Weekly Bulletins

During the season, a weekly bulletin will be e-mailed to team member parents and posted on the website.  If you would like to get on the distribution list, e-mail: lgoldman@pacbell.net

Dear Piedmont Middle School 6th Grade Cross Country Parents:  

Thank you if you have completed the questionnaire and meet participation on-line forms.  With our first meet coming up on September19th, I really need everyone to provide the meet participation information.  The steps are as follows.
Your child will receive 2 bonus points if this form is submitted by Wednesday,
September 14. (Due date extended.) 
The steps are as follows:
1.  Go to this page on our website:  http://www.pmscc.com/parents
(Copy and paste into your browser.)
2.  Click on the item labeled "Meet Participation Interest Form"
3.  A Google form will open once you click on this item, please complete all the information requested.  The section labeled "Participation" is where you indicate what meets your child wants to run in.  The options are "yes," "no," or "maybe".
4.  The next section, "Local Meet Help" is where you, the parent, indicate what meets you can either drive to or provide a snack.  First indicate how many passengers you can accommodate.  Second, for each meet date there is a Pull Down Menu to indicate if you can drive, provide a snack, or neither.  Don't forget to use the pull down menu for each meet.
When you are done completing the entire form, click on "Submit."  
If you encounter any problem using the form, let me know, 510-339-2430
Also, if plans for your child's participation in a meet change, just call or e-mail me.
At the end of this e-mail are some additional "q&a" items that came up. 
Summary of Practices Week of 9/5 
Hot weather was the rule this week and shade and cool breezes were at a premium.  Just so you know for every practice, thanks to Anya Edwards' mom, we have jugs of cold water for the kids to drink and we bringer "spritzers" so the kids can spay themselves to cool off.
In addition this week for our Thursday snack, Emma Nash's mom brought popsicles for the kids to enjoy. 
Our endurance runs this week took us to different parts of Piedmont, including Mt. View Cemetery, the Rose Garden, and a route toward Coach's Field.  In addition, we continued to conduct 800 meter time trials and I think most of the kids have been covered.  Another item we introduced to the kids was "Run for the Money" which are hill repeats, with a coach standing on the hill holding out play money and the first one there grabs the money.  Small prizes were awarded to kids who had the most money.  Finally, Coach Rich and Minori conducted form drills and an "obstacle course" drill on Tuesday and Thursday.  At almost every practice, I try to impart some bit of running philosophy or instruction.  For example, this week I asked the kids what the most important part of the body in running was.  Some said the heart, and a few the mind.  I think the brain is the most important part and I explained why.  I cited the example of Holland Reynolds, a runner who collapsed near the finish line of the 2010 California state meet and crawled across the finish line, because she was not going to be denied.  Her team won the state title in part because of her.
The Schedule for Next Week
Monday - September 12 - Practice from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m.
Tuesday - September 13 - Practice from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m.
Wednesday - September 14 - Practice from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.  
Wednesday is a early release day.  The kids need to bring a snack or lunch to practice.  We will give them time to eat it.  They can't run if their fuel tank is empty.
Thursday - September 15 - Practice from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m.
On Monday, the team will be doing a community service activity.  It will entail having the kids deliver the Wellness race notification flyers to all houses on the race route.  We will divide into 4 teams and each team will be assigned a specific part of the route. Each team will have about 80 flyers to deliver.  Also, the plan is to have a kick-off pizza party at the end of Thursday's practice and it will take place at the track.
In addition, it is my understanding from the Rec Department that the team t-shirt will be distributed along with the racing singlet.
Please remind your child that on the "early release days" practice is held right after the last bell.  
Runner Reward Program Points and Report
I decided to hand out the Copper Award level prize to all the kids, so every kid on the team should have received a coupon for a free Icee at Mulberry's.  If they didn't, have them see me at practice.  The next award level prize, a $3 gift card to Tutti Fruitti and it will be handed out at practice this week to those kids who have reached 12 miles. 
Thank you for posting any extra credit running your child does on the weekend, please continue to do so, the kids really like to earn points. 
Click on "Extra Credit Form" and enter the data and click "submit."  This has to be completed each time your child wants to get credit for running on the weekends.
At practice, we often award bonus points for something positive and above the norm that your child might do. 
You can review the points your child has earned by reviewing the report issued weekly.  It is not quite ready, I will have it posted on our home page by Sunday.
Team Goals
Just as I have asked each team member to pick a goal(s) for the season, the coaching staff has selected some team goals too.  They are as follows:
1.  Every kid on the team has fun and enjoys cross country.
2.  A 6th grade runner, male and female, finish in the top 10 at the league championship meet.
3.  The 6th grade team, male and female, finish in the top 5 at the league championship meet.
4.  A 7 or 8th grade runner, male and female, finish in the top 10 at the league championship meet.
5.  The 7/8th grade team, male and female, finish in the top 5 at the league championship meet.

