I think I'm gonna like being a coach. We had seven boys turn out for the first day of practice. I was a little surprised at the small number. Even more surprising was the fact that there were no girls! I'm sure we will get more kids in the next week or so, though. Other sports like soccer and volleyball are bound to have more kids than spots, so some kids will be encouraged to participate in another activity. So, hopefully our numbers will increase.
The boys seem to be excited about running. A few of them were on the team last year. I asked them why they came back and they said "We like to run!" Music to my ears. We did some stretches and then headed outside into the heat. I think it was about 107 degrees today. The plan was to just run about a half mile since it was the first day, but we ended up running a full mile. And the kids did great! We'll have to work on pacing, but for the first day, I was surprised how much they were able to run. One sixth grader was able to keep up with the eighth graders for most of the final half mile. With about 200 meters to go, he started walking. I didn't want to push him too hard, but we were almost done, and I knew he could do it. He started running and he was able to make it all the way to the end. I hope he was able to realize that he can do more than he thinks.
All in all, we had a really great start to the season. The boys came out and were excited to run and be part of the team. They exceeded my expectations of what they would be able to do, and we had a fun time. I was even able to throw in a few of the ideas from the ELM Tree.