You have taken the bold step to enrich the lives of your students by coaching them in a Young Runners program. Welcome! We want to make your program preparation as smooth as possible. In our experience, thorough preparation leads to engaged students, inspired coaches, enthusiastic administrators, and successful programs.
For both new and returning coaches, there are three basic essentials that happen at the start of each school year. These are:
As you explore options for your Young Runners sessions, keep these key considerations in mind:
Your Young Runners team will include both student runners and adult volunteers. You should strive to have a team with 10 or more students who attend sessions regularly. Sharing your excitement will help you build your team. Here are some strategies that are working for other Young Runners coaches:
As someone who works with young people, you know that change is constant. Putting together a plan before your season begins helps you and your team to navigate change when it happens. Having a plan instills self-confidence, and inspires respect from your students and volunteers. Check out these planning resources:
As you explore our coaching resources, consider the needs and skill levels of your Young Runners, so you can make adjustments where needed. One thing we believe all children have in common is the need for constancy in their teachers. They are counting on you to have a plan, and we are devoted to making that possible! When students know they can depend on you to never cancel practice and always start on time, they can relax and focus on running. Be firm. Make sure your team practices at least two to three times each week. When change happens, have a back-up plan in place, whether it’s other teachers who can help or adult volunteers who can step in to keep your program running smoothly. Once your plan is in place, all of you can relax, start running —and have fun!
STRIDES is the name of NYRR's online management platform. It's used to track the students' attendance and progress in Young Runners.
We have created a Quick Start Guide to help you set up your STRIDES account, create a schedule, add students, record attendance, and other common tasks. Please download it and keep it handy for reference:
Review your profile upon first signing in. Make sure the correct contact information and school address is listed so you receive all materials and incentives promptly.
You can also invite assistant coaches and other program staff to create STRIDES accounts.
One of your first tasks with STRIDES is to input your schedule. You need the schedule in order to track your athletes' attendance.
You also need to create a record for every student in your Young Runners program. Ensure that you collect the Participant Release forms as soon as possible as you will need parent/guardian contact information to complete the process.
Detailed instructions on all these functions can be found in the STRIDES User Guide.