I had the amazing opportunity to coach a Girls on The Run team for the second time this fall. The program usually includes 3rd through 6th graders. This semester, I worked to bring in the middle school program (Girls on Track) aimed for 6-8th graders to our Elementary School. Many of the older girls had participated in the program for numerous years and we thought they might be ready for something new.
My friend, Cynthia, and I coached 8 sixth grade girls for their first semester of Girls on Track. Working with the 6th graders was incredible. They were engaged, curious and interested throughout our 9 week program. We gave them a lot more input into the lessons and they really appreciated being treated more maturely. They were young enough to still think we were cool without being sassy. Let’s face it, there is a pretty small widow when it comes to teenage girls!
Throughout the 9 weeks, we discussed issues such a self esteem, bullying, assertiveness and loyalty. I noticed huge changes in the girls regarding how they interacted with each other and their level of confidence in general. Our practices consisted of about 20 minutes of a lesson and about 20 minutes of running. Although the ultimate goal of the program is to run the 5k, it is so much more than that. As our 5K date neared, we talked about strategies and goals for the race. The girls gave each other tips and we had a practice 5K the week before.
We donned our matching pink shoe laces and prepped for the race.
Many of the girls ran the 5K with their dads which I thought was so great for both of them. These girls crushed it on race day! I am so overwhelming proud of them. One of them finished second overall. I know that I only got to spend a short amount of time coaching them but I am so grateful that perhaps I had a small impact on helping them grow up to be stronger and more confident young ladies. I am a big fan of the program and I really look forward to coaching them again in the spring.
Have you participated in Girls on The Run?
Reminder that our new Ultimate Coffee Date link up starts up again in December and we’d love for you to join us. Details in the tab at the top of the page.