First things first. Let me say that this is in no way a blueprint of how I think every kid should train or race in school. This is some of my philosophy and experience as a high school runner.
We all can find and come up with many ways to coach a high school runner. I know there are many good and some great coaches that most of us have never heard of.
With that said, let's move on with the subject. As a high school runner, I only ran Cross - Country and Track & Field for one year-- my senior year.
I guess you can say I had very little experience as a runner in high school. Some might say that the only endurance training,that I had coming into this sport was from playing full court basketball in 10th grade.
But I had a close friend, Tony Grace who was my teammate in basketball and a top regional runner in central Florida.
He demonstrated his endurance from cross country which showed me the value of cross country. But theie were other factors that contributed to my season and performance.
I ran at one of the biggest schools in Florida-- Dillard High School. We are talking about a school that put out many high school All- Americans and Professional athletes ever year.
One of my teammates was Lorenzo S White, who ran the 100 and 200 meters and played football for Michigan State and the Houston Oilers for 10 years. So at a school that great you have to produce.
My coach was Ted Bailily, a cool, calm and collected man all the time. Even when things were about to go to hell, he would always play it cool.
When I think of coach Ted, the first thing that came up was you can't run with Greg and if you don't place seventh, we have to put you on the JV team this year.
So my beginning was a long difficult process in becoming a decent runner in High School.The next race I beat the top two JV runners, and the first to tell me nice job was Greg Green.
The rest of the guys just went on like it was another race. See, the problem was that there were two good JV runners trying to move up. So I knew it was not good personally, Coach was just trying to be fair to the younger guys.
From that point on, I moved up slowly through the team to third guy on the team and made second team All Conference.
Three weeks later, I was second man on the team, and Th place overall at the State Championship. We lost State but only by 10 points but got second. Greg won State with a 14:30 three mile and I ran 15:30.
The guys that I ran with were, I guess you can say average runners, all but one runner-- Greg Green, our number one runner in cross country.
Green looked like some young kid that you can just walk up to and take his money easy.
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