Welcome 2015 Sun City Harriers! Our first practice looks to be perfect with temperatures in the low 70’s (remember two years ago when it was 99?) so we are starting the season off perfectly this Tuesday at 5pm at Franklin Park. For those that are new I want to walk through what to expect the first week.
Our kids (and parents) are all wired differently if you didn’t know that. Lions, goldfish, Golden Retrievers and owls are the illustrations we’ll use. Kate (my eight-year-old) is a lion as example. Just get to practice, run the intervals and call it good. Some yelling is always good as it gets us lions fired up. Us lions like to run together (she is like her dad). Roar! Next on our team we have a bunch of goldfish. My family loves goldfish. They are fun, they especially love the games, the cheer at the end of practice and popsicles. Usually, they also have the best sense of humor of all our Harriers! The largest group of Harriers on our team is probably our Golden Retrievers. They are the most steady of all our runners. They are dependable, encouraging, but they also need some prodding to the start line of races. It is also these parents that are reading this blog because they want to make sure you know all that is going to go on at practice. It is my Retrievers who can sometimes be caught off guard if the situation ever changes (torrential rainfall, the race time changes, etc.) but as long as they know what is going on, they are good. Last, is my group of owls. I love owls because they are brilliant. They frequently need to know all the facts and will sometimes just watch the first practice or race before jumping into things because they want to know exactly how everything goes. They are great though as they keep us lions in place because we forget some drills sometimes, or the team cheer. Without the owls, we might miss our race! In the end, everyone on our team is equally important.
So for our Golden Retrievers and Owls this is what the first week of practice looks like:
- Practice always start promptly at 5pm at Franklin Park. I will blow the whistle exactly at 5pm and we will do a half-mile warmup as a team. If you are not there exactly on time, just cut the corner and catch up with everyone else. If you are too late, just wait for us to come back and then jump into stretching.
- After warmup, we stretch and then move into drills. Drills are part of the secret sauce of the Sun City Harriers. It is what turns us into lean, mean, running machines years down the road. Runners who are efficient are less likely to get injured and are faster which is why we do drills each and every practice.
- Next is the meat of our workout. This will change each workout but we will do repeats, hills, or something like this. Our job as coaches is to gradually build up each and every practice. This portion of the workout goes to about 5:50pm for everyone except group 3.
- Last is the best part of the workout for groups 1 & 2, we have games, popsicles and team cheer for the last ten minutes of practice. We also do whatever we can to always end practice on time.
The exact same format as Tuesday only we are at Kissle Park instead of Franklin Park. If you are intuitive, this means no hills for Thursday’s workout!
At 10am at Franklin Park, we will meet for a small practice race. This wont take much longer than thirty minutes but we use this as a chance to get rid of some of the butterflies that may be flying around us before our stomach the next week which is our home meet. The practice race will be one mile long and we should be over by 10:30am.
I had several people say they were interested in helping out. We currently have five coaches but I really would like us to see it closer to ten for a better parent/child ratio. If this is you, please just place yourself in one of our groups on Tuesday and just start interacting with the kids. Encourage them, do the workout with them, etc. I have usually found it best to be in a group with one of your kids but there are always those parents who don’t want to which is fine too. Also, let me know (via Facebook preferably) what your shirt size is and I can get you a Sun City shirt for helping out. Remember that families that run together stay together!
As a refresher:
Group 1: Head Coach is Tracy Sawyer, assistant is Christina Beck
Just out to have fun, learn a little bit about running, and pay a few games at the end of practice. This is our beginning group. For those kids eight and under with no experience a great place to start!
Group 2: Head Coach is Aleah Mickelson (we really need a few parent helpers to help Aleah out hint hint)
Thinking about being serious but still loves the game and popsicle at the end of practice.
Group 3: Head Coach is Erik Mickelson and Chris Waddle
Loves to see how fast she/he can run all the time!
Coach Waddle and Mickelson ran against each other over twenty years ago. This fall they are excited to coach our Harriers in group 3. Also after Tuesday’s practice, we’ll have pictures of the kids and not just our coaches!
At any time, kids can move up and down groups. Sometime they will go out too fast at practice and we will move them down a group. Other times, we will encourage them up a group if we think they need to be challenged.
See you Tuesday!
Last, if you haven’t registered, just bring your registration to practice on Tuesday. It is never to late to join cross-country. Call me at 941-5191 if you have any questions.
* For you who are curious, I took all of these personality types from the DISC personality test. I find it helpful to realize we are all created differently. The test has some flaws but is my favorite of all the ones out there. All illustrations eventually break-down but hopefully it helps us all teach our kids this fall.