Monday, August 20, 2007

Middle School Motivation

One of the things I love about running is that it is so easy to monitor your progress. I can go out and run a course in a certain amount of time and then come back another day to run it again. I am pretty competitive with myself, so I always try to beat my last time. So today, I timed my cross-country kids for the mile. I was surprised by how much a stopwatch in the coach's hand could push some of those kids (although for others, it still didn't seem to have much of an effect). I was very pleased to see how hard some of them worked. One of the boys looked pretty excited when I told him that I wouldn't be surprised to see him break 8 minutes within a couple weeks. That comment brought out a little competition with a few of the other boys. "I can do that." "I bet I could beat 7 minutes!" Seeing these kids realizing that they will be able to do more and get better as runners is awesome. That gets me excited. This is where running meets life. Goals are being set, and they are realizing that it is going to take a little more effort to get there. And I bet he will beat 7 minutes. Timing them once in a while will be a great way to show them that their effort is bringing them closer to their goals.


Pat said...

I bet it's really cool to be a coach. Do you run with them? Do you have any new runners? Or have they been running for awhile?

Good luck, pat

Reid said...

Oh, I definitely run with the kids. I think I'd get pretty bored just sending them off and waiting for them. Plus, I gotta make sure they're not messing around too much--seven middle school boys on their own is just asking for trouble. Running with them makes it a lot more fun.