received a full scholarship to run in college. I went on to run in the Olympic Trials and have been coaching for some time now. Unfortunate as it was to have piss poor coaching it was not the end of the line. And while my parents thought they knew better, they did not.I firmly believe it is the coaches responsibility to communicate with the parents as much as the athlete. Unfortunately some parents still do not buy in. And that is ok. What is not ok is to hire someone else to do my job when I am good at what I do. If you would like to run for a club, you have my blessing but I am competent, network with many coaches and athletes who have either coached the best in the world or have been them self. We meet, set goal sessions and work toward your goals. If my coaching style is not good enough for you or we don't mesh you can put up with it and learn a valuable life lesson: you don't always like or agree with what your boss says but you do it anyways.So you know, in high school I have seen many "inexperienced" coaches do amazing simply because they cared and the kids bought in. I have seen programs that do absolutely absurd training that should never work. But because the kids believe it works it does. When you have a negative parent or coach spitting venom it is never good.Of course the other side of the coin is sometimes the coach wants to do something crazy...maybe like running a race the day after state meet. This is where the relationship comes in between parent / coach and coach / athlete. In the end it is about being reasonable here. I don't know anyone who coaches cross country in high school for the money or for fame. Give these coaches a break, give them the benefit of the doubt and ask them to work with you.So you know, I do know more than my parents. I was a better runner, coached better runners than their child, know better coaches, and have a masters degree in my field. But I am always willing to work with you, talk with you and take your advice. Remember, we all don't know what we are doing!
It's not so much negativity toward high school coaching as it is being tired of seeing the club program bashed relentlessly by coaches with a my-way-or-the-highway mentality. I fought this mindset the entire time my child was in high school. There was truly NEVER a time that club running took priority or precedence over high school, but that didn't keep the HS coach from bashing it to my daughter whenever he had the opportunity. Why is it that coaches of other sports like volleyball, lacrosse, basketball, tennis, swimming, and baseball EXPECT their athletes to play year-round, while running coaches flip out over a couple extra races at the end of the season? Seriously, can someone explain that? Burnout doesn't seem like an issue-a couple races doesn't cause that.
Long Time Coach - Your experience is way more than what most HS coaches have. And there are just as many bad HS coaches as there are good ones (if not more). So yes, there are many HS coaches that do it for the "fame" and yes there are many HS coaches that do it for the money (in fact, I have never heard of a HS coach that didn't take the money?!).
"Why is it that coaches of other sports like volleyball, lacrosse, basketball, tennis, swimming, and baseball EXPECT their athletes to play year-round, while running coaches flip out over a couple extra races at the end of the season?"If you have to ask this question then you know even less than you think. Here's the schedule a very promising 9th grade girl ran at the end of a long HS XC season:11/21 - NCS11/28 - State11/29 - JO Region12/4 - FL West12/11- JO ChampsYou don't find this questionable?
Keep in mind that the club coaches aren't doing it for the money or glory either. They probably have lots of running experience and pure love of the sport. The middle school runners who have run in club USATF teams go on to be successful high school runners. These coaches spend a lot of time away from their own families to coach aspiring young runners. It just so happens that the big National races fall after the State meet. On a personal note, my son knew what was a more appropriate training plan for his own cross country season than his HS coach because he has run with an excellent club coach.
"Here's the schedule a very promising 9th grade girl ran at the end of a long HS XC season:11/21 - NCS11/28 - State11/29 - JO Region12/4 - FL West12/11- JO ChampsYou don't find this questionable?"Okay, was I mistaken that NCS and State are PART of the HS season?As far as the JO Regionals go, when my daughter ran them, it was usually treated as a recovery run, just enough to qualify through to the final. If a 'very promising' runner were to run FLW, do well, and then run FL Nationals, would that somehow be acceptable? If so, then the only 'extra' race is the JO Regionals...
There is certainly is a lot of talk of club vs HS but a key element has been missing. The distance programs of Australia, England, and indeed, many countries is centered on CLUBs. Club coaches have the ability to create career long strategies without regard to any need for a "team" to win this season or even next. I've seen great athletes that needed a break sit out entire seasons with no injuries, just resting. The focus is on the long development of the athlete, not a conference title this year.
