Behavior Management 101

As Girls on the Run volunteers, we see the value of our program and that is why we dedicate hours and hours each season to help guide our teams through the lessons and across the finish line. There is almost no better feeling than seeing the joy in our GOTR girls’ eyes as they finish the 5K!

However, throughout the season, our coaches may encounter some situations where behavior management is necessary. Below are a few common scenarios that a coach may encounter at Girls on the Run practice and some suggestions to help you have the best season yet!

  • The Talker– This was me (and sometimes still is…)! There is often a GOTR girl or two or three that absolutely HAVE to share every time there is an opportunity, and while we LOVE the enthusiasm, it can be distracting. A few ways to cope: let the group know how many people you would like to share before posing the question, tell Talking Tina that you really value her input but it’s important that she listens to her friends too, or refer to your team rules that you established during lesson 1. In our team rules, we talk about respect. I will occassionally quiz my team about their behavior and ask them if they feel like it matches our team rules. This “self-correction” has been pretty effective, even if just for a few minutes to get through that specific part of the lesson.
  • The Jitterbug– Ahhh the jitterbug. This GOTR girl is high energy, bouncing off the walls, jumping up and down (maybe scream-singing for no apparent reason), or sometimes she just cannot sit still and wanders out of the circle and up the nearest tree. Our goal? Channel that energy! For my Jitterbug Julie this season, I utilize her energy to help set up and take down the cones, sometimes she does a few laps to warm up with a coach, or she might even lead the stretches. My goal with her is to help her use the energy she has to be a leader for the team. Does this work 100% of the time? No way! BUT I have found this is the more effective strategies and one that allows her to be seen as a part of the team instead of a distraction.
  • The BEST Friends– You know the two girls that MUST be partners at all times and seem to be glued together at the hip? Yup, those girls! We all know that life is just easier with someone at our side but easy is not always good for us. Helping our GOTR girls be comfortable with the uncomfortable is one of our main tasks as coaches and this starts with making new friends. My favorite way to combat this behavioral issue is having the girls line up in different ways each practice- height, birthday month, number of siblings, favorite color, etc. Then I like to throw a curve ball and pair off partners from each end or next to each other or however I want just to keep them on their toes. In my experience, this has been a great way to start fostering new friendships within the team.

As a staff, Girls on the Run of the Rockies is here to support you! If you are struggling with a behavior management issue, do not hesitate to call, email, smoke signal, or carrier pigeon us (the first two are the most effective…)! We are here to help you in any way that we can in order for you to have the BEST SEASON YET!

Have a concern? Contact Katie Redfield, Program Director, at or 720-879-2354

Every Lap Counts!

Lap Counters are a fun way to motivate your team to go further, faster! The incentive of a sticker or a mark on their arm helps them not only keep track of their laps but also exceed their lap goals. Below are some of our favorite lap counter ideas!

Stickers: In your coach bag, there are a few sheets of stickers that are perfect for sticking on shirts, arms, and faces every time a girl completes a lap.

Nylon loops: Remember making potholders on a loom when you were younger? Those fabric loops come in bulk and are so easy to use as lap counters all season long. A bag of nylon loops is $4.99 at Hobby Lobby and with that handy-dandy 40% off coupon, it is a great deal! Have the girls return them at the end of each practice.

Clothespins: It’s fun and easy to pin a clothespin at the bottom of a girl’s shirt as she zooms past the start line. Clothespins are hard to lose and easy to count!

Beads: In your coach bag, there is a bag of beads that your GOTR girls can collect to make a lap necklace at the end of the season!

Pipe cleaners: These little bendy buddies are so fun to get crafty while you are processing the day’s lessons. Girls can make flowers, jewelry, or even some fun glasses or hats with pipe cleaners after they complete their laps.

Magic message in marker: Remember Lesson 9: Real Beauty? You can give the girls a word or letter to your very own secret message of the day as they run around. Maybe try the word BEAUTIFUL and give them one letter each lap or YOU ARE AWESOME!

