Wednesday, August 9, 2017

first day of practice -- PARENT INFORMATION!!


Contact information --  Jeff Kalember 989-370-0924 head coach, Matt Warren 989-614-0987 assistant coach

REMIND --  I send out regular text messages to athletes and parents via the REMIND text messaging program.  I do not overwhelm you with too much information.  Send a text message that simply says  @mrkalembe to the number 81010 and you will be included.  YES THERE IS NO R on the end of my name when you send this  -- send @mrkalembe to 81010

WEBSITE -    I regularly post workouts, schedules, directions, meet information on our website and the web address is  do not type www in front of this, just

FACEBOOK -   I regularly post pics from meets and GHSXC information on my facebook page.  Add me if you’d like to see meet pictures and team camp pics.

MEET SCHEDULE    (Girls run first in all races in 2017)

August 31 – A2 Run Classic – Brighton Michigan.  GHSXC has never been to this meet before, will post meet info on our website  when I know more

Sept 9 – Mud RUN at Charlevoix High School  -   meet is run by grade, time schedule will be posted on our website.  9th and 10th run together, 11-12th grade run together, separate boys and girls races, then middle school race afterwards, awards at noon-ish.  Should be about 20 teams or so with stiff competition.  Great first meet where kids can compete against their own age levels.  The course is European style XC with hay bale jumps, barriers, and MUD.  Directions – go out of town west on M-32 to East Jordan, then take M-66 into Charlevoix, turn LEFT at the first light at the intersection of M-66 and M-31.  Go south on M-31 about 200 yard then turn immediately left on Marion Center Road (C-65).  Continue on along for about 1.5 miles to Charlevoix High School.

Sept 16- Holly Invitational near Fenton/Holly Michigan.  BIG invitational with stiff competition.    Will post more information on our website as the day approaches.

This is the first of our Big North Conference meets with Petoskey, Cadillac, Alpena, Ogemaw, TCCentral, and TCWest.  It is always some of the toughest competition we face all year.  There will be only two race GIRLS first, then BOYS, starting at 4pm.  Directions – we usually race at Cadillac Middle School

SEPTEMBER 23th  , SATURDAY DELTA INVITATIONAL – DELTA COLLEGE Unique, short, flat and fast 2 mile race.  This is one of my favorite meets – Girls have won this invitational for the last 16 years in a row, boys have won 14 of the last 16 years.  It features separate races for varsity boys, varsity girls, boys JV, girls JV races.  Exact time schedule will be posted on our website when I get them.  Directions – take I-75 south to exit 160 – (BAY ROAD).  Go just a bit then turn right onto DELTA ROAD.  Delta College about a mile down on Delta Road. 

This is the second of our big north conference meets.  Same schedule as the last one Big North race, one boys race at 4pm, followed by girls race.  Races are run at West Branch Ogemaw Heights High School

OCTOBER 7th Saturday – Saginaw Invitational – Big Invitational with lots of D1 competition.  Will post time schedule and directions on our website later.

This is the final BNC meet for  us and it will determine the team conference champion and individual all-conference honors.  It is one of the toughest courses we run all year, but we love it.  Races start at 4pm with Girls, then 430pm boys then 5pm ALL JV.

OCTOBER 21st – Rotary Invite, Northern Michigan XC Championships – This is our home invitational featuring a fast, flat course, and 25+ teams.  Full schedule with times will be posted on the website when we get closer to the date.  RACES ARE AT MICHAYWE.  NEED LOTS OF PARENT HELP FOR THIS MEET, IT IS A HUGE FUNDRAISER FOR US.

OCTOBER 28th  SATURDAY – REGIONALS,  HOME!  On our Michaywe course.  More info on times of races later.

The state finals are held at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.  As usual, we’ll stay at the Holiday Inn south or Holiday Inn Express in Lansing on Friday night, have dinner at Olive Garden, go shopping at the mall, and head down to Brooklyn early Saturday morning.  I’ll pass out a full packet of information about the state finals when the time draws near.  For more information see … and go to cross country  - this site has past results, times, etc.

Our team banquet will be held at GHS in the commons area for subway dinner.  GHS culinary will make us desserts and all table service will be provided.  Free meal and dessert as a reward for all your hard work and all the parent volunteers.

