Praising what’s right

Throughout the years we’ve learned that energy awards are one of Girls on the Run participants’ favorite things about our program. Energy awards are simple cheers that are used to praise others and reinforce positive behavior.







As coaches, YOU inspire girls to be more joyful, healthy and confident. You should strive to praise ALL girls in your team throughout the season for setting an example and doing what’s right. This is key to encouraging girls’ positive behavior and creating a sense of belonging with their team. You can give out energy awards for many reasons… From reinforcing a shy girl who was courageous to share her thoughts during processing, to recognizing the entire group for achieving a lesson goal, to praising a girl who was not in the mood to run but pushed through and completed the physical activity component of the lesson.

Here are some examples of energy awards to draw from:

  • “Girls on the Run is so much fun!!” forming a circle with all hands in the center.
  • “Girls Power” – Standing feet apart, arms out to the side, everyone will chant Girl, Girl while flexing their muscles and then Power, Power as they flex with their arms in front (like the old SNL skit) Best done in an Arnold Schwarzenegger accent.
  • “Roller Coaster” – hands together in front pretending to go up the roller coaster (click, click, click) and then Woooooo over the hills and toward the girl(s) in the center.
  • “We’re girls and we know it, and this is how we show it (run in place) we like to run, it’s so much fun and thought you ought to know it”
  • “Group snaps, claps and cheers” – everyone snaps, claps and cheers at the girls in the center.
  • “Firecracker” – starting with arms up, slowly moving down with a long sssssssss sound (like your fuse is burning) until BAMMM! pointing at girl(s) in the center.
  • “Fan-tastic” – Fan yourself and then point to the award winner. While you fan yourself say, “Fan” then point to the girl and say “tastic.” Together you all say “fan-tastic.”


Be creative and encourage the girls to create their own!!