St Francis H.S. (Sac.) Cross Country: Mission Statement

The St. Francis Cross Country Team will be guided by Christian values, honor the ideal of good sportsmanship, and provide for the girls a learning, nurturing, positive and fun environment in which they can mature.

Team Philosophy: The St. Francis coaches strongly believe that Cross Country is a team sport. We stress the team concept first and the individual aspect of the sport second.

Team Expectations: Since the cross country season is short, (lasts no more than two and a half to three months,) the girls will be required to be at all practices and meets. Special Notes: The coaches understand that family emergencies do occur and girls might miss some days. *****Also, if your daughter is involved in another sport, activity club, student council, etc.....she may attend 2 practices or meetings a week and participate with her other activity on the weekends up to Labor Day, Monday, September 1, 2003. After that date, she is required to attend all assigned practices and races. The coaches John, Tom, and Megan would like to caution the parents and girls who are trying to do 2 sports at one time. You will increase your chances for injury, illness, physical exhaustion and add extra stress to your school work and school day. Your daughter will lose out on team chemistry and camaraderie if she is dashing off to other practices and games during the cross country season. Think twice before you do both.

The coaches will be training the girls to become competitors and racers. We will be asking the girls to keep their school studies current, maintain excellent grades, and to be at practices and meets on time. We will ask the girls to eat nutritiously, get plenty of sleep, and do a little extra stretching and weights. In addition, the girls will need to train with quality, intelligences, have a positive outlook, offer encouragement to all team members, and have trust and faith in the coaches, in their ability to coach the team.

The sport of cross country fields three teams: Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Frosh/Soph. We need a minimum of seven girls for each team, and every girl will be able to compete in each meet. There is no sitting on the bench like in basketball, volleyball, soccer, or softball.

We are again blessed with three coaches this year. (Coach John, Tom, and Megan) Between the three of them, they have over 80 years of coaching and running experience to draw knowledge from, that will help to enhance the success of each and every girl on the cross country team.

*One Team-One Goal
Although we want to win 3 titles at the Section Championships, we want to do it as one team. We support everybody. We warm-up together, we race together in packs, and we cool down together. We play together. We all have the same goal of running as fast as we can and giving our best effort. Like U2 sings in the song "One" , "We need to carry each other, carry each other."

We need to be confident that we can push our bodies when our bodies are telling us to slow down. Confidence that we will finish with the same effort and focus as we start with. Confidence to take a chance and race hard in the middle of a race or run our hardest in the middle of a workout. We need to look at every race and every workout as a wonderful opportunity to test ourselves and become even more confident.

We need to respect everyone. Respect everyone, respect everyone who races, respect race officials, respect coaches, and especially respect our parents who without their support none of this would happen.   

We should be confident, but we also need to be humble. We are very good, but there are better teams than us out there and there are definitely better individuals out there who are putting in a whole lot of work to be good. We can't win every race and there will always be somebody out there who is faster. We should also be humble to some of the
courses. Running all the way to the top of some of those steep hills can be a humbling experience.

We need to thank everybody who helped make this cross country season an Experience. Thank the race officials for putting on the races. Thank other runners for competing against us. Especially thank our parents for supporting us and making this all happen. Thank your teachers when they work with us when you might miss a class. There are so many people to thank and be grateful for that the list goes on and on. Let's try to thank everybody.

At St. Francis, the one goal for Everyone is to be Successful. Success is performing to your greatest capability, rather than focusing solely on the outcome of a given competition.

There are four factors to being successful: Ability, Preparation, Effort, and Will.

Ability. Everyone has ability, but it isn’t distributed equally or predictably. Often ability is a gift of birth, but that doesn’t guarantee any success. The challenge isn’t to have ability, because everyone has it, but to develop and use the ability we are given.

Preparation. We will be able to better use our ability if we invest in preparation. We also call preparation Training. Only through the persistent and consistent process of Training can raw ability be transformed into greater capability. And again, although developing greater capability is important, it is still no guarantee of success.

Effort. Developed ability realizes its value when expressed through the challenge of competition. That expression is accomplished when physical and mental effort summon every ounce of one’s capability. And still, giving everything you think is possible at crunch time may not guarantee success.

Will. Crunch time is real, both in sport and life. It is that moment when you think you have given all you have, only to find out even more is required. Many races are won or lost at this moment. Some athletes are able to draw on an inner strength to summon greater effort than they know themselves to have. This is the use of one’s will, the power to go back to one’s personal reservoir again and again as needed.

When we as individuals and as a team train hard to develop our ability, give our best effort in training and competition, and show the will to push ourselves beyond self-imposed limits, then we will be successful.