Popsicle sticks: Motivational popsicle sticks rock! Little inspirational messages that you could include on the popsicle sticks, “I am grateful for you.” “You’ve got this!” “Keep on moving!” “You go girl!”

Silly bands: Just like the nylon loops, these can be used each practice! Little bracelets don’t get in their way as they rack up their laps and they are fun to collect over and over again.

Ribbons: A piece of ribbon each lap can be used for their very own handmade hair tie! The team can wear these at the Final 5K Celebration!

Tulle: If you are really looking for a fun way to count laps, how about tulle for tutus?! The girls can collect the tulle each lap to add to a tutu that they can rock at the 5K!

What are some of your favorites? Check out our Pinterest for more ideas!

Ready, Set, Run!

We have been practicing our ENERGY AWARD cheers all summer and we CANNOT wait to start our Fall season! In the spirit of starting the season, we wanted to share our TOP THREE tips for getting ready for the season.

STRETCH! One of the most important parts of any workouts is stretching your muscles. But why stop there? Not only do we want to encourage our teams to stretch our muscles we also want you to s-t-r-e-t-c-h your comfort zone. Go into this season with an open heart and an open mind and you will be amazed by how much these lil’ GOTR girls will help you stretch and transform into the best version of YOU! Whether you are a coach or a parent, your GOTR girl(s) has her own unique way of learning the lesson and demonstrating her knowledge. Ask her questions! When you challenge her to think critically about what she is learning, she will in turn challenge and teach you.

LEARN TO LOVE THE EMAIL *DING* NOTIFICATION! We here at Girls on the Run of the Rockies like to keep you in the know! Throughout the season we will send you a 411 to make sure you have all the information you need. Coaches, don’t be afraid to send the parents an email to recap the week. Parents, don’t be afraid to reach out to your coach or the GOTR Rockies staff when you have questions, concerns, praise, or even an inspiring story. We love to hear from you and we will try our best to make you love our emails with engaging and important content.

START TRAINING! One of the most rewarding parts of the season is seeing every single GOTR girl finish the race that they have been training for, the only thing sweeter is seeing her complete it with the ones that love and support her. While all coaches are registered to run already, parents, friends, the mailman, your sister’s friend’s roommate’s mom can also register to run. CLICK HERE to register to run! Need help with a training plan? There are a few apps and a few online training plans that can help you get going. Couch to 5K is a free app that will get you to your goal in 8 weeks OR you can CLICK HERE for an online 10 week training plan. You don’t have to be a runner to have fun and celebrate the season!

5 Reasons to be a Coach…

It is not easy to pick *just five* reasons why coaching is so rewarding but we did our best! Here are 5 reasons (in no particular order) why we think coaching ROCKS!

SERIOUS GIRL POWER! Now, more than ever, girls need strong role models. Being a GOTR coach gives you the chance to mentor a group of girls and show them how much your star power can shine at any age. Girls on the Run has already done all of the leg work of creating the curriculum and detailing each lesson down to the minute. Your job is just to enjoy the experience and make sure you are doing your very best to communicate the lesson while bringing in your own pizzazz!

YOU CAN RUN A 5K TOO! If you are like me, a 5K is a LOFTY goal. I never thought I could run more than two minutes. I tried apps and plans but running was my arch nemesis… then I started coaching at Girls on the Run. I told myself that if these girls can train and run a 5K, I can too. I started running at practice. I would run a lap and then walk and chat for a lap. I loved when the girls zoomed by me and shouted, “GREAT JOB!” I was motivated by my team, I worked in some running on the days when I wasn’t coaching, and I did it! From coaching, I set bigger goals for myself and have been able to achieve them.

IT’S GOOD FOR YOU! Volunteering is a great way to make a difference in others’ lives but also help you feel fulfilled- mind, body, and soul. You will go through these lessons with the girls and you will be surprised with how much you will learn! As you reflect on what you are teaching the girls, we want you to bring your own experiences to the circle. The girls want to connect with you and the more you can bring your own experience and share what makes you special, the better!

