|Come run with us!|
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Summer running by example
Open summer runs for the cross country team began last night. “Open” runs are optional – show up if you can, feel guilty if you can’t. “Open” also means anyone can join us. They don’t have to belong to the team. We had as many adults present as kids. That is great and here is why …
I learned a long time ago that a good leader, even a great leader won’t ask those he is attempting to lead to do anything he is unwilling to do himself. Let me word that a different way … Great leaders teach and lead by participating in the very thing they require of their subjects or students.
This is especially effective on the cross country course. An adult that has logged as many miles and traveled the same route as the young athlete, perhaps a little slower, gains the athlete’s respect and attention. Respect because they both know how difficult the task at hand, and attention because the athlete can be confident in the adult’s knowledge and experience. This holds true whether that adult is a coach or a parent. Surely, the adult knows what it feels like to want to quit, have lungs that burn, and legs that cramp. The adult also knows that the discomfort will end when the race is over and he can reassure the athlete that they are doing fine.
It’s a simple concept and one we’ve all heard. “Teach your kids how to work by working alongside them.” Yes, we’ve heard it, but sometimes we forget. We want to dictate. We want to make assignments and hope they get carried out properly. We justify by saying, “Do as I say and not as I do.” Then we wonder why we have trouble leading.
To all the brave adults out there teaching by example I say, “Carry on. You have it figured out!” And if you are a running adult I say,