I think that JO meets are great because they can serve a variety of needs at a variety of levels. Hartley ran with her club team and it's one of the best positive experiences in her life. She also did the JO meets in the summer. I don't think it was detrimental for her cross season. She may be different than most freshmen in that she has been running club for several years.I have also been fortunate to share and collaborate on ideas about training with her club coach.
As Hartley's club coach let me add some facts to the guesses. First, her high school coaches and I are in frequent contact. Her cross country season was coordinated with a focus on the CA HS state meet. She followed the well constructed workout plans of her HS coaches all season with a peak designed for NCS and the state meet, where she ran her best race of the season. She ran JO and FL for fun. Her training pulled way back after the state meet, basically to post season rest levels. She ran the JO region meet easy to qualify then raced FL mostly to gain experience with that meet and course to help her in future years. JO Champs was all about fun with her JO teammates who she's been running with for over 5 years. The race was treated as low key (icing on the cake of a great season).
The intention is to not create an issue between club vs. high school or coach vs. parents but to increase communication on all levels. That is a good question...can you "go" and race hard all year. If you have ever had the chance to look at Steve Scott's old training log when he was one of the best in the world he was in good shape and did lots of races. But remember, that was when your childhood actually contributed to your aerobic base and development. Now days kids are on the computer more than they are out side so that needs to be developed. There are many reasons club coaches are valuable and developing young talent deserves as much credit as those who coach at the HS and JH levels. For that I believe club coaching is valuable and as was said here communication between coaches is key. In general though could you imagine a football team with two head coaches? It would never work, and it doesn't in running either. You need to be focused and driving in one direction.Parents, club coaches...here is my plea. Sometimes you do know more, talk with your coach. Parents, club coaches volunteer, help out at meets, keep stats, hold a watch and make a difference. This is not a turf war, this is about development and the high school experience. Both coaches and parents need to quit acting like they know more and work together for the common good.PS. To answer the question if I know anyone who has turn down pay...yes I have. The Fresno St. coach worked without pay to keep his program going. I personally have turned down money from parents who offered to pay me to coach their child, I have worked at the club level for free, been an volunteer college coach, and coached post-collegiate runners without charge. I know any...MANY others who have done the same.
None of those coaching experiences you mentioned as free were for HS coaching job. They were all college level or club coaching opportunities. Most HS coaches do not have that much experience and take the job for the extra money. They are usually teachers from that school (at least at the public school) and think they know more than they do. For those that really try and do their best, gotta love 'em...but that doesn't help the elite runner that wants/needs more.
Please name an elite runner or program that does not have at least a satisfactory coach? Sounds like the issue here is that YOU do not want to help (for free or pay) but would rather be the person on the sideline criticizing the coach. You must have a specific program in mind, please share specifics.And who cares if the coach is a teacher at the school with little to no experience? This is HIGH SCHOOL!!! Not the NFL, not college... I know plenty of kids that had little to no coaching and still got full scholarships. Did you know that Frank Gagliano (you know who that is right?) played football and had no running experience before he got started? I have more examples if you want 'em? I guess I tend to believe in teachers, coaches and educators as good-willed people. Maybe I try to see the best in people.Bottom line is there is nothing wrong with getting your start in our sport at the high school level. This is the lowest level after-all. And lets be honest... elite runners (those who make the footlocker meet) likely have decent coaching. And even those we call "elite," aren't really elite at all. There is plenty of time to develop and get better in college. Why are you so fired up about a few seconds?The bottom line is your child will not be going to the Olympics so I think it is time to realize that and let them enjoy the high school experience and quit busting balls. Who cares if they run 4:24 for the mile or 4:19... it doesn't really matter in the end.And so you know, I know about 20 or so coaches who when the East Side School District was going to cut their stipend due to budget cuts still planned on coaching for the love of the kids and the sport. Quit being so negative. Again, please name the program and issue, maybe those decent high school coaches on here can help out (for free)!
