Sixteen Steps to Success
Never underestimate your opponent.
Work on your weaknesses until they become your strengths.
Remember that a great effort is usually the result of a great attitude.
Dedicate yourself to a mighty purpose.
Win with humility and dignity, lose with grace and pride.
Ignore those who discourage you.
Work to improve your moral and spiritual strengths as well as your physical ones.
Remember that how you conduct yourself off the field is just as important as how you conduct yourself on the field.
Talent is God-given, be humble. Fame is man-given, be thankful. Conceit is self-given, be careful.
Don’t ask to be deprived of tension and discipline, these are the tools that shape success.
Do what has to be done, when it has to be done, and as well as it can be done.
Remember that when you’re not working to improve, your competition is.
Always give your best.
Practice like a champion.
Compete like a champion.
Live like a champion.
Winners and Losers
Winners are part of the answer. Losers are part of the problem.
Winners have a program. Losers have excuses.
Winners say “Let me do it”. Losers say “Let somebody else do it”.
Winners find solutions to problems. Losers find problems in every solution.
Winners find it difficult, but possible. Losers find it too difficult to be possible.
Winners work harder than losers, yet have more time. Losers are always too busy to do what is necessary to succeed, yet always make time for fun.
Winners make commitments. Losers make promises.
Winners do the things losers don’t want to do.
Winners have written goals. Losers have lip service “I’m gonna’s”.
Winners are always open to new ways of doing things. Losers can’t change.
Winners get it done. Losers whine “could’ve, would’ve, should’ve”.
Winners don’t care who gets the credit. Losers demand attention.
Winners elevate the play of their teammates. Losers want personal glory.
Winners focus on fundamentals. Losers showboat.
Winners give 100% all the time. Losers are concerned about being cool.
Winners win. Losers lose.
Behind the Sport
Behind the Sport
If you ask varsity runner Matt Anderson why he participates in Cross Country and Track & Field instead of something like Soccer or Baseball, he'll answer you straight up: "You can't 'play' running." He's right. Running isn't the same as most other so-called "sports." While you can commonly find kids challenging each other to Sunday afternoon pick-up games of basketball, you won't see someone casually challenge their friend to a fun three-mile race. You won't see children lining up for a four-lap mile run around the track because they're bored. While there are so many organized "games" in high school (football games, volleyball games, etc.) with so many "players" (soccer players, baseball players, etc.), Cross Country and Track & Field are true "sports." Running is not usually "fun;" it requires hard work and absolute dedication. However, this all pays off with the ultimate feeling of accomplishment that comes from running.
Because Manchester High School (MHS) is a Class LL school, it has enough students to participate in nearly every activity available. As with most schools, football seems to be key, with the stands usually filling up, and soccer is always a popular game to watch. Cross Country and Track & Field receive small turnouts of mostly parents coming to watch their children, and are probably the most underrated and under-appreciated sports at MHS. This is unfair to the runners who make those sports the most successful programs at the school. While other teams win and will play well, Manchester's running teams dominate their divisions, and remain strong as the levels of competition increase. Still, running is given little attention.
Contrary to popular belief, races are really the most spectator-friendly events available. Most games, such as football or soccer, last at least an hour, and will usually go for more. Also, these games can get repetitive as you watch the ball be moved back and forth across the field for the entire duration. What's worse, the flow of the game will be stopped almost constantly for "downs," "fouls," or any other call. Running events can last anywhere from only 20 minutes down to a measly 10 seconds for a short-distance sprint. In this small amount of time, you can cram the emotions that come with any other "sport" into a compact, concentrated form. You'll feel the ups and downs that every runner feels, living vicariously through their sweat and tears. This is especially true in distance races, where the action sometimes disappears from view for a short amount of time. During this period, you'll wait in utter suspense to see where your runner is going to come out.
Running is not a game. It's not just another high school activity, either. Running is an experience. For the actual runners, it delivers a sense of pride and accomplishment that is unmatchable, and for the spectators, it provides an engaging entertainment experience available for everyone. The next time you're joining a sports team, or heading out to watch a sports game, remember that running is the true sport. Never forget: You can't play running.
-Mike McCall, 2001
Why do we run?
By Tom Chorny
I feel like I should write some words of motivation, so I'll do my best, but I don't claim to be effective all the time: (I'm going to steal this idea from the Bill Bowerman in “Without Limits” because I feel that it is 100% true...)
Running is an absurd past time...some might say…
We get shouts from everyone..."nice shorts fag" "run, Forrest, run" etc.
Is there a point to running? I run from here to here! I end where I begin so in fact I get nowhere. I run up a hill...hard, jog back down, and then do it over and over again. To someone who doesn't run, this is torture, it's insanity.
I run until my stomach feels like it is bleeding. I run until I feel like I'm literally going to die because I just can't get enough oxygen to compensate for the speed that my legs just carried me over the track or to the top of a hill. If you're not a runner, you will never...and I mean NEVER feel the satisfaction of pushing the limits of your body so much. There's power in finishing a long run. There's power in running quarters on the track or doing 1000m repeats. It's a power that lifts you up to the top of YOUR world so you can take a deep breath in and look out over your kingdom with open arms to say...IF I CAN DO THIS, THERE'S NOTHING I CAN'T DO. To finish a workout...that's a victory. To push beyond that pain threshold just a bit further, that's a victory. SUCCESS lies just beyond your comfort zone...