YOU DESERVE TO HAVE SOME FUN! Being a GOTR coach is fun! Having 10-15 bright, smiley faces greet you after school twice a week is the best destressor. You can check your worries at the door and focus on the immense value you are bringing to the lives of the girls on your team. For 90 minutes twice a week, you only have to think about your team and their energy- we want our GOTR girls to be okay with feeling every emotion so we talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly and help the GOTR girls work through their triumphs and struggles which makes us, as coaches, feel AMAZING!

YOU CAN CHANGE GIRLS’ LIVES! By volunteering your time and energy to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident, you can make a lasting impact on their lives. One parent told us, “This has been a very positive program for my daughter. She is now standing up for herself. She used to be bothered by girls saying mean things, not anymore…” We aren’t just teaching running- we are teaching girls to set goals and work towards them. We are teaching girls to stand up for themselves. And we are teaching girls to grow up to be strong women!




COS 5k May20 Photos

COACH SPOTLIGHT: Kristen Kennedy

Name: Kristen Kennedy

Hometown: Colorado Springs, CO

Age: 35coach-Kennedy

Favorite Hobbies:  Yoga and hiking with my dogs.  Two blue heelers, they have a lot of energy!

Profession: Project Analyst

Favorite GOTR Energy Award:  I like them all – the girls come up with some funny ones at every practice.

How long have you been involved with Girls on the Run?  This is my first season.

What inspired you to get involved with GOTR Rockies?  I attended an International Women’s Day event in Colorado Springs and they had a speaker from GOTR.  I thought it looked like an incredible program and applied to be a coach.  I’m so glad I did!  It’s been fun to work with the girls and other coaches (and get moving myself!) – it’s the best part of my day!

What’s your favorite thing about being involved?  To see the girls progression and attitude changes.  We just did our practice 5K and some of the girls that have had a hard time running throughout the season really tried running as much as they could for the practice.  Everyone had a good time and they are so excited to run the 5K with their families.


Why should other women get involved?   It’s just really fulfilling.  The girls are funny, and fun and it’s really neat to see how some of the lessons click with them.



Name: Maya Fusako

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Age: 35

Favorite Hobbies: Coloring, hiking, ultra marathons, stage racing

Profession: Pilates Teacher and FT graduate student

Favorite GOTR Energy Award: Peel the Banana!

How long have you been involved with Girls on the Run? March 2017

What inspired you to get involved with GOTR Rockies? I wanted to be part of an organization that is designed to empower young girls to be strong-minded, confident, and independent in a world that doesn’t always encourage those qualities in women. GOTR teaches these young girls very valuable life lessons that can be used in all facets of their lives into adulthood, as well as help them understand that they are valued as individuals and to embrace who they are.

What’s the most rewarding thing about being involved? The connection that you form with the girls over time. It makes my heart light up when they’re excited to do a fun activity with me or they want me by their side during their runs. Makes me feel like a “cool” adult because they want to play with me. Life can be stressful. It’s fun to let lose and be a kid with the girls sometimes!

What do you think the girls learn during their time in the program? I think they learn that GOTR is not only fun, but that it is hard work. It’s not easy training for a 5k race. More importantly, they learn that they are more cognitively advanced that they originally thought when they find themselves being able to answer challenging and complex questions that touch on emotions and relationships with others.

A memorable Girls on the Run moment? I had so much fun getting pictures of the girls, videos, and having them take pictures for us to be used on the website. It was a moment that everyone really relaxed, had a lot of fun laughing together as we goofed off and enjoyed being in the present. One girl suggested I do a faux hawk with my pixie cut. I have no style so decided to try her suggestion. I’m now sporting a faux hawk and love it! Thanks Tiba!

Why should other women get involved? It’s an opportunity to contribute to others and the community. It’s a very challenging, rewarding, and fun experience. You learn to lead, set an example, and inspire young girls who may not have a female figure to look up to. It’s truly a privilege to be a part of these young girls’ lives and guide them on their way to becoming strong, thoughtful, and confident young ladies.


