Comments about ‘Guest commentary: Why cross-country's positive, hard-working culture works for kids’

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Published: Monday, July 7 2014 9:45 a.m. MDT

Updated: Monday, July 7 2014 1:55 p.m. MDT

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Arizona1
Tucson, AZ

Great article!

runnerguy50
Virginia Beach, Va

Totally agree with the article. If I'm looking at a resume I'll take the cross country kid over the hoopster or football player every time.
The culture around baseball,basketball and football is corrupt and worldly.

BYU Track Star
Los Angeles, CA

Whereas Cross-Country in High School was a blast. Running at the College level was a whole different matter. The College workouts were so exhausting one's body would be in an Excercise induced haze until 8 or 9pm. and one would still have 4 or 5 hours of Homework every evening, like: Calculus, Physics and, Chemistry. X-C gave me the toughness to make it through Engineering school. Part of the growing up process in College is gaining that self-awareness of what you can and can't fit in. I decided early on that being a competent Engineer trumped being an All-American in Cross country. I have no regrets and 40 Years later I still go running before my Engineering work day begins. No regrets.and no Shoulda-Coulda-Wouldas.

TiCon2
Cedar City, UT

Fantastic article and spot-on in your assessment of the traditional sports mentality. While most sports feature a war-like opposition of teams, cross-country racing features everyone running the same direction.

This isn't to say team-building doesn't feature at all, because it is an enormous part of the successful culture of any team. No one's playing time is diminished becuased they mentored a talented up and comer. Some of the greatest leaders on teams I've been a part of weren't the fastest, but the most upbeat, dedicated, and caring "harriers".

I will strongly encourage my children's participation when they reach that age.

belgie
Tualatin, OR

In addition to what's mentioned in the article, other benefits to running include:
-It's easy to keep as a life-long hobby
-It teaches self-discipline like few other sports can
-All the health benefits with almost none of the risks (despite what the "it'll ruin your knees!" crowd says)

Aggie238
Logan, UT

BYU Track Star's comment highlights another advantage that distance running has over most other high school sports, in that it can become a lifelong pursuit. In sports like basketball and football, after high school you are either good enough to play college ball or you are relegated to the annual neighborhood Turkey Bowl until your back or knees fail. After college, it's either on to the pros for the few remaining years that your body holds up, or again, back to the Turkey Bowl. Running is different. I know of a man who ran marathons until Parkinson's finally stopped him sometime in his 80s (and even then he wouldn't quit trying). I know of other folks who are running ultramarathons well into their 60s and 70s. Personally, I could have been a scholarship runner at most universities, but I chose not to sell my soul to the NCAA and pursue marathon running instead. When I got bored with that, I got into trail ultras, and if/when I ever get tired of those I'll try something else. It's all up to me, and that's what I love about it.

Aggie238
Logan, UT

And, lest my comments be dismissed as anti-team sports, I absolutely love watching college football and basketball, as one might deduce from my screen name. It's just not a viable lifelong pursuit for most people. I'll probably encourage my kids in other directions unless they really want to try out football or something (although this is partly because I will not be passing on any genetic advantages in the size and fast-twitch muscle departments).

linker
Manti, UT

Great commentary. As a life long coach I have always tried to put the personal progress concept into whichever sport I have coached. However I have to agree that cross country and I add track and field have been by far the most rewarding as I have watched athletes from rival schools create friendships that startle as they ran against each other. Sometimes one would win and then the other. These are life lessons as we learn how to compete in the real world. I encourage all potential athletes to look at these sports as avenues that the can find pure success at in their own individual way.

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