Our goal is to run a program where athletes are expected to make a significant commitment to self-improvement, yet which does allow for some consideration of external obligations for a complete high school experience. We strongly believe that success in distance running, as in any endeavor, is dependent on consistent effort and commitment to long-term term goals. Participation in high school athletics is a privilege; while we support athletes of all abilities, we feel that to earn the privilege of being on the team, all members must be willing to make an equivalent commitment. While we certainly encourage the development of well-rounded individuals, we also recognize that the value of athletics cannot be truly realized if the athlete is unable to make a full commitment to cross country. This may require that athletes have to make some difficult choices, but the team will derive strength from the shared sense of commitment that all individuals are making.
Each returning athlete is allotted 2 unexcused absences. After the third, they are asked to leave the team. The first unexcused absence will be a warning. The second unexcused absence will result in not racing the following weekend.The third is dismissal from the team. Examples of excused absences include but are not limited to: illness, family emergency, retreat, some academic related meetings with advanced (> 24 hrs) notice, most college visits, observance of a religious holiday, or SAT/ACT. If you attended some school but had to leave because of illness, please either see one of the in-house coaches or let us know via email as soon as you can. Communicate with us instead of using a peer as a messenger. In order for an absence to be excused the athlete must speak with the coach well in advance (assuming it is not a family emergency or illness) and also follow up with an email so that there is a paper trail. It is when communicating with the coach that the athlete will find out if that is excused or not. Examples of unexcused absences include but are not limited to: birthday parties, tutoring, forgot my shoes, too much homework, a group project, planned medical appointments, club meetings, not having a ride/my ride is leaving, oversleeping, concerts, or no communication from an absence that would otherwise be excused. The more the communication the better.
We meet every day but Sundays (on exception we do) from the start of the IHSA fall season through the State meet. The IHSA calendar is here. Once the school year begins, we meet after school every weekday from 3:25 until 5:30 each day. Some days will go longer, some will go shorter. It is our expectation that all athletes stay until the practice is completed. This includes weight training, stretching, etc and not be rushed through any of it.
When it comes to meets it is expected that the athletes arrive to the meet on the bus (for most meets) and stay until after the team meeting post awards. See meet schedule here. If an athlete is unable to attend a meet, let a coach know as soon as possible, preferably more than a week in advance.
Cross Country athletes are required to be at practice and meets every day they are scheduled from start to finish. If for some reason you are unable to be at practice, it is their responsibility to contact us coaches well ahead of time to let us know. If you are sick and do not attend school, you must e-mail the coaches sometime before the end of the school day to be excused. If you are sick on the day of a meet, this is especially critical to communicate so that your spot may be replaced with another athlete.
Any high performing team must communicate well. It is our hope as coaches that we create a positive, caring environment each day where communication can be fluid and honest between all parties involved. Both critical and encouraging feedback will help us to progress to where we all want to be.
It is an expectation of the team that if an athlete has an issue, they are to speak to either their captain or the coaches. In order to develop student athletes to be advocates for themselves and powerful communicators, we ask that the parents allow their child to be the communicators.
Wherever we go, we are to leave the place as good, if not better, than we found it. Our team camps, practice sites, homes that host us for dinner, buses, and even the hallway where we stretch should be fully cleaned by the entire team - not just those that are there last.
Distance runners have always been particularly good students, however that doesn’t mean it will come easy. We expect our athletes to be high achievers in all that they work at. High achieving, in the class, just as in running, depends on the individual. Despite the God given abilities, all can put in diligent, sincere effort towards their work. If we feel as though you're effort is not up to expectations in the classroom we can ask you to sit out.