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Forms from college coaches--Which truth to tell?

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Replies to: Forms from college coaches--Which truth to tell?

  • gointhruaphasegointhruaphase Registered User Posts: 461 Member
    We've all been through the "high school coach," perhaps a word is in order about the "college coach." Nothing is guaranteed about being on a college team -- ever. We all get that. For the D3 athlete, a sport is a part of life but likely not his or her future profession. For the coaches, winning is very important. It is their career. Thus, a significant proportion of coaches do use head games to get the best performances from the team. One of those head games is the fear of being cut.

    Most teams cut some people each year. Perhaps not the recruits in the first year, sometimes that is protected (although a parent at a showcase proudly announced to me that her son walked on to a college baseball team and a recruit was cut instead). But really, anyone is fair game. I wouldn't put it past a coach to make an athlete's life so miserable that he or she decides to quit (elective cuts). Sometimes it is obvious. A kid gets to college and wants to experience other things -- his heart just isn't in it. Other times, it is purely subjective.

    So, that summer packet -- it is not a suggestion. The coach really means it - all of it. In fact, it may not be a bad idea to supplement with a strength and conditioning coach in the summer.

    There are things within your D's control and things outside of it. Just tell her to be in top shape, enjoy her new teammates, and to forget about the rest. Things will work out just fine.



  • OnTrack2013OnTrack2013 Registered User Posts: 237 Junior Member
    My suggestion is to use the questionnaire as a way to begin the relationship with the coach on the right foot (pun intended) . Fill it out honestly, since you aren’t a mind reader and there doesn’t seem to be any right/wrong answers to the questions. If she has backed off on mileage or training intensity due to a lengthy outdoor track season, call that out. Every runner experiences injuries, and if she is pro-active and has built in recovery time before coming to campus she should say so.

    If she likes track better than xc make sure you put that in somewhere, so the coach knows that what he/she sees in xc may not be indicative of her performances in indoor or outdoor. However, if she likes cross country better, make sure that comes out in some way, too.

    One thing I can’t tell from what you have shared is does your daughter want to run cross country in addition to track or is she a middle distance runner who would be happy with track only. It may be that the coach is uncertain of the traveling or “A “team for the Fall, and needs to reduce the number of athletes on the x-country roster, but intends to have a larger number on the Indoor/outdoor team. This is typical of most schools. If she will not be running cross country she wouldn’t need to show up early, but this doesn’t mean she is off the track team. This isn’t unique to D3.

    Answer the question about which performance she is most proud of in a way that will support what event she wants to compete in. If she prefers cross country, make sure she highlights a performance where she scored points and made a difference for the team. Cross country, for most college meets, is about place, not time. Courses, weather, conditions vary and if she had a great finishing place on a day that was snowing, raining, a long car overnight trip away from her home course, it shows character. If she loves track more than cross country, highlight a PR at a meet, where even though she may not have won, all of her training and preparation showed results on the clock. Use that question to help guide the coach in placing her correctly in an event. The cross country roster will consist of athletes who run anything from the 800 meters on the track to the athletes that run the 3000 only and want to do learn steeplechase. Make sure she helps the coach find the best fit for her.

    Also have her end with a request for a suggested training plan (if it hasn’t already been sent) to arrive on campus or to camp in the expected shape.
  • ChembiodadChembiodad Registered User Posts: 2,435 Senior Member
    @OnTrack2013, some of the NESCAC schools are also placing limits on track team rosters as well.
  • OnTrack2013OnTrack2013 Registered User Posts: 237 Junior Member
    Chembiodad - Yes, good point. And I absolutely agree, most schools have limits on rosters. I just wanted to point out that the cross country team roster at most schools is usually smaller than track.
  • ChembiodadChembiodad Registered User Posts: 2,435 Senior Member
    @OnTrack2013, very true as most are limiting to around 20, so 5 per year.
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