A few questions/comments to an interesting thread. 1) Running JO before entering HS is different than during. I agree that getting kids interested in the sport before HS is important. However, I'm just not sure it's best for athletes to do both once they start HS (of course it depends on the individual situation). Any collegiate runners who were able to successfully juggle both while in HS? 2) You can't compare the club situation in Australia and the UK to the US. It's a different beast when you have HS and College sports being so big here. Plus unless you're talking about the heyday of Coe, Ovett, Cram, etc, the UK club system hasn't been so great as of late.3) For the poster who said "Most HS coaches do not have that much experience and take the job for the extra money," how much do you think they make? When you add up all the time they have to put in to run a bare minimum program, they're still better ways to make extra money (i.e. tutoring).FWIW, the coach at my son's HS is very good and runs a successful program. He must put in at least 15-20 hours a week just for practices alone (meets not included). When you add in the admin stuff, teaching, dealing with kids, parents, etc, you would have to be crazy to coach HS unless you really loved the sport.Don't get me wrong, mediocre coaches exist but then again this is HS. It's not the NFL or NBA where mediocre coaches exist as well. They just get paid a lot more :-)
To Anonymous at 3:12"You sound bitter... said...Please name an elite runner or program that does not have at least a satisfactory coach?"Carlmont- coach is young, has never been a head coach before and hasn't competed at the level of her top runners!
He said "satisfactory' not "experienced.'
"Carlmont- coach is young, has never been a head coach before and hasn't competed at the level of her top runners!"I don't follow CCS and I know there were "issues" with the program during track, but both boys & girls made states and Petersen had the 10th fastest time to get her to NXN.Did she succeed because of or despite her coach?
Dear Parent,Peterson choose to return to Carlmont after a year off for the high school experience, something a private club coach cannot offer. While some of the training ideas outlined on here by parents seem absurd and a private coach may be better or more experienced there are many private schools she could have attended or done an inner district transfer.The Coach did lead Carlmont to win a team CCS title, and Peterson to a NXN qualifying mark at State, I'fd say that is pretty "satisfactory." And for the record it is ok to not be experienced at the high school level and learn as you go. This is the entry level of our sport. So you know, talent goes a long way and she seemed to do just fine this year with such terrible coaching. I do wish to ask what you have done to support this young coach learn and grow? Kindness goes a long way!!!
"The bottom line is your child will not be going to the Olympics so I think it is time to realize that and let them enjoy the high school experience and quit busting balls. Who cares if they run 4:24 for the mile or 4:19... it doesn't really matter in the end."That says a lot right there. Are you flippin' serious? Don't dream big, kids, because you can't get there. I hope you leave the motivational speeches up to someone else.
I know I am late to the thread but I wanted to comment that at the start of this conversation there was some good back and forth on what is "too much." I know it is something I think about every year when developing our training plan. Unfortunately it turned into a High School vs. Club debate which I think is unproductive and creates division which ultimately hurts the kids. Sometimes life throws you a curve and maybe you don't have a coach you agree with. I know I have been there. In High School I had 9 different coaches over my 8 seasons of high school, many with no experience, others with a lot but were burnt out and didn't care. To whoever said High School is entry level, that is true, but but it should never stop a coach from learning, growing, and gaining experience. (Plug: the round table is a great place to do all of this!)I coach because I care a lot about these kids and want to provide them something I didn't have: consistent coaching through their high school career. I want to see them be successful, no matter if that means someone breaking 30 min for 5k for the first time or running in college. While my first job is an educator, I love the sport and the kids I coach. For the record, I don't do it for the money and the coaches I know don't either (though I am sure they are out there). I'd rather spend the 20-25 extra hours a week I spend coaching (that is just time I am out there, not planning workouts, etc.) with my wife and son. I do take the small amount of money we do get and go on a trip with the wife as a thank you for being a part time single mom during the season. I know that is not for free but it is certainly not for the money, and I am not famous either so it must be for some other reason. Maybe the free 2 hour bus rides at 5:30 am to Toro Park, I don't know? There was a good question in all this: "What have you done to help this young coach?" We should all try to build community, trust and a working relationship with parents, athletes, and coaches (club or high school).
Nice and Perfectly said Coach Small!
