Port-to-Port supports the Information System at the Charles A Tindley Accelerated School, which is where I coached the Cross Country teams for the past three years. At the end of the season last fall, I told the Athletic Director that I would not be returning as their coach this fall. I didn’t feel that the students were committed to running. I wasn’t receiving any parental support, and the staff was working too hard at educating these kids to give much time to supporting their athletic endeavors. In the end, that meant I was working far harder than I had anticipated and receiving little reward so I decided that I’d be better off assisting a coach where some of those support mechanisms had been in place for a while.
Last Friday I was at the school discussing future technology plans with Marcus Robinson, the Principal. As we walked around the school, I had three students on separate occasions come up to me and ask when we’re going to start Cross Country practice. To the first one I said I wasn’t going to be coaching next Fall. To the second one I said I don’t think I’ll be coaching next Fall. To the third one I said I will only be coaching if there are 10 students committed to starting practice in June. I was overwhelmed by the interest of these three would-be runners. They made me realize that even though it didn’t seem like I was getting anywhere, I was really having an impact on the way these students looked at running.
I will go back as the Cross Country coach if there are runners committed to coming to practice. I’ve learned to be a better coach since the season ended last Fall. These young men and women have started thinking of themselves as runners since then too.