coach spotlight

Coach Spotlight: Jenny You

We chatted with Jenny You this week, a new coach at one of our Girls on the Run sites on the Upper West Side. We love Jenny’s enthusiasm and want to thank her for all of her contributions to GOTR!

How long have you been coaching for Girls on the Run?

This is my first season and I’m loving it! I will definitely be signing up for seasons to come.

What is your favorite thing about coaching for GOTR-NYC?

I love seeing girls that weren’t friends at the beginning of the season develop relationships with one another! It’s clear that the girls really bond through the GOTR activities and workouts, and it’s great to see certain cliques dissolve a little bit. It’s also great to hear from a girl who wasn’t crazy about running tell you that they are learning to like it.

How do you feel that GOTR-NYC is helping the girls you coach?

I think that GOTR-NYC gives the girls an opportunity to surprise themselves with what they’re able to accomplish. If I think about how scrawny I was at ages 9, 10 and 11, I can’t even imagine waking up before school to exercise or run a 5k! There’s no question that conquering a 5k as a young woman gives each girl lasting confidence. Specifically at our site, the girls get to kick off their day with a meaningful life lesson and some powerful endorphins!

Are there any special touches you’ve put on the curriculum or different methods you’ve tried with your girls?

All of the girls REALLY love tag and all of its variants, so the other coaches (shout out to Molly, Keeley, Roshan, Melissa, Maha and Rebecca!) and I sometimes offer a quick game of tag at the end of practice as a reward if the girls try their best to focus on the lesson of the day. It’s amazing how motivating a piece of candy or a game of zombie tag can be!

Congrats to Coach Jenny for her running accomplishments and thanks for all you do for Girls on the Run!

Coach Spotlight: Gab Haskell

This week, we take a moment to speak with Gab Haskell, Head Coach at one of our public school sites in Brooklyn, about her experiences with Girls on the Run NYC. Kudos to Gab for bringing her fantastic energy and dedication to our program! Coach Gab is in her second season with Girls on the Run, and shared the following with us:

Coach Gab seen here with fellow Coaches and her program participants!

Coach Gab seen here with fellow Coaches and her program participants!

My favorite thing about coaching is the enthusiasm of the kids, and seeing them attain a sense of accomplishment through the program.

The girls gain confidence being in the program, and learn good strategies for dealing with life’s challenges that they can take with them.

This semester we’ve had the girls take turns leading the stretching and other warm up exercises, which they seem to really love.

Coach Spotlight: Suzanne Budesa

A big Girls on the Run energy award to Suzanne Budesa, Head Coach of Girls on the Run at The Earth School, and a SoleMate in the NYC Half Marathon in 2014! Many thanks to Suzanne for your energy and dedication! Read on to learn about Coach Suzanne, now in her third season as a coach, and her involvement with Girls on the Run NYC:

Suzanne and her team at our Spring 2013 5k!

Suzanne and her team at our Spring 2013 5k!

What is your favorite aspect of coaching for GOTR-NYC?

I love getting to work with former students who are now older. I teach 1st and 2nd grade so my current students are too young. It’s great to get to continue to work with students now that they are in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade but in a different way.

How do you feel that GOTR-NYC is helping the girls you coach?

The number one thing I see the girls develop through the season is confidence. They develop more physical confidence, personal confidence and social confidence. I think it also gives them an opportunity to develop relationships with girls who they might not otherwise interact with.

The girls also benefit from have an amazing set of adults working with us. The two assistant coaches are the pre-k teacher at our school and a kindergarten teacher at our school. Most of the girls have had at least one of these great women as a teacher and instantly feel supported working with them again. When the 5K comes, many of our teachers volunteer to run with the girls. At the June 5K, each of our girls was able to run with someone they knew.

Coach Spotlight: Alison Lyness

We are shining a spotlight on Alison Lyness, and talking to her about her role as a member of the Girls on the Run NYC Coach Committee. Thank you for all you do, Coach Alison!

Alison repping Athleta at the Girls on the Run NYC   Spring 2013 Coach Kick-off Event!

Alison repping Athleta at the Girls on the Run NYC Spring 2013 Coach Kick-off Event!

How long have you been involved in Girls on the Run NYC?
This is my fourth season coaching at the Briarwood Family Residence. Last season, I joined the Coach Committee and this season, I am running the ING New York Marathon through the SoleMates program.

What are the responsibilities of the Coach Committee? What is the time commitment like?
The Coach Committee is responsible for planning and promoting all Coach kick-off, mid-season, and end-of-season events. We also seek to ensure that Coaches receive all necessary, relevant and interesting information throughout the season and ahead of the 5K. We tend to have meetings or calls to coordinate every two weeks or so.

How do you think being a member of the Coach Committee has enriched your experience with Girls on the Run NYC?
Through my responsibilities on the Coach Committee, I’ve had the opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with dozens of coaches across all of the different sites. I’ve benefited a lot as a coach by hearing the different tactics they use in their practices and how they handle the challenges they run into. I’ve also gotten to see every facet of the Girls on the Run organization in New York, which has led me to get involved in other ways. For example, I never dreamed I could run a marathon, but when I got exposure to the SoleMates program and learned about all the support it offers for training and fundraising, I decided to go for it!

What was has been your favorite event put on by the Coach Committee?
In Spring 2013, we threw a Coach Appreciation event at Lunasa in the East Village a few days after the 5K. Girls on the Run NYC sponsored drink tickets, appetizers and a raffle, and we gave each Coach a framed photograph from the 5K. It was such a fun night because everyone had put in a lot of effort over the season to deliver a great program for our girls – the event was solely intended to relax, thank the coaches for all of their hard work and celebrate a successful season.

What are you most excited about for coaching events to come?
Even though I think our coaching events are incredibly important for disseminating information about the curriculum and the 5K, I enjoy the social aspect the most. My hope is that every coach can feel a sense of community with Girls on the Run and can draw upon our network, whether they are looking for a running buddy, a new friend, or just someone to bounce lesson ideas off of.