The summer winds, came blowing in ....
Nobody ever sang it better than Frank Sinatra. When I think about the summer so many memories come to mind. Taking the family down to Wildwood Crest for the week. The 4th of July Mayor's cup race. As I get older the choices I make are so unlike those I made in high school and in college. Gone are the days of waking up early for morning runs. Meeting my teammates at various courses in New Jersey. Missing family vacations due to running camp. Sacrificing the now for the what could be. Do I regret the sacrifices I made as a young athlete? No. Some may say that I missed out on a few things in high school, but I would have never gotten to the level I was able to compete at without the daily sacrifices I was willing to do.
As you begin this summer training, you will be asked all these questions. Should I get the run in early? Am I meeting up with my teammates for a group run today? Am I willing to fuel my body with what's needed to be a great athlete? Am I willing to do core and strength exercises to be at a better place in the fall?
Cross country is not a super complicated sport. For years coaches have been saying what you do during the months of June, July and August are for what you are going to accomplish in September, October and November. A common saying going into the championship part of the season is "the hay is in the barn". That process of putting the hay in the barn occurs during the summer. Take it from me, no one likes to do this. I spent one summer hired to stack hay bales on a tractor flatbed and then deliver them to various barns in South Jersey. Needless to say this job was not fun. Nothing like wearing jeans and a long sleeve flannel shirt in the summer to protect yourself from the heavy and rough hay bales. But that experience certainly lets me appreciate that saying the hay is in the barn.
So as we get ready to start our summer training the challenge is out to you and your teammates. How many girls can we get together for group runs. How many different places can we train over the course of the summer. The need is for selfless runners not selfish runners. Everyone on this team will play an important role to the success we will have as a team next year. It all starts at the top and works its way down to our last runner. Our top runner needs to be concerned with how many girls she can try to get up to her level. That concern for your teammates is what everyone needs to have. Having one good runner will not make us a team. It's not even 5 or 7, but it is the combined effort of every girl. Whether you are the type that will be working up to over 50 miles a week, or someone that is starting out at maybe 20 you all will play a part in next years team.
You all need to take some time to set goals for the upcoming season. For some it may be to compete at states, for some it may be to be able to finish a 5k. No matter where you are in your running journey, you need goals. You need to see them daily, for that is what will remind you why you are sacrificing the now for the later.
~ Coach Jarvis