My sport is your sport’s punishment

XC (Cross Country) girls get tougher.

Have you ever had a coach who makes you run laps when they’re mad at you?

“You stink!
Go run a lap!”

These girls laugh at that coach. They love to run. They do it for fun, and for fitness. They run with their friends. They run for glory. They run to clear their minds. They run to get strong. They drive around with bumper stickers that read: “My sport is your sport’s punishment.”

My question is: HOW did doing something so good for you become a punishment?

Kids LOVE to run! How many times have you heard a parent calling to a young child…”don’t run!”? Some time between childhood and adulthood, exercise becomes work – a workout – something you have to do. Instead of something you want to do.

As a coach of young people I get them at that transitional age. Between childhood and adulthood. Before exercise is work. Some love to run. Some, not so much. So I roll the running and fitness into the games we play. They don’t even know they are “exercising.” They’re just having fun.

We play dynaband tag on the soccer field or the basketball court. They play soccer with a ball bigger than they are. They hop and skip and shove each other. They laugh, and shout and …get fitter.

Then they come running to me, totally out of breath. “Hey coach, can we play that again?!” ”Sure. But I’m sitting this one out. Your old coach is exhausted!”

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