My Daughter, the infamous Cha Cha, said something to me the other day that has stuck with me.
She was talking about her cross country coach. She said that he didn't really talk to the slower runners. He claps for the entire team at the meets, but at practice and at school, he's really only interested in the faster runners. I get what it's like to be competitive, but I'm not dealing with an entire team of middle school kids.
Cha Cha is a runner. She's not the fastest, but she's not the slowest either. I've seen her at her meets and I've run with her. She's tenacious and tough. She walks sometimes, but she's 11. She hasn't learned how to fight past the mental aspect of running, but she will. She ran a 5K in October and took first place in her age group. I think she's pretty awesome.
It bothers me that she feels like the coach ignores her because she's not super fast (yet). Regardless of if he actually does ignore the slower runners or not, it's her perception that he does. That's sad.
It's a missed opportunity for him. I understand that this particular team is one of the biggest in the county and there are more than 100 kids who run (how cool is that?) and he can't be BFFs with everyone. But it hurts my heart, that she feels like she's not as good or not a favorite because she's not as fast. No one should feel like that. Especially an 11 year old.
Imagine if every kid got a high five, if every kid felt like they were an awesome runner. Imagine if the slower kids felt like they were important to the coach. Imagine if the coach spent just a little time encouraging these kids that aren't the fastest. There could be a hidden superstar just waiting to emerge.
Sometimes all it takes is a little encouragement.
Encourage those around you, share your positivity (running and otherwise) Let people know they're special.