My First XC Practice (as a coach)

Some of you may or may not know this, but I will be coaching the men’s and women’s Cross Country team at a community college in New Jersey this fall. It’s our inaugural season and I’m so excited for it…and nervous!

We had our first practice on Tuesday and I was really anxious the night before. Would they respect me as a coach? Like me? What workout should I have them do? What if I suck as a coach?? All of these things were running through my mind.

We started practice at 8 am and I finally decided what I was going to have them do: 400 meter repeats.

They had said they’d been practicing over the summer so I wanted to see where they were at. They actually did very well and I’m excited to see what this season holds. I gave them time based on the top 10 times at last year’s region meet (big meet of the season), and they were running a bit below those averages – so I think that’s a good sign, right?!

We only have two men and two women right now, but I think that once the semester starts and more students are on campus that a few more will join. I like our little group and I could tell they are passionate about running. One of the girls is running the Philly Marathon and the Runner’s World Half Marathon hat trick challenge (5k, 10, half marathon) – I was like “good for you!”

That first practice made me feel more comfortable in the coaching role, and also reminded me why I love what I do.

I went back to grad school to get my Master’s in Student Affairs. I knew that I wanted to work within a university, and this job working within a community college has been perfect for me. I love what I do and I love working with students on a regular basis – even if they do initially ask if I’m a student when they first meet me :)

We actually have our second practice this morning! We’ll be doing an easy 3-4 miles and then some lifting. That’s another thing one of the girls said, “Can we please lift too, I love lifting.” That’s my kind of team!

Fellow coaches & those who have been coached – please leave me any tips you have or workout ideas…and comments about what makes a good coach – thank  you!


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