Santa Clarita Track Club
Santa Clarita Track Club Newsletter
September 7, 2015
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Dear Alan,

Happy Labor Day Team!

Congratulations to all athletes who raced Saturday at El Cariso! I hope you all enjoyed the feeling and reward of race day. Competition invokes so many feelings in each of you: for some you can't wait for the race to show your competition what you have in the tank, others enjoy racing but you are still figuring out what to do and the full attack mode hasn't set in, and still others have more of a fear of racing and the feeling of being out of breath, and competition has you nervous and hesitant. I want to take a few sentences to encourage each group:

  1. For those who just can't wait! Everyone needs to understand first that all athletes get nervous so we're all together on this point. The elite runners, in every age group, have a built in attack mode. This mode gets enacted at every practice and on race day there is nothing they want more than to identify the next runner in front of them and destroy them. These are typically the top 8-20 kids in the conference. However, this can also be kids just starting off who once they get more training under their belt will be in the top 20.
  2. For those who enjoy racing and training but haven't yet achieved their full potential. This is a big group in the realm of all the kids I've coached. I have a goal with each athlete, help you improve and achieve what I know each of you has inside. I saw every single athlete racing hard on Saturday and it was awesome. Many of you ran your very first race ever and I am so proud of you for that first step. I've had many conversations with parents over the years about their athletes and the specific question of why doesn't my child run faster. I'll answer with this: in my experience every athlete cracks the attack mode code at different stages. Some gremlins you can tell the first day they run they have it. Others might not get it until their Bantam or Midget years. Some honestly will never be all out attackers. Their personality just doesn't include the desire to push past the red-line and be willing to suffer. That's ok. Those athletes are in my third category.
  3. This group enjoys running, they even enjoy being at the race, but competition scares them to the point they freeze up. This uses a lot of energy and for some it negatively impacts their race performance. We've even had elite kids that had a hard time harnessing this mental game of racing and as a result could rarely achieve their potential. Sometimes though it isn't nerves so much as an athlete just doesn't have the deep down desire to seek and destroy their competition. Again, this is ok, but it helps to understand your child to help both them and you enjoy this experience.

My goal in providing these race/training categories is first and foremost so the athletes can have the very best experience in this sport. Secondly is so you as parents can enjoy your child's successes relative to their abilities and encourage them in that as well. We have a lot of bantam and gremlin athletes which is very exciting and fun. There are very few kids this age that innately have that attack mode. However, with a very competitive team like Storm, they will naturally be pushing with their peers and the attack mode will come. So parents, stick with me on this and make it your goal to encourage your athletes to bigger things, while keeping in mind where they are. I had a great conversation with a dad on Saturday about their child and the understanding the they will never be winning the race. Both of our desires was to see 100% effort both in practice and on race day. Just because you are not an attacker, doesn't mean you don't improve, it doesn't mean we don't work with you, it doesn't mean you're not a great runner. I hope in all those words each athlete and parent identifies both where you are, and just as importantly where you want to go with this sport. There's no one around here that will say you can't improve, so go after it this week, work to become and attacker, or work to control your mental game, whatever it is, keep improving!

This is week 6 and with it we will keep stepping on the gas pedal so hold on for some more workouts that will push you mental, physically, and emotionally. This week we are also going to focus on two more aspects of proper running mechanics or running form: your waist or your core, and your chest and shoulders. First, I want you to think of standing against a wall, your heals are touching, your back is touching and your butt is also I guess. As you stand there, you are completely vertical. If you start to fall forward, imagine that straight line of the wall follows you and the second you have to take a step forward to catch yourself, you hold that position. That is the perfect lean for running. You are still in control, running tall, but you are using the perfect amount of gravity in your favor. You don't want to bend at your waist, you want to maintain that straight line. Moving to your core, why do you think we do so much core work? Because you use your core to maintain that straight position, even when you get tired. Racing hills you start to see really quick how the core is important in maintaining your form. Next we move up to your chest and shoulders. Keep your shoulders slightly back to open your chest. This allows you to consume as much oxygen as possible which then keep your muscles running better longer.

Alright, long newsletter this week. Thanks for sticking with me on this. Thanks to all you parents for your support, to the coaches for making my job easier, and to the athletes for giving all of us a show to remember!

See you soon.
Coach Jeremy
Jelly Beans, Jolly Ranchers 
We need parents to help with the distribution of  Jelly Beans and Jolly Ranchers at the end of practice, if you can help, please see Elaine. 
This Weeks Practice Locations & Times
Cross Country will practice at the following locations:
Monday - West Creek Park - at 6:00 - 7:15 pm
24247 Village Circle
Valencia, CA 91354


Tuesday - College of the Canyons - at 6:00 - 7:15 pm
Near Baseball Diamonds Behind Track Stadium (purchase day parking pass at kiosk for $3.00, COC does issue parking tickets from time to time.)


Thursday - Central Park - at 6:00 - 7:15 pm
Near Basketball Courts


Saturday - Central Park (Lap-a-thon) - 8:00 am 
Race Results
The Results from the meets are located on our website on the Cross Country Page.

From the main menu click the cross country link at the top of the page. 

This year our lap-a-thon will be on Saturday September 12 at Central Park.

The Lap-a-thon is a fund raising event used to support our program and our national athletes. We will give the kids a chip, and setup our chip timing system, we will run laps at Central park while playing music for 45 minutes or so. The kids are encourages to seek donations either of 2 ways a per lap amount such as $3 or $4 dollars per lap or a flat donation of $5 or $10. All kids who raise at least $40.00 will receive a special Lap-a-thon prize. The kids will also be entered into a raffle on a 1 ticket per dollar raised and other prizes will be awarded at the end of season banquet. (more details on that as we get closer to the event).

Please click here to download the Lap-a-thon form and start raising funds.

The deadline to turn in funds will be Oct 1.


Alan Bingham
Santa Clarita Track Club