Josh, very well put. From my own experience, my first coaching job was at San Mateo HS when I was 21. The previous coach, Don Dooley, sadly passed away the previous spring. He was a legend at that school and they named the track after him. Looking back, I learned on the job but was so lucky to have a great group of seniors and parents who were so supportive and made my transition into coaching, an easy one. Thank you also for the plug about the coach's round table at Crystal Springs Uplands on Saturday, January 8th. There are spaces still available and you can't beat the price (FREE!).You can find all the information here:http://www.crosscountryexpress.com/2010/11/3rd-annual-norcal-distance-coaches.html
Well put Coach Small. I didn't coach in High School for money and if anyone thinks there is any money to be made on the club side of running you really know nothing. I can't decide if I want to get back into high school coaching, make approx. 50 cents and hour for the time put in, not see my wife and son as much as I'd like and deal with all the outside issues OR I could keep club coaching, make approx. 50 cents and hour for the time put in, not see my wife and son as much as I'd like and deal with all the outside issues.In regards to the Jessie Petersen situation everyone is just bringing up dirt. Jessie ran very well last Spring/Summer with the Club - National Championship in the Steeple. Jessie ran great during the XC season for the Carlmont coach - 17:33 at State is fastest in 20+ years by a CCS girl. The Carlmont coaches should be congratulated. The team did a very good job in winning CCS on the girls side and having both teams qualify for State.
Agreed! Coaches (club or employees of the school) are underpaid for the amount of time and energy they put into the development of our kids. The "HS vs. Club" debate is a tired one and pointless, both want what is best for the student-athlete, both sacrifice tirelessly and both are not getting paid very well. Well said RFU Coach! Time to hang up the gloves, share the sand box and try to get along. After all this is all for the kids right?
Honestly, I don't really see what the point of even doing club is once you're in high school. When Cross Country ends in early December and Track starts in February I don't really know that throwing a few more races in in the interim is really going to make you faster in the long run. Personally I feel like you're better served putting in solid training during that time, and the same for the summer. The energy spent on a bunch more races in that time seems like that is just less base mileage you'll have for the next season, and more races wearing down your legs. But that's just me.
jo's isnt that much extra effort. its an easy qualifying meet the day after state and a race two weeks later. i dont think that can affect your track season THAT much. and its something that a lot of them have been doing for a long time.
Yeah I could see just doing JO's for fun and all, but I'm talking more about the more protracted club season.... but I haven't done club so I'm no expert.
People become elite when we no longer have to qualify their accomplishments. By that I mean, when we say, "That person ran a fast high school time" rather than, "that person ran a fast time" we are qualifying in it. By that definition, there has never been an elite age group athlete, and a very very select group of elite high school athletes. During most years, there are no elite high school athletes. As such, if we go up the ladder, there are very few elite athletes in the college ranks. It is when we skim the cream from the college ranks and then see who continues to develop that we find our true elites.This makes the entire debate between club and high school coaches useless. Success from an athletic standpoint does not happen at the age group or high school level. Claiming a national title as a youth coach is meaningless as it is what happens three steps beyond that coachthat really matters (past high school and college, and on to the next). Likewise, a high school coach who has many athletes with state titles cannot claim that they are doing the right thing by the athlete as their success will ultimately be judged 2 steps beyond them. The stories persist about club coaches who have achieved age group talent burning out their athletes and where there is validity to that, it is no more so at that level than at the high school level. For adolescent athletes, it is pretty insane to judge their program by their immediate success. The real question is how well set up they are to succeed at subsequent levels. The reality is, that someone who coaches adolescent athletes will not see more than one athlete who will ever become a truly elite athlete. Accelerating the process to make them elite relative to their competition at a certain age does not make a coach a superior coach, especially if that athlete achieves their greatest success within those age constraints at the expense of their performance during their physiological peak. Instead, it is the role of the adolescent coach to bring as many people to the sport as possible, prepare those athletes as much as possible within their window for a smooth transition to the next level, and allow those coaches to take them to the elite level. Club and high school coaches must accept that the coach at the next level might spoil their work with poor coaching. It is reality that even many college coaches do not know what they are doing. If it is really all about the kids, fill your role, and let it go. When an athlete moves on, both high school and club coaches must accept that their time together is over, shut their mouths and move on. Realize that the great coaches in that capacity will never get nearly as much credit as they are owed.As a disclaimer, this is not to say that a successful program cannot be a good program, but it is to say that neither at the age group level or the high school level can a program be based on the championships alone, but rather what the athletes coming through those programs have achieved while in college and beyond.
This is totally off-topic (which might be a good thing)...but I was just wondering does anyone know why Karlie Garcia didn't run this year. I can only find one race that she ran at the beginning of the season (which wasn't that great of a time, for her). Is she injured? Has she stopped running? I was looking forward to seeing how she would do this year.
I do not know.
