The greatest aspect of Cross Country is the team camaraderie and enjoyment the athletes take away from the sport. There is not quite anyother sport like Cross Country where you can finish last and feel the thrilling personal success of running a personal best time by 30 seconds and having your teammates enthusiastically congratulate you.
We try developing each runner to their full potential. Along the way Cross Country allows athletes to learn a lot about themselves. Athletes are given the oppurtunity to develop a hard work ethic, discipline, and the understanding that nothing you earn comes without working for it. Athletes must realize that any amount of success will take hardwork.
Commitment is doing what is expected of every team member. Attached is information on team policies. Attending team practices every day during the season is one of them. A basketball player won’t tell his/her coach they can’t come to practice, they will shoot some free throws on their own, nor should we expect that attitude. Cross Country is a team sport, and our goal is to develop unity and accountability among teammates. We want to see a team that has bonded around a common purpose and vision.
“I’ve learned that something constructive comes from every defeat.”
-Tom Landry - Coach of Super Bowl Champion Dallas Cowboys
Team Guidelines and Expectations
You are a scholar athlete. Academics take precedence over athletes. It is your responsibility to keep up with your academics. Good athletes are great at time management and make their academics as successful as their athletics. Academics, athletics, and work are difficult to balance, but it can be done. Use your time wisely.
Communication with coaches is extremely important. Coaches are there to guide you and want you to be successful.
- You should keep the coaches informed of anything that may affect training such as prior knowledge of an absence from practice, any injury, conflicts within the team or with other athletes, academic problems or any other issue that may keep you from performing to your potential.
- Please let the head coach know ASAP if you will not be available for a meet because of a conflict.
Practices are Monday through Friday at 3:30 till 5:30. There will be some Saturday practices after Labor Day. Practices are intended to help you achieve your best and benefit the team as a whole. You need be at practice to help create unity and a common purpose for the team.
Please review the following attendance requirements carefully. If you do not feel you can fulfill them, do not sign up for cross country.
- Practice begins at 3:30. Athletes are expected to be on time, dressed ready to practice at 3:30. Roll will be taken.
- If you can not be at practice please communicate this to coach. Acceptable absences are illness (absent from school), a family emergency, and school sanctioned events or trips. Work, detention, homework, forgetting clothes or shoes, and lack of a ride to practice are all unexcused absences.
- Being apart of the Cross Country team is a big commitment. You may have a job, but it should not interfere with practices or meets.
- If you are unable to practice as a result of an injury, report to the training room before practice starts, then join the team for stretching.
- Athletes must be at practice to be eligible for meets. Athletes who miss practices before an upcoming meet may not compete, but are required to attend the meet and help the coach.
- Athletes will be given two unexcused absences before they are dismissed from the team. Unexcused absences may carry consequences.
Donegal Cross Country is a no-cut sport, which means that no one will be dropped from the roster due to performance level (race times). However, the program is not intended to be a jogging club or exercise group. All athletes participating in the program will be expected to demonstrate a high level of motivation and commitment, and a sincere desire to test and stretch their limits and learn to compete in a sportsmanlike manner. Junior High athletes are expected to learn the sport and grow in their abilities throughout the program with the goal of completing a two mile course without walking. Varsity athletes will be expected to demonstrate the ability to run 3.5 continuous miles to compete and to remain in the program. .
Athletes are ambassadors. Your conduct and attitude are a reflection of you, your family, coaches, teammates, and school. Represent them all in a positive sportsmanlike manner with excellence and integrity.
No one person is above the team. Everybody on the team is important– no matter how talented, and deserves your respect and encouragement.
- Have a positive attitude and support, encourage, and congratulate your teammates.
- Respect your teammates and coaches. Listen when coaches are speaking.
- Always display good sportsmanship to the other team. Congratulate and encourage your competitors. Respect their effort for they go through the same things you do. Take the opportunity to extend your hand in friendship and meet new people: e.g., “Hi, I’m Tammy. That was a great run you just did.”
Participation in meets is our goal and reason to practice. You are to be available for every meet! Generally everyone will compete, but some meets are limited to 7 or 8 runners and are by invitation only.
- Athletes are expected to travel on the bus to and from dual meets. The only exceptions being for family or school emergencies.
- Athletes may return from invitational meets with their parents if the parents have spoken to the head coach. Parents will have to check athletes out at meets with the head coach. Letters from parents giving permission to ride with someone else will not be accepted.
- If you are going to be late for the bus, call coach on his cell phone.
- Athletes receiving an award must wear their team warm ups or jersey, or a T-shirt with the school name on it while receiving their award.
You will have some aches and pain from training that is natural such as muscle soreness. These types of injury will dissipate with rest that should actually be built into the training program. Persistent muscle soreness however can be a problem or lead to other problems.
Any ache or pain should be communicated to the coach. It will then be determined if the ache or pain is a natural outcome of training or if further investigation by the trainer is needed.
- Athletes are expected to communicate all injuries to their event coach before going to the trainer.
- Athletes unable to practice or compete should attend practice unless they are receiving treatment for their injury. You can help at practice, support teammates, and receive event specific instruction.
Good running shoes are a must. They help you stay injury free. Spikes are the only meet apparel not provided. They are not required, but will help your performance. Please dress for the weather.
- High School athletes will be issued team warm ups (top and bottom), a singlet, and meet shorts. They are for meets only
- Junior High School athletes will be issued team warm ups (top and bottom), a singlet, and meet shorts. They are for meets only
An athlete must place in the team’s top seven in five meets of the season and qualifying to run at the League Championship( Boys – under 21 mins and Girls – under 25 mins). Coaches reserve the right to award a letter to any individual who is exceptionally hard working, determined, and exhibits good sportsmanship.
Athletes will be encouraged to set short term goals and long term goals for the season. Set standards that will push yourself and better yourself. Goals should be realistic, specific (a time or mark), and progressive (build upon each other). Make sure they are based on your training and fitness level at that time.
Both the boys and girls teams will also set team goals. Team goals give us a sense of unity and purpose.
You will have to ask yourself if you are willing to make the commitment to achieve your goals and the team’s goals. Are you willing to show up for practice each day to work hard? Are you willing to make sacrifices and go outside your comfort zone? Do you look for ways to better yourself and your teammates. If each person on the team does, we can reach our goals.
Attitudes for Success
(rank in order from 1-6 in order of importance to you)
_____The desire to strive for excellence.
_____The realization that nothing of value can be achieved without hard work and dedication.
_____The desire to display self-confidence.
_____The desire to show one’s ability in competition.
_____The desire to cooperate as part of a team.
_____The desire to have fun.
“Dream Barriers look very high until someone climbs them. Then they are not barriers anymore.”
Coaches' Goals For:
- Develop unity and accountability
- Bond together for a common purpose and vision
- Work hard together to create a positive enthusiastic effect
- Give encouragement that develops a positive effect and joy in people, and is contagious
- Be compassionate and respectful toward your teammates and the running community
- For each runner to run to his/her potential.
- To increase volume and intensity each year according to training level.
- Set acceptable/ short term goals and actions.
- Set challenging goals and actions.
- Set dream goals and actions.
- Establish program consistency and expectations.
- Increase the numbers (more runners) on the team.
- Increase parent involvement and alumni participation
- To attempt to win the sportsmanship award
- For the team and coach to have fun and fellowship.
- To be enthusiastic and raise the level of cross country enthusiasm.
- For each runner to have success and reach their potential.