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Weekly Bulletin #1 - Week of 9/6

posted Sep 5, 2010, 3:50 PM by PMS Coach
Dear PMS Cross Country Parents & Kids:
I wanted to welcome you and your child to our cross country program.  Thank you for signing up your child to participate.  If you haven't completed the registration paperwork, please do so.  If your child is undecided, I hope they will sign up and join us.  The PMS cross country program is off and running as this week marked our first practice and the program's 5th year.  It was both an exciting and awesome sight to see 70+ kids jogging around the track at the beginning of our first practice.  This was the largest turnout for any cross country practice ever!
I would also like to welcome you to my weekly bulletin that will be used to communicate news of the team and keep you informed.  Please share this bulletin with your child.  This first bulletin will be a rather lengthy, and I know you probably have a lot of other reading from the school, but please read this message in its entirety.
Review of First Practice
To briefly re-cap, at our first practice of the season, it was hot!    As I mentioned before, I would like every child to bring their own water bottle to practice but for these first couple of weeks I will also provide water.  Sun screen is another must, even on a cloudy day sun can be a factor.  I will do doing some things slightly different than in past years, one is every child and coach must wear a "name badge" with their first name, I will supply these at each practice.  In addition, near the start of practice we will gather for a "team cheer."  For some practices, starting very soon, kids will be divided into pace groups, so these groups will be a combination of gender and grade level.
Because of the heat, we took it kind of easy running wise on Thursday.  The kids were divided into 3 groups and they did a "shuttle relay" on the track, also we did a run into Piedmont Park and finally worked on form drills and exercises using the speed ladder and hurdles. To add an incentive to the relay workout, I awarded Yogofina gift cards to the teams that finished in the top.  I hope during the course of the season that all the kids will be awarded one of these gift cards.   Each practice will follow a similar format with a warm-up jog, group exercises, an endurance run of about 1 mile (with walk breaks along the way usually), form drills, and an obstacle course exercise with agility ladders and hurdles (6 and 12 inch), and time permitting an active game.  At the end of practice, the kids received either an "Otter Pop" or a energy bar or fruit roll as a treat.  If your child is allergic to any foods, please let me know.  Thanks to donations from Clif Bars and Annie's Natural, we will be giving the kids a treat after all practices.  
Next Week's Practices
Our practices next week are on Tuesday and Thursday starting at 3:15 and ending at 4:45 p.m.   The emphasis the first few weeks is on building endurance and conducting some "time trials" on the track to get an idea of each child's level of conditioning.  We will take several water breaks during practice and please encourage your child to hydrate during school hours and at home.  Also, make sure your child eats a healthy breakfast and lunch plus a snack, these meals will be the fuel they will need for practice.  Our total daily mileage, and this is broken up into several segments, is about two miles.  Our endurance runs will often entail running into the neighborhood, like Crocker Park, Hampton Field, Dracena Park, Coaches Field, etc.  These runs will of course be supervised by the coaches.  Some of the running incorporates hills and stairs, since the courses where we will be racing will have these features. 
Note, practices are held rain or shine as our meets.
Our regular schedule of practices is right after school on Mondays from 2:15 to 3:45 p.m.; and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:15 p.m. to 4:45.  We meet at Witter Field.  Your child can come as often as they want to practices, but it is required that they attend a minimum of once a week.  
Our first meet is scheduled for Thursday, September 23 at Mills College in Oakland.  Also, we are hosting a meet on Thursday, September 30th at Temescal Park in Oakland.  There will be more information on these meets in future bulletins.  As mentioned previously, the complete schedule of meets has not yet been finalized.  However, we will need parents to drive the kids to the meets and provide snacks, we depend on your support so that every child who wants to run in the meets has transportation.  If your child wants to run in some upcoming races on a Saturday at some of the local invitational meets that have a middle school race or in the Junior Olympics cross country races, contact me for more information.
Reminder - Questionnaire
I have asked the kids to complete, with your assistance, a brief questionnaire.  (See Attached.)  I would like it returned as soon as possible and as part of our Mileage Award Program the kids will get one bonus mile for returning it by September 13.  If your child can only attend one cross country practice a week due to participation in another sport, i.e., soccer, flag football, hockey, etc., please let me know so I can factor this into the miles they earn.   
We are lucky to have an outstanding group of coaches.  I encourage you to read the short bio of each coach that is on our website: http://www.pmscc.com/coaches   We have several new coaches this season and will soon be adding another coach, Christine Chapon, a Piedmont resident who has a son in high school.
The plan is to have at least 3 coaches at each practice, parents are welcome to observe practice to see what we do.  We are looking forward to this season and coaching your child.
Finally don't forget if your child runs this weekend and/or on Monday they can earn extra credit for the mileage awards program.  Note they do not get extra credit for competing in soccer or some other sport, it has to be a stand alone run.  The link to the form is:  http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/3P5KZV8
I have a lost and found item, sunglasses with a pink frame, see me at practice if it is yours. 
Please contact me if you have any questions.
Coach Len
September 23 (Thur)       St.Paul’s School (Host)    Meet will take place @ Mills College
September 30 (Thur)   Piedmont Middle School (Host)        Temescal Regional Park, Oakland 
October 4 (Monday)     To Be Announced
October 14 (Thur)        Prospect-Sierra School (Host)         Cerrito Vista Park, El Cerrito
October 18 (Mon)         Orinda Intermediate School      OIS Campus, 80 Ivy Drive, Orinda   
October 21 (Thur)        Joaquin Moraga School               Rancho Laguna Park, Moraga
October 25 (Mon)         El Sobrante Christian School     Kennedy Grove Regional Park, El Sobrante

 October 28 (Thur)        Martin Lurther King School         MLK Campus,   Berkeley 

  November 3 (Wed)     Sixth Grade Championship Meet

                                       Prospect Sierra – El Cerrito

  November 4 (Thur)    7 & 8th Grade Championship Meet