Regarding item #1:

This is not “fool around” or goof off fun, but it is the pride, satisfaction and fulfillment you will

experience from improving your running, setting a personal best, competing in a meet,

running with friend’s in practice, taking part and contributing to the team.  It is the

fun of feeling good about oneself and participating in an activity that you can do your entire life.

Len Goldman
Additional Q&A's

Q.  How do the kids get home from meets?

A.  The parents who drive to the meets will also bring the kids back to Piedmont unless the parent of a child comes to watch the meet and picks their child up.  We ask that the carpool parents who drive any child back to Piedmont drop them at the child's home.  If you meet your child at the meet and then take them home, please let one of the coaches know when your child is leaving the meet and who the driver is. 


Q.  For the parents providing the snacks, what kind of snacks, for how many kids and how do we deliver the snacks?

A.  The snack should be enough for 8-10 kids.  Of course we want a healthy snack, and over the years it has been things like fresh fruit, fruit rolls, rice crispy bars, healthy other types of bars (Odwalla bars), etc.  You can either have your child bring it with them to school that day, although it might be a bit bulky, or you can drop it off to David in the Rec Dept.  David would bring it to the car pool area and give it to one of the 6th grade drivers to bring to the meet.  Another option might be to deliver the snack to one of the drivers.

The kids eat the snack after they run.  Obviously if a child needs an energy boost before they run, we would give them the snack before hand, but usually the kids get it afterwards when the digestion may be a bit easier.


Dear Piedmont Middle School Cross Country Parents:  

