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Weekly Bulletin #3 - Week of 9/14

posted Sep 13, 2009, 11:33 AM by PMS Coach
Dear Piedmont Middle School Parents of 7th & 8th Grade Cross Country Runners:
This was a short week of practice due to the Labor Day holiday and the minimum day.    
The response to complete and submit the "Show Of Interest" form was not very good.  Only a few of you submitted it and this information is needed in order to plan for the car pool drivers and to determine which kids are running in the various meets.  I am extending the deadline to earn the 2 bonus miles for turning this form in.  The kids have until Tuesday, 9/15 to return it.  You can complete a "hard copy", and have your child bring it to practice (see attached) or you can go on-line and enter the information.  The link is:
Just click on the "Meet Show of Interest" line on this web page.  It will ask for a password and it is:  pmsparent 
I ask for your cooperation is filling out this form, it takes about 5 minutes, max. 
The plan is to have a team parent for each grade contact you about driving to the meets and providing snacks for the kids.  The 8th grade parent is Kim Lally and I believe she has already been in touch with the 8th grade parents, if not let me know.  We still need a 7th grade parent coordinator, any volunteers?  If no one steps up, I may have to take on this task also.  It also may mean a special mid-week bulletin to solicit 7th grade drivers for the 2 meets next week. 
Speaking of which, the week of September 21, we have two meets on Monday the 21st and Thursday the 24th, I hope to see many of you at these meets.  I will supply directions to the meet locations in next week's bulletin.  Our website has maps for these locations:
One other thing, since we had some unusual weather this weekend.  Practices and meets are held rain or shine.  Don't assume that just because it is raining that practices or meets are canceled, they are not.  Last year's 6th grade championship meet was held in a torrential downpour, several kids didn't show up because of the rain.  If a practice or meet is canceled for whatever reason, I will try to give you as much notice as possible.  Also, you probably have questions about the meet format, most of these questions are already answered if you review the "Frequently Asked Questions" section of the website:
A brief re-cap of the past week is as follows.  The warm weather continued.  I really need you to have your child bring their own water bottle to practice.  I have been supplying water and cups, but the kids have not respected this and usually leave a mess of empty cups.  There are only 2 drinking fountains and with 30-40 kids it takes too long to get a drink, so please help me by giving your child a water bottle for each practice.  On Tuesday of this past week, we jogged the time trial course again and the kids did their first track workout.  Although the distances in the track workout were short, I did not feel most of the kids gave their "best" effort.  Distance running is not easy, there are no shortcuts or easy way out, you have to put in the work, to get the kind of result you want.  There are no substitutes for hard work, talent/ability will only take you so far.  These are some lessons I try and impress upon the kids and as a result I ask them to try their best.  I can tell who is trying and who is not, and I will ask them to try harder if I see that they are short-changing themselves.  Feel free to contact me if you have questions about my approach to coaching.   
Next week, we have our regular practice schedule, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m.  On Monday, September 14th at the end of practice, we will have our season kick-off party with pizza and Gatorade to drink.  I hope as many kids can make it to practice that day as possible.  In addition, we will hand out the practice t-shirt (the kids keep this) and the racing singlet for the meets (the kids return this at the end of the season.)  Your child must be enrolled in the program to receive the shirt and singlet.  We will have the shirts and singlets available every day this week at practice in case they can't make it Monday.  The Tuesday and Thursday practices will emphasize endurance runs of about 1 mile, some hill repeats (Run for the Money), running stairs, and a bit of fast running on the track. 
One question I get a lot from parents and kids is about having to run a mile for time in PE class.  I understand this and the PE teachers know about the cross country program.  On the days of the meet, and if your child is scheduled to run the mile that day, they should tell the teacher that they have a cross country meet that day and they only will be jogging the mile, not racing it.  They should "save" their energy for the cross country race.  They still have to run the PE mile but they can take it easy on the days they will be racing, just let the teacher know. 
Regarding the Mileage Award Program, I decided to go ahead and distribute the rewards for the Bronze and Copper Levels, since I know every child will achieve these benchmarks.  So a "Kids Run the Nation" key chain and a coupon good for one Icee at Mulberry's was handed out to every child who came to practice this past week.  If I missed your child, I will continue to hand out these awards until every child has one.  I would like to thank Mulberry's for donating the Icee's.  The most current Mileage Report will be posted on our website soon.   Don't forget, you can report extra credit on-line by going to this link: http://www.pmscc.com/parents
Click on "Extra Credit Form."  The most current mileage tracking report is attached.
This week I also awarded several "Gold Medal" certificates and prizes.  This award recognizes outstanding performance in the meets and in practices.  It might be for making that extra effort, helping coaches without being asked, sportsmanship, or just general behavior that stands out.  The runners who received this award were Peter Lally and Ben Kerley.  The kids receive a certificate and their choice of a running hat, running socks, or water bottle.  By the end of the season, I expect every child to have earned this award.
Finally, the team received some good news this week.  The PMS Booster club has granted funding to the cross country and track and field teams for equipment.  This will include a pop-up tent and $300 that we can spend on equipment of our choice.  On behalf of the program I would like to thank the Boosters Club. 
If you have any questions, please let me know.
Len Goldman