10 Rules to Run By from “Coaching Cross Country Successfully”
by Joe Newton, with Joe Henderson; Human Kinetics 1998

  1. Team is the essence of life. It’s how to blend the talents and strengths of individuals into a force that becomes greater than the sum of its parts.
  2. Great teamwork is the only way to reach your ultimate moments, to create breakthroughs that fill your life with a sense of lasting significance.
  3. Everyone is a team player, whether he knows it or not. His family, his workplace, his place of worship, his neighborhood functions as a team.
  4. However, teamwork isn’t simple. In fact, it can be a frustrating, elusive commodity. That’s why there are so many bad teams, stuck in neutral or going downhill. Teamwork does not appear magically just because we talk about it.
  5. Forty years of coaching have proved to me, over and over again, that the complex inner rhythms of teamwork (flows of ambition, power, cooperation, and emotion) are the keys to making dreams come true.
  6. People are territorial animals. We all want to take out something to call our own. We strike back when our turf is threatened. Don’t smother those territorial and competitive instincts. Harness them for the good of the team. Understand that sometimes the individual must give up some territory for the good of the team.
  7. Willing sacrifice is a great paradox. Runners mostly give up something in in the present (comfort, ease, recognition, hair, rewards, and so on) to attract something even better in the future: a sense that they did something that counted.
  8. A team needs a covenant, an agreement that binds people together. Sometimes a covenant is written. Sometimes it is unspoken, complete expressed through action or thought. Any team afflicted with the DISEASE OF ME functions with a tacit covenant of self-destruction.
  9. There are only two options regarding commitment to a good covenant. Team members are either in, or they are out. There is no such thing as life in-between.
  10. Being ready isn’t enough. Runners have to be prepared. Being prepared demands mental and physical conditioning and conscious planning. A runner who is just ready and not totally prepared simply increases risk and is a liability to the team.

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