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The Magic of Being a GOTR Coach

By Teddey Hicks on 2/10/2017

There has never been a better time to show up for girls… and you’ll get something out of it too!

 

The GOTR Experience 

On a warm October afternoon at a local elementary school, a group of girls gathers in the gym at dismissal time. They have about 10 minutes to socialize--maybe even run around a bit and play a quick game. They laugh and recount their day, announce accomplishments and bemoan setbacks. This is a place where they feel safe and loved.

“Come join the circle,” calls a cheerful coach. The girls all gather, sit and get comfortable, ready for the day’s activities. The coach asks them about their day, and joins in the celebration of one girl’s accomplishment. Next, the coach begins explaining the theme of the day’s lesson to the girls, then goes on to facilitate a short activity to introduce the lesson. The girls stretch and warm up through a game or engaging activity that gets them moving. The workout portion of the lesson involves walking or running laps around a designated area while reflecting on the theme of the day. During this time, the coaches talk to each girl individually and develop personal relationships. Each lesson ends with a celebration of one girl’s special contributions or outstanding effort on that day.

 

The Incredible Impact of GOTR

Each girl brings her unique experiences to Girls on the Run. She may have faced a tough day or be dealing with some uncomfortable things at home, and Girls on the Run is an opportunity for her to share her feelings, get individual attention, and learn how to cope with her daily challenges. There are few other times in a girl’s life when she learns about being the best version of herself and a productive member of the community, while developing tangible skills to navigate complex interpersonal relationships.

“We still use GOTR strategies in our home on a regular basis. The techniques for successful communication we learned from GOTR are useful in so many different situations. My daughters learned to express themselves, stand up for themselves, and communicate clearly about their needs and desires. I am so grateful that they had the opportunity to be part of this incredible program.” -TH

 

What Does it Take to be a GOTR Coach?

The Girls on the Run Coach is the most important element of the GOTR experience. The patience, attention, care, and compassion of the coach is what creates a welcoming environment where girls feel comfortable to share their struggles and help each other celebrate accomplishments. There is no typical coach--they come from all walks of life and bring their unique perspectives to the program. The commonality among these amazing women and men is the desire to have a positive impact on the next generation of women.

"I love being able to coach Girls on the Run and spend time with the Girls. Girls on the Run teaches and focuses on a lot of valuable life-long lessons that can help each of them become stronger in a fun way!" -AB

 

It’s more about the girl than the run

GOTR uses running as a way to integrate the lessons and enhance the self-esteem of the girls, but the purpose of the program is not to improve running skills. The girls learn about their personal strength and to challenge themselves physically while focusing on their emotional and social development. All girls enjoy GOTR--whether they are athletes or not.

 

Coaches do not have to be athletes, either! There are many opportunities to influence the girls and interact with them without running. In fact, several of the girls typically prefer to do a walk-run combination, or just walk, so it’s helpful to have a coach or two walking with them and taking the opportunity to address their individual issues during the workout. Our philosophy at GOTR is that it doesn’t matter whether you’re walking, running, skipping, or cartwheeling--as long as you keep moving forward!

"I LOVE being a part of Girls on the Run because it helps little girls (and grown up ones like me :-) learn to be a loving, positive part of their communities. Their communities of other girls, their schools, their families, and their friends all get stronger as they practice being leaders and supporting each other in positivity. And who doesn't need more love and positivity in their world?” -AB

 

Your Chance to Change the World (and Improve Your Life!)

The one thing we hear time and time again from coaches is the terrific impact coaching has had on their own lives. All coaches experience the incredible feeling of having a chance to positively influence a group of amazing girls and play a part in the development of their healthy self-esteem. Veteran coaches love to return season after season because they recognize how much being a GOTR coach enhances their own life.

"I love coaching GOTR and watching the girls gain confidence, positive self-concepts, and healthy habits.  I learn from the girls as much as they learn from the coaching team and they become my inspiration to keep running!" -SK

 

Teddey Hicks

2/7/17


Girls on the Run of Central Maryland
9150 Rumsey Road
Suite A7
Columbia, MD 21045

(443) 583-7740

info@gotrcentralmd.org