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Having problems with track/cross-country practice =/ Advice pleasee?

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Hi, well this year I joined the track team. I told the coach I wanted to do long distance, and he said instead I should do cross country. I agreed, and started going to the practices. Just letting you know, there is practice EVERY single day after school. Now Im not in the best shape, but the most I ever did before this was 3 miles. In cross country, the first practice we had to do like a total of 5 miles in practice. I nearly fainted =/ my lunch is at 10:00, and it was 4:00 and I hadn't eaten since then while plus I was extremely thirsty. I felt really horrible after this because I was trying so hard and it probably looked like a bad first impression when  I had to take a seat. All the other kids were  doing okay. But anyway, that is over, and now I am getting used to the workouts more and more. I hthink Im the third slowest on the team (and when I mean slow, I mean a mile time in 7:30..compared to some of the others 6:00!) Im also the only freshman, so Im just beginning. The thing is, I don't feel appreciated on this team.I feel completely invisible.No matter how hard I try or push myself, its not good enough. They are supposed to time us during the miles, and the last 4 people (which included me) werent timed because they just moved on to time the people who already finished, again. Its very discouraging. And when I asked the other 'slower' people on the team, they just shrugged and said 'its because we're slower'.

Now, what kind of team is this? I feel like I want to quit, but I dont want to look like a quitter. The coach doesnt even know Im there. Actually, I dont even think he knows my name! We had our first race the other day, and he didnt tell me about it!! I didnt get my uniform or anything either. I dont think he acknowledges Im on this team.

So should I just quit? I wonder if he would notice if I just left the team....

Thanks for reading this epic :P

(oh and if your wondering, yes, anybody can basically join the team...)

6 Replies (last)

There's nothing to stop you striking up a better relationship with the coach and getting more in his face.... Opening gambit... "Hello coach, remember me? How am I doing?  Got any tips?  Can we talk?  Need a hand with anything?"  etc....  When you're part of a team with other people sometimes you have to step out of the crowd by actively engaging rather than keeping quiet and expecting someone to read your mind. 

Meantime... you could work on improving your numbers outside of practice by getting in some training of your own.  If your coach can see you're motivated and working hard that tends to get their attention.

Don't give up! This is only your first year and you've already come this far. :) You'll keep improving if you keep working hard.

You shouldn't feel diminished by how fast "everyone else" on the team can go. If the coach doesn't pay the "slower" girls any mind because he doesn't want to work to cultivate new talent, that's his problem -- not yours. Try to focus on your own personal improvement instead of what girls on your team can already do. You've said yourself that you're just beginning and you're the only freshman on the team; I can guarantee you that those girls took a while to build up to a 6:00 mile too.

Good luck!

I run Cross Country and the fact that you couldn't be timed, weren't told about the meets, and couldn't get your uniform is completely ridiculous. Those are signs of a bad, unexperienced coach and I think you need to talk to him or one of the other coaches and tell them about it. Cross Country is a personal sport, and everyone is racing against their own times. He should be encouraging every single runner and developing all of your potential. You deserve every bit as much from being on the team as the girls who run 6:00 miles.

while people say running is a very individualized sport, i beg to differ. Especially in the case of cross country. It is about working together, lkeeping an eye on your teammates in front of you and trying to catch them. Thus, your treatment is really unfair and unfortunate

BUT, i dont think you should quit. I am a walk on for my division one college cross country and track team (walk on = i was NOT recruited, when I got to school, i tried out and did some practices at first and then was allowed on the team). I was at the bottom of the pack, not te slowest, but definetely not noticed. I too was left off lists for emails about meetings and I did not even get a uniform before our first meet (like you!). I kept at it, though. Now, my second year on the team, and I am in the top 7 runners who score at the cross meets. I am a "threat" now, whereas just a year ago I was trying to hold on. Keep at it. Work hard. Running is very rewarding and just make small goals for yourself and work on building friendships with some of your teammates. Ask for tips, tell them your worries.

good luck!

I've been there with swimming. When I was 13 I switched teams and was the absolute slowest person. So slow, I would continually be 1-2 minutes behind in a set than the slowest people. It was BAAD.

Next season, I got in the pool, and I was just as fast as everyone else. Eventually, I worked myself up to beating them. I think you need to talk to your coach, because they should always care even if you are "slower"

Hey guys! Thanks for the advice. Practice today went much better, as the coach asked for my name and asked me to go to the meets. (It was a different cross country coach, but still :P) I will definitely keep at it. :)

6 Replies