RULES RULES RULES -- Obviously we have school rules.  These all apply while on the bus, at practice, or at meets and can be found in your student handbook.  Other than that, one big rule is the FIVE DAY RULE.  In order to be eligible to participate in a meet you will have to participate in five consecutive days of practice.  There are acceptable reasons for missing practice.  These include: family emergencies, funerals, family functions, etc.  Reason which are NOT acceptable for missing practice are – haircuts, babysitting, jobs, etc.  If you feel you must miss practice for any particular reason PLEASE talk to me well in advance and clear it with me first.  If you simply don’t show up at practice it will probably make you ineligible to participate in the next meet.  If you are sick or injured, again, PLEASE TALK to me.  A day of rest can be considered your practice for the day if you communicate with me.  Communication is the key.

Remember – our GHS athletic department rules also apply.  The athletic department rules state that if you are ABSENT from ANY PORTION of the school day school day then you are not allowed to participate in practice.  This will then affect the 5 day rule we have for cross country.  Exceptions to this rule are PRE-EXCUSED absences for doctor appointments, orthodontics, college visits etc.  However, these must be communicated to the coach and/or Athletic Director.

An extension of the five day rule is the SIX DAY RULE.  If you have more than 6 unexcused absences from practice during our regular XC season you will be asked to leave the team.  To be honest, nobody should ever have an unexcused absence.  You should be at practice every single day.  You should be committed.  You should be here.  If you are not at practice it is because you don’t want to be here.  These people are distractions from our team goal of being the best that you can be.  Obviously there are excused absences such as family functions, weddings, being sick, etc.  Again, communication is the key.  Talk to the coach before you are gone and pre-excuse yourself.  When you are just randomly missing in action it could possibly count as an unescused absence.

Example 1 – Johnny is tired because he was up late and had a busy week of tests and studying.  He asks his parents to let him sleep in and excuse him from 1st and 2nd hour.  He will not be eligible to participate in practice on this day (SCHOOL RULE) and will not be eligible to run in a cross country meet until he has 5 consecutive practice days. (MY RULE)  THIS ALSO COUNTS AS AN UNEXCUSED ABSENCE.

Example 2 – Susy forget her spikes at home for the meet today so she skips 4th hour to go home and get them.  Mom calls in to excuse her.  She will not be eligible to participate in the meet this day and must get 5 consecutive practices before she is eligible.  THIS ALSO COUNTS AS AN UNEXCUSED ABSENCE.

Example 3 – James has an upcoming orthodontist appointment in Petoskey.  He talks to his coach two days before the appointment about the situation and tells the coach that he will miss 3rd and 4th hour but he will be back for practice.  He is excused and may participate in practice.  GOOD COMMUNICATION

Example 4 – Jane is not feeling well at all.  She comes to school but feels sick and she has a sore throat.  After school she comes to practice and talks to the coach.  They discuss their options.   If I see that Jane is NOT feeling well, her practice for the day will probably be to go home and rest.  This will count as an official practice day for the athlete.  Sometimes the best practice is rest.  GOOD COMMUNICATION

Example 5 – Robert is not feeling well.  He tells our team captain that he’s going home right after school because he’s sick.  Robert misses practice and does not talk to the coach or communicate with him in any way.  Robert is in violation of the five day rule.  THIS IS ALSO AN UNEXCUSED ABSENCE.

Example 6 – Joanne has been on the GHSXC team for two years.  She is working for the first 5 days of regular season practices after the season has officially started.  This is a violation of the six day rule.  If Joanne misses one more practice unexcused she will be asked to leave the team.

Example 7 – Jon didn’t know if he wanted to join GHSXC so he waited until the first day of school and joined then.  Since he had never run XC before this is 100% ok and his first day of practice is his first official day.  We like it when kids join XC and they may join at any time during the season if they’ve never run before.

In a nutshell, we want students in school.  If they are too sick to be in school then they will need several days to recover to get better.  This is the reason for the five day rule.  In addition, we want runners who are committed to the team, we want them at daily practice every single day. 