SUCCESS lies just beyond your comfort zone...so step over that line. I know...I know...this is gonna hurt a little, you say with a concerned look, but it's ok...no need to worry....you'll be fine in a few minutes. Awwww coach, one more hill, one more thousand, one more mile...one more, one more, one more. If you occasionally keep on adding one more...you'll eventually find yourself a new person, and there truly will be nothing that you can't do. Awww...this is going to hurt a little....but now you say it with a little smile, cause you know...you just know!
Running takes time, and it takes dedication to be on a team, so, "Running, one might say, is an absurd past-time. But, if you can find meaning in the kind of running it takes to be on this team...chances are, you can find meaning in this other absurd past-time........life!"
Life is not about winning or losing, it's about learning HOW to win and lose. It's about taking every lesson along the way and on ONE DAY, putting it all together for that perfect performance. Some of us will never win a race. Some of us will strive day in and day out, and never get on the podium. It does not matter! What matters is the journey. There are lessons to be learned from every situation. Running will teach you who you are if you let it.....just remember...that "perfect performance" may not come in a race...maybe it will just be life.
I would say good luck with your season or your race (or your life), but that really won't matter without the workout you do today...whether it's repeats, a long run, or just a recovery run, so, good luck with your run today. LIVE and LOVE LIFE!!!
How Good can I be in Cross-Country Running, Skiing and Track?
By: East High Coach Harry Johnson
Your success in athletics, as in life depends on two major factors: Your desire to be successful, and your willingness to have the discipline to be successful. It really is as simple as that.
Do you really want to be successful? Do you really want to be a state champion or a champion within your own scope of success? No athlete is successful with out the absolute desire to be so. As they say, "talk is cheap". We see this everyday, athletes that say they want to be good, to be the best, but don’t display the real desire to be good, to be the best. Being good, being the best requires a true passion on your part. It requires a commitment to be good, to be the best. It requires you to be different than others. You don’t find eagles in flocks; you find them one at a time.
Do you have the discipline to be successful? Again, talk is cheap. How disciplined are you? Let’s look at a couple of areas of discipline that are essential to success as an athlete.
The discipline to be focused on your success. All good athletes know what they want and stay focused on that goal. When you take your eyes off those goals, when you stray with your focus, you loose your ability to reach those goals. Examples are slacking off in practice, skipping a work out to do something that is not directly related to your goals, becoming involved in other activities that take you away from your goals. A common situation high school athletes find themselves in, is that of part time job issues. There have been very, very few successful high school athletes that worked steady part time jobs. It is simply not possible to be a great student, great athlete, and a great worker all at once. Athletes with the potential of gaining athletic, or academic scholarships need to ask themselves a simple question: How does the $2,000 or so I make in a part time job compare to the $60,000 in college scholarships I may potentially loose in having that job? It’s a simple business decision.
The discipline to train hard. Are you willing to train hard to be successful? Really hard? There is nothing more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Talent only takes you so far, because there are other athletes with talent who are willing to work harder than you. When you race those athletes, they will beat you. Successful athletes, like successful business people, are willing to work harder than their competitors, and are willing to work harder every day, every week, all year long. If you are willing to do that then you will be successful.
The discipline to utilize your strengths AND work on your weaknesses. All of us have weaknesses. Successful people recognize those weaknesses and have the discipline to work hard at minimizing them. Do you have good endurance, but lack speed? If so, you should work hard to develop your speed. Do you have good skills, but lack fitness? If so, you should work on your fitness. It sounds obvious, but it is easier to do what you are good at. Great athletes work on what they are not good at also.
The discipline to take care of yourself. Coaches see athletes every day that will never gain the level of success that is available to them simply because they eat poorly, sleep poorly, and have poor health habits. Are you willing to get to bed early to be successful? Are you willing to eat only healthy foods in moderate portions to be successful? Are you willing to listen to your body and rest when you need rest? Are you willing to pass up that offer from your friends to do something that will take you away from your training in order to be successful? Are you willing to weight train and stretch because you know that they are important parts of your long-term goals to be successful? If you are willing to do those things, to be different, you will be a winner. If you are not, you can count on the fact that you have a competitor that is and they will beat you when you meet in a race.
The discipline to look like a winner, to act like a winner, to feel like a winner, to know you are a winner. Successful people, successful athletes are easy to recognize in a crowd. They look successful, they act successful, they have that aura about them of success, and you simply know they are successful. Do you want to be one of them?
How good can you be in cross country running, skiing and track? The answer is quite simple. You can be as good as you are willing to be. In the world today, the best distance runners are from Africa, the best skiers are from Scandinavia, and many of the best track stars are from Kenya. Why is that? They want to be the best. They have the discipline to be the best. They work hard, they eat right, they rest right, they are willing to be different and they are different, they are winners. Always remember it is different to be a winner, but it is a fun difference.