Name: Emily Fenger

Hometown: Madison, NJ

Age: 28

Favorite Hobbies: All that is considered health and wellness, going on hikes and exploring this beautiful state with my Husband, being a fitlo ambassador!

Profession: Girls on the Run, Program Manager

Favorite GOTR Energy Award: The banana!

How long have you been involved with Girls on the Run? February 2017

What inspired you to get involved with GOTR Rockies? I started running a few years ago and really concentrating on mind and body wellness and health. I started realizing how that goes far past working out, it’s being in touch with your self and what your soul really needs. I am so happy I can be a positive part in the lives of the girls I coach, being healthy is fun!

What’s the most rewarding thing about being involved? Seeing the girls smile and enjoying themselves, contributing to the group!

What do you think the girls learn during their time in the program? How to be a positive part of society, not only for others but for themselves. We need to love ourselves first before we can love others and really rock our star power!

A memorable Girls on the Run moment? One of the girls on the team drew a flower on her identity card. When I asked her what it meant she said “today I tried my hardest, so I bloomed.” Reminded me of one of my favorite quotes by Elizabeth Appell, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

What’s your favorite day of the season? The first, I was so excited to see what the season had in store for us! It’s only getting better!

Why should other women get involved? You learn so much about yourself, I have learned some of my greatest lessons from these girls. The way they see the world and engage with the curriculum is eye opening, inspiring, and moving.


Name: Sarah Bowman

Hometown: Red Lake Falls, Minnesota

Age: 29

Favorite Hobbies: hiking, traveling and runningStargate_09

Profession: Kindergarten Teacher

Favorite GOTR Energy Award: Dead Bug

How long have you been involved with Girls on the Run? This is my first season! 🙂

 What inspired you to get involved with GOTR Rockies? At first, it was because I shared a passion for running. Then, it became something more. I wanted to inspire and encourage girls to be the best version of themselves.

What’s the most rewarding thing about being involved? The girls are so open and honest in our discussions. We call our team the Stargate Sisters. Their willingness to share so openly has truly inspired me.

What do you think the girls learn during their time in the program? They learn about how to be a good friend, effectively communicate, encourage one another and so much more!

A memorable Girls on the Run moment? I decided to invite whoever was interested to run a mile without stopping. I timed our progress. At the end one of the girls got her personal best mile!

Why should other women get involved? Girls on the Run is so much more than running. It’s empowering girls to be the best version of themselves. It teaches them how to deal with life’s challenges, build strong and supportive friendships, and to keep putting one foot in front of the other.


Name: Jennifer HannaStargate_16

Hometown: Des Moines, Iowa

Age: 45

Favorite Hobbies: running, yoga, travel, and SCUBA diving

Profession: teacher

Favorite GOTR Energy Award: Surfer Girl

How long have you been involved with Girls on the Run? this is my 1st season

What inspired you to get involved with GOTR Rockies? I heard about GOTR many, many years ago when I lived in Charlotte, NC and I was very interested in getting involved. A parent at our school was passionate about GOTR and brought it to Stargate this spring. I couldn’t wait to volunteer as a coach!

What’s the most rewarding thing about being involved? The most rewarding aspect of being involved with GOTR is connecting with the girls outside of the classroom. They are all so unique, fun, genuine, and good-hearted kids; it’s the highlight of my week when we meet.

What do you think the girls learn during their time in the program? The girls have learned great strategies during the program for calming down when they feel strong emotions and building friendships.

Stargate_12A memorable Girls on the Run moment? Running in the snow! The big, fat snowflakes stuck to our eyelashes. It was crazy and beautiful!

What’s your favorite day of the season? I really liked the Star Power Visualization lesson. The girls really connected with the lesson about using visualization to positively impact their thinking, feelings, and behaviors.

Why should other women get involved? I believe that not only do the girls benefit from the program, but the coaches do, too. It has been fun getting to know the girls, seeing them set and reach their goals, and having a great time. I have learned strategies for teaching young girls about self-confidence, connecting with others, and developing positive character traits. It’s so rewarding!