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Home » How elite running can benefit your kids and enhance your relationship – Gail Williams! Ep50

How elite running can benefit your kids and enhance your relationship – Gail Williams! Ep50

#050 – Elite running can provide many benefits for kids and for you as parents. Learn how Gail Hill Williams founded an elite running program and brought accountability, drive, and a winning spirit to youth over the years. 

Topics Covered:

  • Overview of an elite running program
  • Benefits of youth running for children and parents
  • How to know if an elite running program is right for your child

Today’s Guests

Gail Hill Williams, Danbury FLYERS Elite program

Gail Hill Williams

Gail is a head coach and sprinter coach at the Danbury FLYERS Elite. Gail has over 10 years of being involved in Youth Track and Field she co-founded two successful Fairfield County Connecticut Middle School Track and Field Programs. As Head Coach, Williams has developed over 500 athletes that have gone on to be Conference, State, National, and International Champions.  Some of which are current record holders in their respective events and some of which have gone on to compete at Nationals as freshmen in High School.  

Coach Williams is an AAU certified Coach in the areas of Positive Coaching Alliance and SafeSport.  She is also a seasoned USATF Certified Official-that specializes in officiating High Jump, Long Jump, Triple Jump, and Shot Put and has served as Assistant Meet Director for the prestigious CT Nutmeg Games for several years. As a current athlete, Gail is a USATF Masters medalist in the 55m, 200m and Shot Put.  

Danbury FLYERS ELite Program

The Danbury FLYERS Elite is a program run by the Danbury Youth Track and Field Association (DYTFA)

In 2013 Gail Hill Williams co-founded the DYTFA organization, with Greg Williams, at the request of track athletes and their parents, so they could have a summer travel program where the athletes could further to learn, grow and compete in track.

Danbury had every sports program represented in the Middle School for boys and girls, except for Track and Field. Danbury public schools eliminated the sports program in the 1990’s. The intent was to make the DYTFA program a feeder program for the Danbury High School Track and Field program.

So with the assistance and support of the Danbury High School coaches Rob Murray and Nick Fraticelli, the Danbury FLYERS were born. The Hatters “Orange and Blue” were chosen as team colors and are affiliated with the Western Connecticut Conference, AAU Connecticut District, and USATF CT Association.

Long time Danbury resident and DHS former Track and Cross Country member Gail Hill Williams was named the 1st Danbury FLYERS Track and Field Coach and GM for the Indoor, Outdoor Spring and Summer track and Field Programs. With the success of the middle school program, expanded the Flyers program by founding the First Flight program for athletes ages 5-8 in 2016.  Based on the Athlete success the of the Danbury FLYERS the program morphed into an Elite program geared for 5-15yrs olds and in the Summer accepts driven High School Athletes. In 2019, the Danbury FLYERS officially changed its name to Danbury FLYERS Elite to even better reflect its mission. This elite program is by recommendation and or invitation and accepts Athletes of all levels.

Now in our 9th year, the Danbury FLYERS have developed into being highly recognized in Western Connecticut, CT, New England and Nationally. This 4 season program devoted to track and field and sports conditioning is for athletes in Elementary school through High School.  Many of our athletes, who began with little to no experience, have developed their skills and their desire to participate and compete in track and field, which has resulted in numerous medals at State and National competitions in various sports.  The skills and lifestyle attained during their participation in our programs can benefit the athletes for their lifetime!

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Richard Conner 0:01

Welcome to Episode 50. Today we’re going to have a fun conversation about why your kids should run if an elite program is right for them, and how you can build a better relationship with them along their running journey. Hope you enjoy. