There are several key ways to keep your team running smoothly. You'll need to track the progress of your Young Runners in order to reward them with patches and other incentives. As a coach, your role ranges from administrator to problem solver and mentor. And New York Road Runners will play a crucial role. Here's a guide to maintaining your Young Runners program.
During the first two weeks and the last two weeks of each season, your Young Runners will complete the One Mile Challenge to set and then evaluate their performance goals. Beginning in October, you will be able to enter One Mile Challenge times, Goal sheets, and Distance records into STRIDES. In the meantime, you should track these on the forms provided on the flash drive. As athletes reach their goals, reward them with the following incentives, and help them set new goals!
Students earn a patch for the first time they run a mile in under:
12 minutes • 10 minutes • 9 minutes • 8 minutes • 7 minutes • 6 minutes
Students earn a patch for the first time they run or walk the following distances without stopping (as long as their pace is 18 minute/mile or faster):
1 mile • 2 miles • 5 km (3.1 miles) • 4 miles
Students also earn a patch for the first time they run four miles in under:
45 minutes • 40 minutes • 36 minutes • 32 minutes
After your runners enter NYRR 4-mile races, NYRR will review official race results to see if your runners achieved the 4-mile time patches.
Eligible teams can receive a team trophy when everyone on the team has run/walked a 5K without stopping at an 18 minute/mile pace or better (55 minutes and 48 seconds). At the end of each season NYRR will select one team to receive the Effort Award Team Trophy based on their participation over the course of the season.
You are responsible for taking attendance at each practice and race or event. Young Runners accumulate attendance points and are eligible for incentives at various point-levels. Enter attendance into STRIDES once a week or once every two weeks. At the end of each season, NYRR will send incentives to all runners who earned them.
Nominate a member of your team each month to be the Runner of the Month by submitting the appropriate form, found on your flash drive. This award should be used to recognize athletes for such qualities as sportsmanship, improvement, positive attitude, and preparedness.
Refer to our Incentive Guide for more information about point-levels and incentives offered.
Coaching a Young Runners team is fun and rewarding, and also an important leadership position. You will wear many hats: intrepid leader, trusted guardian, the “rock” that both your students and NYRR can depend on. Here are your most important roles:
Entering information into STRIDES and submitting Participant Release forms is an important part of communication with NYRR. It ensures Young Runners receive their incentives and is reflected in the evaluation of your site. Keep your Field Coordinator up-to-date on the following:
You are an advisor and role model to your kids. When your attitude fosters effort and sportsmanship, you encourage your team members to feel the same way. You must also make sure everyone feels included and committed. Being committed to the team means arriving on time, respecting others, and working hard to break a sweat.
Safety and welfare should be your top priority. Collect emergency contact and medical information about all the runners. In cases of injury, you should fill out the Accident Report Form provided to you at the training and on your flash drive. Always follow your school or organization's safety protocols.
All coaches will face challenging situations, no matter how prepared you are. Here are a few typical scenarios you might encounter.
You are not alone! NYRR is dedicated to helping make your Young Runners program a success. Your primary contact will be your Field Coordinator. (If a problem arises with your Field Coordinator, contact the Program Manager of Young Runners immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org.) Here's what you can count on from NYRR:
You will receive weekly emails from the Program Manager of Young Runners. These include important details and deadlines for races, bus requests, and reminders of upcoming events. During race weeks you can also expect race-specific emails and bus-specific notices. If you are participating in a race and requested a bus but did not receive these emails, please write email@example.com.
Sites will be evaluated by the Field Coordinator and the Program Manager three times per year. After the second and third evaluation, the coach will receive an evaluation letter explaining how the site performed. The evaluation letter will provide a rating of 'Needs Improvement', 'On Target', or 'Outstanding'. If a site receives two consecutive 'Needs Improvement' ratings, NYRR will suspend support.
The Field Coordinator is the coach's primary contact with NYRR. All questions should be directed to him or her first. Field Coordinators will attend practice on a regular basis twice a month.
Field Coordinators will actively assist the coach at practices but should never be put in the position of being the primary adult supervision. Field Coordinators will collect team updates from coaches on a regular basis. Using these updates, NYRR will maintain an informational database for the team.
Use the forms we provide to keep track of all required information. Submit forms in a timely manner to your Field Coordinator. Remember these key steps:
In our experience, thorough preparation leads to engaged students, inspired coaches, enthusiastic administrators, and successful programs.
Time to start running! This section has guidelines and tips--from planing the first practice to keeping students motivated at the year's end.