Performance PROBLEMS

Hi! My daughter is a sophomore in high school. She had a great freshman year in track and cross country. However, this year she is really struggling. Everyone that she beat is beating her and she has really lost her confidence. Her mile time last year was 5:35 and this year it was 6:25. It is hard to see her struggle. I don't know how to help her. I don't know if it is something physical or psychological and performance anxiety. Any suggestions of what I should do or what it could be?

Thank you!

It's hard to help from a distance, but with some girls, they don't get faster as they get older because their body changes some. Is the training the same from freshman to sophomore year?

It gets harder as you get older, not necessarily easier. The only way to ensure that you maintain or improve in track and cross country is to pretty much run year round.

I can't comment on her performance anxiety, but I do know it is discouraging to get beat by people you used to beat.

Just do your best to stay positive no matter what. She will tell you what she needs. Don't put any undue pressure on her. One thing that I try to remind my high school athletes is that running is much different than any other high school sport. It is a lifestyle sport. Sure, you might not be as fast or as strong as you get older, but it helps you to maintain a healthy weight, and keeps you strong mentally as well as physically.

If she is able to stick with it, and not worry so much about race times, she might still at least enjoy being on the team.

I would look at running consistently in the off season though to make sure her junior year in cross country is a good one. Don't worry too much right now because every runner has ups and downs. My junior year was horrible, but that made me work hard leading into senior year. It also made my successes during my senior year that much sweeter.

Happy Trails - Coach Tief

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