Sunday, November 05, 2006

Coaching Cross Country

The Cross Country season is over. We just competed in the state meet yesterday, and while I like to think we did well, the reality is that our boys team came in 20th out of 23 and our girls didn't even score as a team. Ouch. The season ended on a sour note with one of our girls backing out at the very last minute and ruining any hopes for our girls to run as a team. In cross country, you have to have a minimum of 5 runners to be scored as a team. If you have less than 5, the runners will be entered individually. I cannot tell you how disappointed I was when I heard that one of our girls who had run all season decided not to go to the state meet just because she had crew practice. It really showed a lack of loyalty to the team. Team comraderie and sportmanship are two characteristics that both Kate and I tried to instill in our runners and to some extent it worked; however, if you really step back and take a look at the big picture I think this is the one area we clearly failed especially with the girls. There was just so much complaining and whining among them. That is not to say every girl had a poor attitude but a good number of them had their moments.

Beyond the lack of sportsmanship and dedication on the girl's team, I had a blast coaching this year, even if we did score 20th at the state meet. Coaching has really brought me a lot closer to some of my past students. I know what they value, who their friends are and I've even dolled out advice to two of them during times of struggle. I truly felt as if I was making a difference through coaching cross country, and a large part of me is sad to see it go. It will be nice to get home at a decent hour though.


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