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Thread: Trials and Tribulations of 2012

  1. #11
    [QUOTE=Remylive;49]It's good thing we're running in different divisions then. I don't want to have to deal with all those "rule breaking" Yucca coaches and parents.
    QUOTE]

    As the saying goes, "If you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin'!"

  2. #12
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2012
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    This weather is killing our League Meets. On Tue the meet was cancelled due to extreme heat and postponed one week, now the weatherman says it's supposed to rain one week later where we might cancel it again if it's too rainy (site mgmnt won't let us run on the course if there is a chance we might tear it up just days before the Crystal Springs Invite).

    hank

  3. #13
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    Fare-thee-well

    Part three

    SURF CITY USA
    The bus didn't show! Nothing like waking up in the morning and trying to find rides for 50+kids for a meet 75-miles away. We arrived late and our JV Boys had to make due with a 5-minute warm-up, but the good news is I avoided a speeding ticket on the drive down.

    I have to say the meet was outstanding. I loved the variety of surfaces and viewer friendly layout of the course, plus you can't beat the weather. Seventies and partly cloudy meant that times were going to be fast, highlighted by 4:01/ 8:48 man Bernie Montoya's (Cibola, Arizona) new course record of 14:39.

    Below is a brief synopsis of each girls race:
    JV GIRLS: We're not very deep at this level and that usually concerns me, but I'd rather have a deep frosh/ soph crew than a deep JV team any day. Despite placing three in the top five we could finish no better than 4th today as a team. Although we record and recognize individual accomplishments such as a personal best time or top ten finish, it's team placing that we really try to emphasize. All too often you have athletes in races running to their minimum comfort level and/ or doing pain assessment while they race instead of actually competing. We try to get athletes away from that kind of thinking/ racing by giving each an assignment for the race that is somehow going to benefit the team. After this race was over, we recognized the outstanding efforts made today, but we also identified what needed to be done for the team to place higher as a whole (individual accountability).

    FROSH/ SOPH GIRLS: What a great duel with Dana Hills! Wow! They took it to us early with 9 of their girls ahead of our 4th a half mile in. I was disappointed because I gave my team two goals for this race. 1) Be conservative on the big uphill then run the hell out of the downhills and 2) go out hard; near suicidal pace. Well we didn't accomplish goal #2, but we did pass goal #1 with flying colors. We ran the downhill just before mile two so well, we got back in the race and with 200m left, we were able to just sneak by Dana 40-44.

    VARSITY GIRLS: What I took away from this race is I now know what we need to do for the last 7-weeks of the season. We were solid today placing 5 in the top 11, but we've got work to do. Individually the race up front was intense. Two young ladies from Centennial Nevada hammered the pace early with junior Sydney Badger (Centennial) and sophomore Samantha Ortega (Saugus) breaking away and battling all the way to the last 100-meters. Badger pulled away to win in 17:14 to Ortega's 17:19, both under the old course record formally held by Lizzy Coe of F.V. (17:27).

    A big thank you to all those who read and listened to my musings over the past couple of days. I hope you make this message board what it once was and can be again.

    Farewell.
    Last edited by Remylive; 10-06-2012 at 09:34 PM.
    Note to self: no one cares

  4. #14
    Rene, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us! It's truly valuable to hear what other coaches are thinking!
    Head Coach
    Chadwick Cross Country

  5. #15
    I second that about the meet being outstanding! Two things I learned about our team is, #1, I'm glad we don't have Saugus in our league, and #2, I'm REALLY glad we don't have Saugus in our division!!!

  6. #16
    Junior Member
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    Wow thanks for the info Rene! Those are some hardworking girls! I've always been amazed at your ability win with teams lead by talents like Kaylin Mahoney as well as teams with less talented, purely developed girls. It sounds like their is an emphasis on steady mileage in your program. Perhaps this one one of the main factors in your sucess at developing runners.

    Any info on the alumni? Mahoney and Bulder were always very fun to watch!

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SOCALXC View Post
    Wow thanks for the info Rene! Those are some hardworking girls! I've always been amazed at your ability win with teams lead by talents like Kaylin Mahoney as well as teams with less talented, purely developed girls. It sounds like their is an emphasis on steady mileage in your program. Perhaps this one one of the main factors in your sucess at developing runners.

    Any info on the alumni? Mahoney and Bulder were always very fun to watch!
    You know my mother always told me to never talk to strangers. Everyone on this board knows who I am and where I coach. Tell us about yourself and then we can open a dialogue about running and training. Then we can both be on a first name basis.
    Note to self: no one cares

  8. #18
    So glad to hear how valued and appreciated I still am.... Rene, you schedule the meet in 2013 and we will come. But, thank you for those thoughts and insight.

    GREAT topic Rene as I do agree with you that most of us are isolated and are our own unique fraternity (sorority Jay?) amongst Cross Country coaches. Even those dang Track & Field head coaches cannot understand our commitment and passion to those 'distance runners' from June until December!

