The Saint John’s Cross Country program is founded on the same values that give life to all that Saint John’s does. As such, we place a high value on the positive aspects of athletics, which develop personal well-being and health, contribute to habits of discipline and self-improvement, provide opportunities for cooperation and mutual support, and ultimately which foster friendships among teammates and respect for athletes from other schools. Excellence is fostered, and the route to that excellence comes from the day-by-day adherence to the season-long commitment that we expect from all our students, regardless of their level of athletic accomplishment at the time of entering our program. As important as athletics can be, clearly they follow in importance the student’s obligations to his God, family, and academics. As demanding as athletics can be, this coaching staff will never allow a team member to use this activity as an excuse for conflicts at home or for poor grades.
An athlete demonstrates dedication by attending practices and meets, and by doing his best to accomplish the goals of each workout set before him. All team members are expected to attend all practices and meets. Bring the schedule home and clear all dates with your family, since several meets are scheduled on weekends.
An athlete is allowed a maximum of five absences – a practice counts as one, a meet as three. Exceptions to this include personal health, family emergency, or religious commitment. In such a case, the athlete’s parent must talk directly to the head coach to confirm the nature of the exception. An excused absence from school on a given day will not count as a missed practice. An injured athlete must report to practice every day, doing what he is capable of in light of his injury. Often this includes some form of therapy as directed by the school’s athletic trainer. It is the responsibility of the athlete to check in each day at practice. In all cases, communication with your coach can avoid problems arising along the way.
Team spirit is demonstrated by cheering for and encouraging your teammates during meets and workouts, by taking responsibility and caring for team equipment entrusted to you, and by assisting in practice and meet management (e.g., moving equipment, directing parking-lot traffic, cleaning up, etc.).
Good sportsmanship is an essential element of being a member of this team. We display good sportsmanship in all the ways we behave – whether in the midst of competition, while we are supporting our teammates who are competing, or while we are preparing ourselves for an event. We display respect for the facilities we compete at and especially for all the people we encounter throughout the season. Saint John's Cross Country athletes are never to question an official's judgment call. If you are aware of an official's error in a rules interpretation, bring the matter to the attention of the coaching staff immediately; we will make the proper appeals. Athletes in our program are expected to show respect for their opponents, opponents’ coaches, officials, and fans, and to be supportive of their teammates at all times.
Special consideration needs to be made for the requirements of training in the changing weather of fall in New England. Proper clothing is essential. Be prepared to dress in layers with sweatshirts and sweat pants, wind and water-repellant jackets, gloves, and hats, as necessary.
As a general rule, practice will run from 2:30 until about 4:30, depending on the work out for that day. Attending practice means being able to make this time commitment on a daily basis. Every team member, regardless of his ability and level of accomplishment, should expect common activities as a regular part of the daily workout. They include warm-up, stretching, drill work, running, skill development, weight work, and warm-down.
The team will meet behind the locker room at 2:45, ready to begin our warm-up routine. Captains and/or coaches will lead the group in warm ups, stretching and drill work, particular work out, and weight work.
Meet Sites and Travel:
Team members are expected to travel to and from meets on the bus provided by the school. Parents attending a meet may take their son home with them at the conclusion of the meet, after speaking with a coach. If a team member needs to travel with a teammate’s parents, he must give the coach a note with parental permission. Under no circumstances should a team member leave a meet site before the conclusion of the meet. Students are allowed to travel to a meet, with the prior approval of the coach, if they live in that direction and give a note to the coach prior to the day of the meet.
A PRAYER FOR ATHLETES
Thank you, Lord, for giving me life and talents for my participation in sports.
Help me to play well, to use my powers to the full, to see them as gifts from you.
Be with me when I have to deal with the pain of injury, disappointment, and loss.
Keep me aware of the brotherhood I have with all people, even when they are opponents.
Free me from the temptation to fake, to foul, to cheat.
I need to see that dedication to the cause may mean difficulty and challenge, but let me know it is the kind of challenge that leads to new life and greater maturity.
Help me play with heart and never lose heart.
Most of all, help me never to quit in my efforts to be open to you, for I believe your full presence in my life is the way to real life in all I do; I believe it is the way to become the truly human person you destined me to be.