I do not coach in Northern California, but Southern at Great Oak High School in Temecula. I always enjoy reading the passion and dedication that Northern California teams and fans have!I wanted to post a comment on the “young inexperienced coach” side of things from someone that has some perspective and experience with it.When I started at Great Oak in the first year of the school in 2004 I was 28 years old with 4 years of head coaching experience for XC/Track in California. I started working with other coaches in the program that were far older, wiser, more experienced, and later we hired more assistants that had been head coaches and coached for 20+ years each. Although I was the head coach, it was difficult for my assistants to let me make mistakes that they “knew” were going to happen if I didn’t listen to their advice at all times. Although they were very good people, they had grown accustomed to a “comfort zone” in their coaching and they were no longer willing to take risks. The “years” of experience had taught them not to set goals of winning a state title or to focus really much past our league. When I brought up goals of a national caliber program, it was laughed off as a pipe dream. I also fought my battles with parents that knew more, had more experience, wanted their kid to JO’s, etc. I won every battle, because I was out there for one reason above all else…the kids.Later, we ended up with many issues with parents who had decided that I was too young, too inexperienced to truly lead our team or their kids to the next level. One mom called me a “baby” who couldn’t possibly know anything and that they preferred the “professional” knowledge of a club coach. Another said I knew the science of running, but not the art. We had many meetings with the AD, and my age and experience was constantly one of the items that was thrown out there as why I couldn’t succeed as a coach for the program, especially trying to show how much more knowledgeable they were in the realm of running like LT’s, Vo2, etc. I grew up around distance running, watched my uncle win a state individual XC title in Oregon, ran XC and track in high school, track in college, put in a ton of time reading and online, asked a ton of questions of coaches throughout the state, attended every clinic I could, asked more questions of coaches, and continued to work hard for my kids daily. Did I make mistakes? Sure I did. Did I learn and correct those mistakes so that they wouldn’t happen again? To a very high level most of the time. I never for one minute felt satisfied with where we were at or that I was done trying to improve our team.I know our team is good today because I believed one concept that got me through those hard times (even as a young coach): Expectations are more important than experience. The young coaches parents harp on might just be the coach your program is looking for, if you can step out of your own way and give that coach a chance.I do not know the coach at Carlmont. She obviously stepped into a difficult situation, but I bet if everyone focused on supporting her instead of criticizing and finding fault with her, she will do great things for that community.Doug
Thanks for the great post about your own experiences as a young coach Doug. Continued success to your Great Oak HS team.
"...but I was just wondering does anyone know why Karlie Garcia didn't run this yea?"Karlie is having health problems.
Some of us join a club in the winter not to race but to have people to train with. At Carlmont we qualified for State but after the State Meet we were given no training plan or advice from either of our coaches. It was kind of like "see you on February 1st at the track." One of our coaches teaches at Carlmont but he hasn't said one word about winter training to anyone on the team including his own daughter. My goal is to run fast in May and June. I don't want to race when I should be training, I just want a training plan and to not have to do it by myself.
HS and Club Runner,Will the XC coaches be the same for track? Have you asked them what you should be doing during the winter?While it would be nice for them to have the winter plan available now, communication is a two way street and a number of Albert's past articles/interviews on this site have pointed this out. WAt last resort, other successful HS programs in the area do post their winter plan on their website if you want to "borrow"Good luck with your offseason!
To HS and Club Runner,I am just here to help you, I am also a XC runner from Carlmont and there was an email sent out two weeks after state meet because we were told to take 2 wks off for recovery. The email was sent out to everyone including parents about off season training. Jenn is quick at getting back to questions if you have any, I text her all the time about training and she responds quickly. Let's keep this positive and see you at Track.
HS Runner,Just a reminder you are not allowed to practice until Jan 31st. You coach can work with up to 4 athletes for one hour twice a week maximum starting in 2011.I do support clubs in my area especially with organized weekend runs. It is a great way to get together for a run. Though back in my day we just got a few of us together and went for a run...no coach or club needed.Sounds like you have a plan already from your coach but I want to encourage you that in my experience the off season should be unstructured. You need the mental break from following a schedule. Run more if you feel good, back off if you don't. Pick up the pace, run a tempo, surge the hills, run twice a day if you want. Enjoy running!Still looking for a plan? "Malmo," a poster over on letsrun.com wrote "the summer of Malmo." Check it out, its good stuff! http://pih.bc.ca/summerofmalmo.html
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