Punishing a Cross-Country Runner

“Our sport is your sport’s punishment” has been boasted on many a cross-country teams’ shirts—printed on the warm-up tee (only making a meaningful statement when worn in the halls). It’s essentially true, though, as football coaches bark out “Gotta catch those, kid—take a lap!” and in basketball, “Hands up on D—give me a ladder!”

So, how would you punish an XC runner? From first-hand experience, most coaches deal out an additional rep or two for a lackluster effort, so I suppose “Our sport is also our sport’s punishment” could have worked on the shirts. But if an XC coach wanted to get creative, how might that look? Here are some suggestions for chastising the slacking harrier:

Make the athlete do a dozen starting-block explosions. (Totally irrelevant to the sport, and the typical XC runner would be embarrassed by their lack of fast-twitch muscles.)

Require a slew of vertical jump drills. (Same as above, although it would be useful training.)

(For male runners) Measure the athlete’s chest circumference and announce it publicly (perhaps write it on his t-shirt).

(For female runners) Require athlete to replace supportive sports bra with regular one for next workout.

(For female runners, undeveloped) Same as for male runners above. Just kidding, don’t do that.

Tell runner “Just one more rep for you—but first, here’s your quarter-pounder.”

Tell runner “Just one more rep for you—after you lace those up.” (Coach points to combat boots.)

Give athlete a few masked-up “COVID Laps.”

Finally, if all else fails, announce “You! That ‘effort’ didn’t look like it hurt—get over there and join the offense!” “Coach Thor, got one for you!”

Copyright © 2022 Richard Berndt – All Rights Reserved.

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