Thursday, May 16, 2013

Pros & Cons (& NUUN Winner)

A group of LHS runners after their victory on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, the LHS girls won the Middlesex League title at the ML-12 Championship meet; one of the last and biggest meets of the season.  A handful of ladies will continue to train for the class meet next week, but the majority of them are officially done with spring track.  I have to say, it's very bittersweet to be done as I'm not quite ready for it to end.  For yesterday's practice, our distance squad ran into town and got frozen yogurt to treat ourselves and celebrate the outcome of our meet.  As we were all sitting around enjoying our delicious concoctions (it was one of those places where you make your own cup and you can go nuts with the toppings), I figured it would be a good time to recap the season and discuss the pros and cons.  I asked the girls to be honest with me and tell me what worked and what didn't work, what they would like to add next year, what they want to take out, etc.  Here's how our conversation played out:

Coach: Okay girls, let's hear it.  What was your favorite part of the season?
Runner 1: Definitely, the scavenger hunt!! 
--> for one practice, the girls had to run around the town and find a bunch of ridiculous running-related items.
Runners 2 & 3: Oh yeah, that was the best.
Runner 4: I think we did too much hill work
Coach: Hmmm.  Okay.  But, we only did, a total of 3 hill workouts, right?
-->several nods and un-huhs from around the room
Runner 4: True, I just hate hills.
Coach: Oh. Right. But there's not much we can do about that. (lots of laughs here)
Runner 5: I wish we'd played more Assassin and Mafia.  
Runner 6: Yeah, more games would have been good.
Coach: Umm, I have no idea what those are, but sure.  We are a little limited on time with such a short season, but I will make a note that more games are in order.  What else?  Other likes?  Dislikes?  
Runners 4 & 5:  OMG, remember that sun hat that Coach B was wearing at the Woburn meet?  And didn't he have have on Bermuda shorts with it?  That outfit was AMAZING. (everyone agreed with this one and there were lots of giggles) 
Coach: Okay girls, any other RUNNING related stuff?  Other things you wish we'd done?  Other things you missed from last season?
Runner 5: I wish we'd had a D-Squad team dinner during the season.
Runner 7: Wait, we can still do that.  I can totally have that at my house.  When should we do it?

At this point, I gave up.  I clearly was not going to get the feedback I was seeking out.  I told them to email me or grab me to chat one on one if they thought of something after the fact.  And then...well, then I showed the girls my newly pedicured toes (midnight blue).  We talked about their upcoming prom and what they were wearing.  We made fun of CC who likes to kiss her biceps and tell everyone how strong she is.  We discussed their new routine of kissing an m & m before they race for good luck.  There was no more talk about running or racing, tempo runs or track workouts.  And what I realized right then was that all that stuff that we had just discussed...the games, the funny outfits, the team dinners...those are what make spring track so worth it for these girls.  It's one of the main reasons they come to practice every day for three months.  Sure, they like to run.  Most of them like to compete and a lot of them want to make it all the way to the state meet in June.  But, for the most part, they just want to have fun with their friends.  In some ways, their sport is a release from all the stress of their academic day; it's a place to be free and just do what they love.  How great is that?  As a coach, the two most important things that I can do for my runners is to help them improve and to make sure they are having fun.  If both of those things are happening then I am doing my job.  After this conversation, I got the feeling that things went pretty well this spring.  And as for next year...GAME ON!


Listen to this:
Stompa - Serena Ryder  Stompa - Stompa - Single

Congratulations to @RunAndRepeat; winner of the NUUN Summer Sampler.  Enjoy!!

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