Focus Rule -  I know many CC athletes join us to “get in shape for another sport.”  These soccer players, basketball players, wrestlers, or whatever have often become a very valuable part of our team and we appreciate them joining us.  However, this has also led to some conflicts.  First, since XC is the sport that is currently “in season” you must choose XC events/meets over any “club” meets or events.  Second, you must NOT participate in any other sport during the last 4 weeks of our competitive season.  For 2015, that means starting on October 1st you must not be in any other organized club sport that has regular practices or “games.”  Why?  Doing too much at this point in the season leads to “burnout”, over doing it, and ultimately, injuries.  We focus on running our fastest in October and you NEED EXTRA REST, not extra workouts.  If you cannot follow this rule then XC is just not for you and that’s ok.  Focus on what you feel you need to focus on, no worries.

A few helpful hints for the athletes:

Rest - During the training season athletes will need more rest than normal.  The demands of competitive running, school, work, chores, and family put a lot of stress on your runner.  Please be sure they are getting plenty of rest.  Trying to balance school, jobs, and a competitive sports team can put a lot of stress on adolescents.  Getting the proper amount of sleep is a necessity.

*****Food – think of runners as race cars.  Race cars need race fuel.  Good fuel for runners is carbohydrates and lots of liquids.  Fresh fruit, vegetables, breads, cereals, fruit juices, and small amounts of low-fat protein are great.  No special food is required, BUT girls will require extra IRON in their diets.  Ask your pediatrician or family doctor about iron supplements.  A recent study shows that over 50% of all teenage girls are borderline anemic.  Extra iron in their diets or iron supplements will help their running AND make them feel better overall.  Nearly every collegiate girls XC team uses iron supplements to keep their girls healthy and running up to their potential.

Hydration is also important.  Gatorade, Powerade, and other sports drinks allow runners to re-hydrate AND keep important electrolytes.  Too much water (over 6-7 glasses a day) can rinse the body of the electrolytes (sodium and potassium) needed for proper muscle contraction. 

Shoes/Clothing – it is best if runners have a NEW pair of running shoes each season.  This keeps their legs healthy and stress free.  Many athletes like to purchase high tech, vapor wicking, expensive running gear.  This is not necessary.  Shorts, t-shirts, and sweats will do just fine.  If you are going to spend money, it’s best spent on shoes.  Spikes are not mandatory, but definitely helpful in XC races.  Many races will have muddy courses with hills and sharp turns.  Spikes will keep you on your feet in these situations.  A quick google search will find many of last years model spike shoes on sale CHEAP !! is a good place to start – check out the “bargains”

Notes for parents --  One of the best things you, as a parent, can do to help your child’s running career is to be positive.  Attend their meets and cheer loudly for them.  Don’t bug them about weekend running and summer training.  Athletes who are pushed usually shy away from running and feel pressured.  When they are ready, both physically and emotionally, they will begin to run on their own.  My parents purchased me a “running log;” it was one of the biggest motivators for me.  It was a simple little book I could use to write down each workout I did.  In 1982 I began filling the pages and I felt like I needed to write something down each day.  34 years, 200+ races, over 24,000 miles later I’m still filling the pages.

Boys vs Girls  -- Boys and girls react differently to running.  As freshman and sophomores, boys are often nowhere near their best.  Boys usually need to be 16-18 years old before they can hope to be running at their potential.  The key for boys is to stick with it.  As a freshman I was the 15th fastest boy on my team.  As a senior I was the second fastest.  The valuable experience that boys gain as 9-10th graders will pay dividends when they are junior and senior varsity runners.  Girls, on the other hand, can often run very well as freshmen and sophomores.  Some girls get slower as they move through high school, some stay the same, and some get faster.  It is important that girls do not get discouraged if their times do not improve over their career. 

Varsity and JV -- The varsity is comprised of the top 7 fastest boys and top 7 fastest girl runners.  With each meet this can change.  If you finish in the top 7 of  our runners in one meet you will run the next meet as a varsity competitor.  To earn a varsity letter you must be a varsity runner in at least half of our races OR be on our varsity team for the regional meet.

The WATCH –   One of the best aspects of coaching cross country is a stopwatch.  A stopwatch does not lie.  A stopwatch tells the coach who is the fastest and who is the slowest runner.  In this sport there is no subjectivity.  In other sports the coach often has to make a subjective decision on who he/she thinks is the best player for a position on the varsity team, or who gets the most playing time.  In our sport, the watch usually makes these decisions for us.


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