Get Me to the Meet on Time: Challenges of High School Coaching

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Richard W.Riley College of Education


Physical Education, Sport, and Human Performance


In order to achieve success, there is little doubt that sport coaches must overcome a plethora of challenges beyond simply designing and implementing effective training schedules and competition strategies. The United States high school interscholastic sports environment is no different. The purpose of this short essay is to provide a personal coaching narrative from a United States high school boys and girls cross country coach as he discusses the challenges confronted in overcoming administrative obstacles to successfully prepare his student-athletes for competition. In particular, this paper chronicles how the coach successfully negotiated the political landscape of having his team being permitted to be dismissed from school in adequate time to arrive at away weekday cross country meets in order to adequately warm-up and prepare for competition. Oftentimes, these coaching stories exist, but are rarely recorded. It is the hope of the author that other coaches in similar situations may glean ideas on how to best handle these situations within their their own programs. This essay may be of interest to all coaches, but high school coaches in particular, as many of whom may be able to relate to the administrative issues that have to be negotiated for a sport program to thrive. Moreover, further commentary and discussion on this topic is invited.


interscholastic athletics, cross country, running, pre-performance routines, warm-up

Publication Title

Journal of Teaching, Research, and Media in Kinesiology