Summer Workout Plan for Fall Cross Country

This article presents an overall approach to setting up and implementing a summer workout plan. The examples here were for a high school cross country team. At a team’s Newcomers or pre-summer meeting, establish clear guidelines establishing your expectations as the coach. Explain how much you want athletes to run. Indicate how far and how fast they should be running. If you will have requirements for how much they need to participate, make those clear.

Rules Considerations for participation in the summer

Make sure you understand any rules that your school, region or state may have regarding participation in the summer. These vary widely across the country. As a coach, you need to then communicate these clearly to athletes and parents both newcomers and veterans. For example, I was not allowed to lead practices for a prescribed period early in the summer. Athletes could organize and meet on their own. Usually, captains would set this up without my direction or participation.

Tryouts and the summer workout plan

If you as a coach are going to use summer participation as a criterion for team selection, make that clear. If you are going to hold tryouts during the summer workout plan, make sure you have made the standards for selection clear. I did not hold a tryout. What I did, was to “require” a certain minimum participation in terms of practices attended and miles run. I coached females primarily and found that there were too many examples of athletes who developed over time. Had I implemented a tryout, they may not have made the team. I would have lost the chance to have valuable contributors to the team. Additionally, many of them would have missed out on a great opportunity to be a part of the program.


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