Commitment To Consistency Leads To Team’s First State Championship
Timing is important for runners. Stopwatches and scoreboards gauge success.
A specific stretch of time played a key role in a successful season for the Boys Cross Country Team at Chattahoochee High School.
Head Coach Tim Reeder and Coach Mike Morris call it “22 hours.”
“You're at practice for two hours,” says Morris. “But what you do the other 22 hours of the day is what's really going to make you succeed.”
And they certainly succeeded this school year. The team took home their first-ever state title at the 2023 Georgia High School Association (GHSA) Cross Country State Championships.
At the end of last season, the team set a goal of winning the state championship – focusing on their time on the track and the other “22 hours” of the day.
Those hours involve discipline and resilience – including early-morning workouts in the cold and in the rain. Morris says cross country instills an important life skill early on. His student-athletes are “doing the work to do the work -- not for anything outside of that, not for any external reward.”
“You do it because you’re supposed to do it,” he says.
Reeder and Morris say that level of commitment translates to success on the track, in the classroom and in life after graduation.
“We see it in the 14 and 15-year-olds we are coaching now. And I see it in the ‘40-something’ year-olds I coached back in the day,” Morris says.
Reeder says cross country, “rewards consistency probably more than any other sport. It’s really that consistent effort from our offseason throughout every practice -- what they're doing on the evenings, the morning practices, what they're doing on their off days. It’s really about that commitment to a high level of consistency.”
Reeder and Morris say this year’s team is among the hardest-working they have ever had.
This year’s win, says Reeder, reflects the team’s tireless work -- but runners know there is no time to rest. The team plans to build on this season’s success.
“It’s looking to the future too,” says Reeder. “Not just resting on those laurels.”