Monday, November 12, 2012

Strength In Numbers

Pre-race team bonding.
These girls are freakin' close!
As many of you know, this fall I have had the good fortune of coaching the Lexington High School girls cross country team; an incredible group of 56 ladies.  At the moment, the main season has come to an end and only ten of them are continuing to compete.  On Saturday,  we went to Wrenthem to race in the MA State Divisional meet.  This was big time.  There were thousands of runners from all over the Eastern Mass and multiple races being held for both men and women.  I tried very hard to remain calm, cool and collected as I took in the chaos of this event.  All morning right up until the start of the race, the other coaches and I continuously stressed the importance of coming in together as a tight pack.  I won't get into the details of how to score a cross country meet, but, basically, teams are more likely to do well if they finish together as a group and then as close to the front as possible.  Many people think of running as individual sport.  So many of us who run, myself included, get out there each day to zone out, take a mental break, listen to music; whatever.  In cross country, having a solo mindset is simply not an option.  While their individual times were important, it was their actual places and how close they were to each other that was going to help them snag a top spot at the finish.  In the end, we did not have any runners in first, second, third or even 10th place.  Our first runner came in 15th.  And then the rest of them cruised in right after her which helped us edge out all the other teams but one for a second place finish overall and a guaranteed entry to the State meet next week.  Done and done!
The proof is in the pudding (or places)!

These girls, all 56 of them, come out to practice every day and push themselves so hard to be better.  They work to improve their race times, always striving for that personal best.  But it is their strength as a team that sets them apart.  And this will undoubtedly benefit all of them as they head to their next meet, to their next season and throughout the rest of their lives.  Go Lex!

Strength in Numbers
Listen to this:
You're Too Cool - The Zolas (from Tic Toc Tic)   You're Too Cool - Tic Toc Tic

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