We completed our first full week of practices this past week and the kids ran and worked hard.  We averaged about 35 kids for each practice.  We really appreciate the support and interest in the program, its great to see how much the program has grown since its inception in 2006.  Again any child is welcome to first check out a practice or two and then decide if they would like to enroll. 
Please don't forget to submit the "Runner Questionnaire and Goals" form, 1 bonus point if submitted by 9/8, just go to this link on our website:
Myself and the other coaches will be reviewing the goals your child selects and at the end of the season we will follow-up on them.  I feel even at this young age, goal setting is appropriate and its an approach that has applicability in other situations the kids will experience.
Please note, the meet schedule and show of interest for the meets your child wants to run in will be sent in a separate e-mail later this weekend.
Summary of Practices Week of 8/29 
A brief re-cap of the week is as follows.  The weather was comfortable, a little warm, but not exceedingly so.  Again please have your child bring their own water bottle to practice.  Also just so you know, we never have a child do a particular activity if they don't want to and they have a legitimate reason.  Normal muscle soreness because of doing physical exertion is not unusual and is to be expected.  In addition, some fatigue and tiredness may also occur.  That's why we recommend the kids run a couple of days a week and have rest days too.  With time, it should dissipate and as the kids get into shape, it should not be much of a factor. 
Our longer endurance runs this week included a run to Crocker Park, Piedmont Park, and a jog from the track down to Lakeshore Ave. and back.  There are always 2 or more coaches with the kids on these runs.  I also had the kids run by the parking lot of the Piedmont Community Hall where they will walk to on meet days for a ride to the cross country meets.  In addition, we did some dynamic warm-ups, strides, circuit work, centipede and fartlek runs on the track.  On Thursday, we held a 800 meter time trial and after wards ran to Mulberry's where the kids enjoyed a Icee.  We take frequent water breaks during every practice and the treats this week included "otter pops," Popsicles, energy bars from Clif Bar and Detour, GU energy gels, and Pop Chips.
Finally, a Frisbee was given to all those kids who have registered for cross country.  We will continue to hand them out next week, in case your child didn't receive one. 
The Schedule for Next Week
Monday - September 5 - Labor Day Holiday, no practice (if your child runs on their own they can earn 1 or 2 bonus points)
Tuesday - September 6 - Practice from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m.
Wednesday - September 7 - Practice from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m.
Thursday - September 8 - Practice from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m.
Also, please tell your child that Thursday, September 15 will be our pizza party to kick off the season.  I realize that not every child will be able to attend, however I can only afford to host one pizza party.  It will be held at the track and the pizzas will take place at the end of practice.  The next minimum day is Wednesday, September 14th, practice is held right after the last bell starting at 1:00 p.m.  A minimum day does not mean there is no practice, please have your child attend.    
Runner Reward Program Points and Report
The kids have asked a lot of questions about the runner reward program and the points they have earned.  We are in the process of preparing the initial report and will post it on the website as soon as it is available.  On Thursday, I handed out the initial awards for the Copper level, a coupon for a free small size Icee at Mulberry's, generously donated by the store.
I will continue to hand out this coupon at practices next week. 
Regarding the Runner Reward Program, in summary, the kids earn 2 points for every practice they attend.  If a child can only attend one practice a week due to another sport(s) they are playing, I will give them one point.  I need you to tell me if your child is only able to attend once a week due to another sports activity.  Also, they can run on the weekend for extra credit, 15 minutes earns 1 point and 30 minutes earns 2 points.  In addition, sometimes at practice we hand out "bonus" points for the things the kids do.
Please note, to incent the kids to run on Labor Day, they can earn points by running for 15 or 30 minutes.  The extra credit does not apply to any running they might do in a weekend soccer tournament, etc., the child must have done a unique run separate from another sport.  You can report extra credit on-line, by going to this link:
Click on "Extra Credit Form"  and enter the data and click "submit."  This has to be completed each time your child wants to get credit for running on the weekends.
Finally, because of Bonanza Day, and this will be the only minimum day during the season that I will do this, those 6th graders who did not attend practice on Thursday will still get 1  point.  Those 6th graders who attended practice that day get  2 points.
Team Parent
Jenn Fox has voluntered to be the team parent for the 8th graders.  I need a parent volunteer for the 7th graders, it will take about an hour a week.  Contact me if interested.
I hope by the end of the week to publish a roster of the 6th graders on the team

If you have any questions, let me know.  Thanks and have a nice weekend.

Coach Len

510-339-2430 (home)  

