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Essentials of a Successful XC Program What I have learned from my Coaching and Athletic Career.

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Presentation on theme: "Essentials of a Successful XC Program What I have learned from my Coaching and Athletic Career."— Presentation transcript:

1 Essentials of a Successful XC Program What I have learned from my Coaching and Athletic Career

2 What Are the Essentials Good leadership from top to bottom Long and short term vision for your program Let your team know your expectations Strong support group Keeping the team connected Creating a buzz around your program Finding that 1% Dedicated athletes Well thought out training plan

3 Leadership From Top to Bottom To sustain a successful program you should have good leadership throughout your program. Who are the potential leaders? -coach -Athletes on team -Principal, president, A.D.

4 The Coach The most important leader! Program can be good without other leaders, but not without a coach who can lead. Should be good communicator/listener. Should be able to motivate your team. Should be able to adapt your leadership to your current team/situation. What worked in the past may not work in the future.

5 Team Leader I prefer to only have 1 leader per gender during the XC season. Should be someone who is tough minded and believes in your philosophy as a coach. Should be someone you trust and communicates well. You can filter information to the team through this athlete. Leader can provide you with valuable information about the team. I meet with my team leader once per week during the season.

6 A.D’s, Presidents, Principals They might not ever have contact with your team but you must know their goals/expectations for your program. What’s important? Participant numbers, GPA, Conference Champs, State Champs, National Champs, etc.

7 Coach’s Vision Where is your team now and where do you want to be in 3-5 years. Be prepared to adapt your vision. How can you make this vision a reality? Just because it doesn’t happen doesn’t mean it was a failure.

8 Your Expectations It’s important for your team to know your expectation. Make sure and have meetings where you discuss these expectations. Expectations should be the same for all athletes.

9 Your support group Who should be in your support group? People you trust and whose opinion you value. Other coaches, your significant other, past coaches, close friends, family members, etc. Use them to bounce ideas off: Can discuss workouts or just talk about issues you are currently facing. It’s always nice to get another persons opinion, assuming you trust their opinion. Important to have someone in your support group who has been where you want to go. Don’t just include people who always agree with you.

10 Keeping your team connected The closer your team, the better your team will be, especially during times of adversity. Things you can do to create strong team bond: pre-season camp, movie/dinner night, team goal setting sessions, team relays, etc. Try to get them to train together over the summer months.


12 Keeping the Injured Athlete Connected Extremely important but very hard to do! They are usually not working out at all or they are doing some sort of cross-training separate from the team. Try to have them present at all the teams workouts (let their presence be known). Have them address the team and tell the other members the are still working hard and still have the teams goals in mind. Have them time workouts or bike along with the team if possible.

13 Creating a buzz around your program Give athletes a reason to join your XC team. Make sure practices are upbeat. Athletes want to be a part of a successful program that works hard. Once you get things rolling it makes your life a lot easier. When talking with athletes let them know of College scholarship opportunities.

14 Finding that 1% 1% difference takes a 16:10 5k to 16:00 and 18:11 to 18:00. Add this time gap over 5 athletes and that’s a lot of points. Every athlete has the ability to give 1% more and it’s our job to figure out how. How do we get this out of our athletes? -Become better motivators -Find better ways to communicate with them -Better race tactics -Better/smarter training plan

15 Dedicated Athletes Athletes that are willing to follow your leadership and buy into your vision. Athletes who eat healthy and get 7-9 hours of sleep. Have balance in their lives. Balance social, academic, and athletic requirements. Take care of their bodies when injured. Show patience in their training and racing. If they do not do the above then we can’t coach them properly. When I write a training plan I’m assuming they will do the above.

16 The Training Plan Before you write each seasons plan you should think about the athletes you have and the races your team will run. What are their strengths/weaknesses? How can I get the most out of their strength and also improve their weaknesses? What are the important courses that you will race on like (hilly, flat, grass, dirt, etc.).

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