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7 Habits of Highly Successful High School Runners

August 19, 2008 - Erik Brown
Another high school cross country season is on the horizon. Hopefully, you followed your coaches’ advice and logged plenty of base miles over the summer. If you didn’t, you can still have a positive experience this year but you need to develop some good habits starting TODAY.
Here is the first of my Seven Habits of Highly Successful High School Runners.
1. Set both long term and short term goals. A long term goal might be to lower you current 5K P.R. by a minute, or to qualify for the state meet. A short term goal might be to log at least 30 miles this week and spend 10 minutes a day on core strengthening exercises. Already doing that? Then make it 35 and 15. Your goals should be revised and extended as you progress or slide back. Constantly setting and achieving short term goals is the secret to achieving the long term goal.
Absolutely tell your coach and your parents what your goals are. Then show them you’re serious. Your coach knows from experience that many desire success, but few are willing to do what it takes to achieve it. Still, coaches LOVE goal oriented athletes (your parents love you no matter what!). In fact, your parents and your coaches will likely get even more excited about your goals than you are, and work with you to help you achieve them.
Note: Coaches also love team oriented athletes and leaders. Talk to your teammates about goals for the team. Remember to have short term goals as well as long term goals.
You’ve got to have a dream. If you don’t have a dream, how are you going to have a dream come true?   --South Pacific
If the title of this post seems just a bit familiar, you may be thinking of the book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. Mr. Covey apparently reads Against The Wind, and decided to write an entire book about the seven habits. I’m just kidding of course! Anyway, here is a summary of Covey’s best selling book. The premise of his work is that change starts from within. I highly recommend it to high school runners and anyone else who would like to change themselves for the better.

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