How Cross Country Athletes Stay Motivated

Cross country athletes from SHS and around the nation have different ways to stay motivated.

How Cross Country Athletes Stay Motivated

Cross country is a grueling sport, especially when it comes to staying motivated. Students from Saginaw High School and coaches around the United States explain how they’ve kept motivation to stay fit through hard times.

Amongst most cross country athletes, they have found that the team bonding activities helps keep their motivation high.

“The team environment really helps keep you going, to have other people devoted to the same thing, who understand what you’re going through,” freshman Vivian Burt said.

Javier Tafolla, a sophomore in cross country, says the athletes definitely lose out on sleep, especially on meet days.

“We wake up at like four or five, it's a little tough but it works. You just have to sacrifice some sleep and some body damage,” Tafolla said.

Having an idealistic goal and a realistic goal creates motivation to reach those accomplishments by creating a time you would be satisfied with and a time you would be really happy with according to Brian Ferrie, a regular runner who attended Cheltenham High School in Wyncote, Pennsylvania.

“To this day, I always have two different time goals. Great advice from a great coach,” Ferrie said.

Alyssa Carpenter, a blogger at Just Stalling who attended Cedar Park High School in Cedar Park, Texas, says she gained motivation from her coach who used the metaphor, “Every drop in the bucket.”

“I’ve gone from running 5Ks to training for marathons, so the ‘every drop in the bucket’ has become even more meaningful. If every drop is a mile, you have to accumulate a gargantuan amount of drops in your reservoir before you're prepared for race day,” Carpenter said.

A contributing editor for Runner’s World who attended Franklin Senior High in Reisterstown, Maryland, Scott Douglas, thinks about Coach Stan Ziolkowski’s words about physical and psychological benefits when he is struggling and thinking about cutting an interval session or tempo run short.

“The real benefits came from having the second half of a hard workout be at least as fast as the first part,” Douglas said.

Rachel Stephens, a regular runner who attended Coldwater High School in Coldwater, Ohio, says Coach Pete Lisi would give her a visualization of the race while doing deep breathing exercises to prepare her for the race.

“I do the same sort of visualizing before any big life event or challenge that I am nervous about,” Stephens said.

Cross country has always had amazing coaches and teams.

“Cross country means family, it's a great way to interact with people and get to know people personally,” Tafolla said.