Success, how can I have it?

More than anything else, success in cross country takes time . . . time to learn, time to train, time to eat, sleep and recover, time before and after school, time on weekends and time away from other interests. With the academic responsibilities of being a student, most student-athletes have quite a busy schedule! The willingness to devote the time that a success demand is called DEDICATION!

Being a member of the Belding Area Schools Cross Country Teams carries other expectations and responsibilities. Doing what is expected of every team member is called COMMITMENT. Attending team practices everyday is one of the commitments expected of team members. Our goal is to develop team loyalty and individual responsibility and accountability among all our team members.

Sports are a wonderful vehicle for personal growth. Becoming a good cross country distance runner also takes PERSEVERANCE. Most athletes are ready to make a sacrifice during a race, but those that make the sacrifice through months or years of training and racing are few indeed. Cross country runners and their parents need to understand that there can be no hurry. The fundamental condition of the young body cannot change overnight, but experience has shown that it can, and will change over a period of months and years of intelligent training.

We also expect each team member and his/her parent to COMMUNICATE with the coaching staff. If a problem or illness is going to force your son or daughter to miss practice or a meet, we expect him or her to tell us about it personally and in advance. This does not mean relaying a message through a teammate or a friend. A normal consequence of beginning to train is muscle soreness, which will soon go away. However, if a runner has not participated in sports before, this may persist for up to two weeks. They should communicate this to the coaches so we can adjust their training. Any athlete engaged in intensive training and competition is subject to injury. We can prevent most injuries when our runners tell us about their aches and pains before they become disabling.

One huge key to success is off-season and pre-season CONDITIONING. Runners are strongly encouraged to be on some sort of a training regime during the summer. Pre-season summer training is essential to build a fitness base for workouts and races during the season. Team members can meet regularly throughout the summer for group runs at 8:00 in the morning. Official organized practices for the high school start the second Monday of August and official organized middle school practices start the last Monday of August.

A nutritious, well-balanced diet is essential for an athlete. Especially on race days, fatty and fried foods, and carbonated or acidic drinks should be avoided. Small portions of easily digested foods eaten at least 3 hours before competition are best. Water intake should never be limited. Most runners crave CARBOHYDRATES, since this is the primary fuel for endurance events such as cross country.

How do I buy running shoes and equipment?

I recommend buying shoes at a reputable sporting goods store that deals primarily with running apparel (i.e., The Runnery in Greenville and Comstock Park or Gazelle Sports on 28th Street). This type of store has experienced runners as sales people who can help you choose the right shoe with the right fit. The best way to prolong the life and function of a new pair of running shoes is to wear them for running only. A running shoe that fits well and provides the cushioning and support the runner needs is their most important piece of equipment.

Loose fitting T-shirts and running shorts are adequate for daily training. There are many fabrics available that will provide comfort for the runner. Cotton is not your best choice, but acceptable. Practice clothing is the option of each athlete, however the coach reserves the right to not allow a student to practice or run in a meet, if they do not meet the Belding Area Schools values in their attire. Long sleeve shirts are often needed on colder days when we have meets. These under garments can only have one visible logo. Athletes are encouraged to wear wristwatches with a stop watch to practice but watches are not allowed during meets. Also no jewelry may be worn during meets. Athletes are strongly advised to not get new “ear piercings” right before the start of the season.

Where are Belding cross country meets held?

Belding Cross Country meets are held at Lightning Bend Park. Click here for directions.