Dear PMS Cross Country Parents & Other Interested PMS Parents:
We had a good first practice and the entire coaching staff is looking forward to the upcoming season.  We understand that the start of middle school can be a bit daunting, and hope that cross country can help your child with that transition by providing a healthy and fun outlet for them.  While practice is available 4 days a week, you decide what days your child would like to attend.  The minimum is one day a week, and because rest days are also important the maximum should be three days a week of practice, plus possibly running for extra credit on one day of the weekend. 
The weekly bulletin will be the primary vehicle for providing information to you.  Please read it in its entirely and share it with your child.  In addition we have a team website: www.pmscc.com
The "Frequently Asked Questions" tab has answers to many of your questions. 
If at any time you have any questions or want to discuss things, feel free to either e-mail or call:
510-339-2430 (home)
510-304-9533 (cell)
Schedule for Next Week 
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we practice from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m.  Thursday is a minimum day and the kids are excused at 12:45.  Practice is from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.  We meet at Witter Field.  The 6th graders have Bonanza day on Thursday afternoon and I completely understand if they choose that over practice. (I would!)  For the 7th & 8th graders, I expect to see them at practice that day, if that day and time fits their schedule.
Parents are welcome to observe our practices and see what we do.  Note, our schedule is also posted and updated on Google Calendar: http://www.pmscc.com/calendar
The schedule for cross country meets will be published in our next bulletin.  PMS hosts a meet at Temescal Park on Monday, September 26th.
Practice Items
Please note, your child should bring a water bottle to practice.  There are only two drinking fountains at the track, but the kids need to hydrate whether the weather is hot or cool and we do take breaks for this purpose.  In addition, every child needs to run in running shoes, not court shoes or an all purpose shoes.  Most of our running will be on the track, sidewalks or asphalt.  The meets will be run on a variety of surfaces, mainly dirt and grass.  Regular running shoes work fine on this surface also.  If your child's running shoes are more than 6 months old, you may want to buy a new pair.  There are many running stores in the area and I recommend going to a specialty running stores, so your child can be fitted by someone knowledgeable.  Transports on College Ave. does offer a 10% discount on non-sales shoes if you mention PMS.
Kids are not allowed to practice in flip-flops, barefoot, dress shoes, etc. 
Sun screen, its sunny at the track and there is little shade, so protection from the sun is important.
Its important to that they eat a nutritious breakfast and lunch.  They can't run if they don't have the energy.  Its okay if they want to bring a light snack (fruit, etc.) and have it right before practice.
At the end of every practice, we have a healthy snack.  If your child has any allergies let me know.
To assist me in getting to know more about your child I am asking you to complete a brief on-line questionnaire.  It will take about 10 minutes.  I am also asking that your child tell me what goals they have relative to being on the cross country team.  It is the last item on the questionnaire and there is a menu of items to choose from or they can submit their own.  Extra credit will be give for those team members who turn it on by Sept. 8.
To complete it, just go to this link: 
Click on "Runner Questionnaire & Goals" and complete the form and click on the submit button.  If you have any problems doing this, please let me know.  We discussed at our first practice what are goals and why they are important.
Runner Reward Program and Earning Extra Credit
Since the program was founded, we have had a program for rewarding team members for coming to practice, running in meets, extra credit for a running on the weekend.  Attached is a document explaining the program, and I will be handing it out at practice too.  I would appreciate it if you could review it with your child.  We will do the tracking and issue a weekly report of points earned.  As milestones are reached, the rewards will be handed out at practice.
I give extra credit if the kids run on their own, or with a parent on the weekend.  I only accept one extra credit form per week.  To report extra credit mileage, go to this link:
Click on "Extra Credit Form," complete the form and press the "submit" button. 
Note, if your child can only attend one practice a week because they play another sport or have some other commitment, indicate that on the questionnaire and I will give them one point each week because of this situation.  This is so they are not disadvantaged completely relative to earning miles.
Team Parents
We do need a parent volunteer or two to help coordinating drivers and snack providers for the meets.  It should take just an hour or so per week.  If interested, let me know.
While we have a good number of 6th graders, we welcome any boy or girl who wants to be part of the team.  Any student is welcome to try a few practices before deciding if they want to sign up.  So please have your child tell their friends and ask them to join them at one of our practices.
We have a very competent and experienced staff of coaches.  I feel it is important to have each practice staffed with enough coaches so the kids can be well supported and supervised.  You can read a summary about each coach on our website and I hope you have a chance to meet each of them during the course of the season.
Any question on the above items, let me know.  Thank you and have a nice weekend.
Coach Len

2008 Bulletin Archive - click here
2009 Bulletin Archive - click here
2010 Bulletin Archive - click here