    I too will try to share.... the heat of this season has posed a consistent challenge that most of us have never faced. One of my fellow colleagues has been coaching XC since the early 1990's and told me that it's never been this consistent for this long. This week looks to be our first week this season (we started school on August 8th) that we will NOT move a workout to either before school or to the night. I know I speak for a lot of us, but it has been exhausting.

    Other trials and tribulations....? I, again, regret taking on 120 kids into our program. It has been a battle with me for years now - how do you cut a kid with no talent, but shows up and gives 100% everyday? This will be the 3rd summer in a row that I told myself to cut kids that cannot achieve certain standards and well...here I am in October, stuck with 10-15% of the kids not able to train/race and that too has been exhausting. How to give proper attention and motivation to everyone...?!?!

    I am looking forward to this next month. I have a boys team that is not as talented as some in the past but willing to put in more consistent work. This is the first year our boys have met in the mornings on a daily basis. Most made a 20-30% jump on their mileage from previous seasons. I truly feel that they have another notch in them and hope their confidence from the extra time devoted will be the difference. We graduated seven of our top ten girls from last year, so it's been a struggle finding a group to be consistent. But, like our boys - they are consistently training and putting in longer runs than past groups we've had. Several girls have had great success in the past but struggle to maintain that consistency of performing at a high level. They can so many doubts, fears and overall stress from school and family overtake them at times...

    On another note - last Saturday was so gratifying to see former athletes in the Stanford Invitational results and to do so well. A whole other type of gratification that makes all of the ups and downs SO worth it! To personally speak to one of them and hear, "coach - I wish you were here!"

    Thanks Rene for opening up to the community here - hope to see more! Always love your insight. Now we can both share in the struggle of keeping coaching in our lives while having babies running (crawling) around.

    Jay - back away from the Bar-B-Que, stop violating national federation rules of recruiting and guiding athletes around the course on your Segway, and respond with some snide remark!!!
    Last edited by Mark Gardner; 10-07-2012 at 06:07 PM.

  9. #19
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    [QUOTE=

    Other trials and tribulations....? I, again, regret taking on 120 kids into our program. It has been a battle with me for years now - how do you cut a kid with no talent, but shows up and gives 100% everyday? This will be the 3rd summer in a row that I told myself to cut kids that cannot achieve certain standards and well...here I am in October, stuck with 10-15% of the kids not able to train/race and that too has been exhausting. How to give proper attention and motivation to everyone...?!?!

    /QUOTE]

    Mark,

    This season has been particularly rough for us with the bottom level kids. As we hit 230 athletes, we have ended up with more than ever a "non-worker" class that really doesn't want to run (especially in the heat). With 5 great assistants, we are able to coach the kids, but sometimes these athletes and their parents become a nightmare and end up wasting so much of our time when they truly don't want to do the sport or the training.

    I am sad to say that Great Oak will for the first time ever have a qualifying standard to make the team next year. It will be particularly difficult for juniors and seniors. If they don't do their summer running, they definitely won't make our team next year. Hoping that will help with some attitude issues with some of our non-varsity senior kids next year.

    The reality is, we ALL have this problem to some extent and it is exhausting! Mark, you are an amazing coach! It isn't you, your program, or the heat. Some kids just don't want to be there. Keep up the great work and focus on the kids that do!

    Doug
    ----------------------------
    Doug Soles
    Head XC & Track Coach
    Great Oak High School

  10. #20
    Regarding time trial requirements and "cuts"

    I'll be curious Doug to find out what you implement. Mark Gardner and I have talked about this topic a bunch of times ... it's hard as educators to not go after "every kid" in the hopes of turning them around. Back in the 90's I prided myself in having squads of 100 -- but there is the law of diminishing returns in everything and its interesting to discover where that number is. I read an interview with Butler at Dana Hills a couple years ago in which he said (as I recall) to make their boys team the kid has to run 19:00 ... and since they've done that, their numbers have gone up!

    We implemented a much tougher standard to make our teams two seasons ago and have so far been pleased by the results. For returners, they need to run within 90 seconds of their fastest three mile time from the year before. (which we record). For rookies (9th and 10th) it's 23:45 and 25:45 - boys/girls, with 11th and 12th grade rookies a minute faster than that. We have found that the 90 seconds from their PR "requires" that 99% of them must run during the summer or they will not make their mark. It's also a personal standard, not some arbitrary mark the coaches came up with for "all" athletes to achieve, which of course the lesser talented kids could complain about, legitimately. The rookie standard is doable for those who possess a little physical strength and will run a three mile course without walking or jogging.

    A by-product of the increased physical fitness, is there is a greater "buy in" to "make" the team, an accomplishment they EARN rather than are given.

    If other coaches have standards for making their teams each summer, I'd be interested to know what they are as well!
    Last edited by Brad Peters; 10-07-2012 at 06:38 PM. Reason: typo

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