Tag Archives: coaching

Overbearing Sports Parents

In my few weeks off this summer, I have a lot of things on my to do list ranging from “get organized for Step 1” “run 80 mile weeks” and “recover from MS1.” Also on that list is to work through the Mind of the Athlete materials in an attempt to improve my coaching for the coming season. When our new AD started at MMU, he was huge on Mind of the Athlete and purchased a license for all interested coaches. I’ve generally liked what has come through on email thus far and am really looking forward to having time in the next two weeks to work through more of the materials. I expect it will benefit me as both a coach and athlete.

In a recent email, the following graphic came through and stuck with me. I’ve been very lucky to have limited experience with this as a coach and suspect that overbearing parents are less common in cross country in some part because so much of the competition goes on away from spectator eyes. That being said, our team is not not immune and at our parent meeting later in the summer, I will be bringing up some of these issues so that all of our athletes have a calm, supportive racing and training environment.

Overbearing Sports Parents

From a Mind of the Athlete e-newsletter; all credit due to them!

What experiences do you have with overbearing sports parents? Were your own parents overbearing? Do you see this when your kids play sports?

Edited to Add Link to the Mind of the Athlete Blog where this came from:


A Running SWOT Analysis

In my old life, most projects began with a SWOT analysis. Strengths. Weaknesses. Opportunities. Threats. As I was out for a recovery run the other day, I started to think about my running SWOT analysis. I’m a bit cynical by nature and often focus on my weaknesses, but it occurred to me that acknowledging my strengths might have some value too.


  • Running Easy Runs Easy: I’ve never been one to race the easy days. Unless my run is a workout or a race, I don’t worry about pace. My long runs are easily 90 seconds slower than my race pace. I wear a heartrate monitor on key recovery days and don’t fret if that under 135 pace is 8:30 or 10:00 pace. I still recall an article from before I loathed Ryan Hall where he talks about running 9 minute miles on recovery days. If it was good enough for Ryan Hall in his heyday, it’s good enough for me.
  • Eating Good Food: I’m not perfect. I love anything gummy and most days, salt can get me too. That being said, I eat a mostly excellent diet with enough energy to power my day. I eat more carbohydrates than most people need because of my training load but balance that with high quality protein and good fat. I always refuel within 30 minutes of my runs. For long runs, I have almond milk with protein powder and a whole wheat wrap with almond butter. For shorter runs, I go with water with protein powder.
  • Basic Strength: I’ve done the same strength circuit before bed since I was a freshman in college and I reflexively do squats when I brush my teeth. What was once an attempt to maintain beach abs is now a habit. It includes Jane Fondas, crunches, bicycles and pushups. When all else fails and my schedule gets crazy, at least I get a little something in.

Weaknesses (so tempting to go on a roll here)

  • My head: I am working on this, but I am the master at mentally defeating myself in workouts and in races. By the time I hit the start line, I’ve already assessed who I’m going to lose to. Not a great way to go.
  • Sleep: Medical school is kind of ruining this for me, but my sleep has been subpar over the past months and I’m starting to feel it in workouts. I really need a solid 7 hours to feel human but often hum along on 6 and coffee. I’m using SleepCycle to try to reign this in. Although I’m not sold on the science, it is a very good measure of what time I got in bed and how many hours I’m sleeping. I’m often amazed at how much I overestimate my sleep.
  • Weight Training: Right now, our gym situation just isn’t that convenient. Because we walk or bus to school, we don’t have a parking permit which means we can’t go to the gym until 3:30 and since one of us coaches through all seasons, this limits our available hours for the gym to about 6 pm til 8 pm, exactly when we eat dinner.


  • Our new house (we’re moving in July) has a HUGE basement which means that I can get a treadmill!!! I know no one has ever been excited for a treadmill, but with our schedule, it offers me the opportunity to train regardless of my call schedule. It’s also a half mile jog to the gym, which will hopefully improve my weight lifting weakness from above.
  • A surgically repaired foot
  • A new PT that I’m really jiving with
  • The explosion in interest in Olde Bones and training partners that provides


  • Medical School
  • Injury
  • Father Time

What is your running SWOT analysis?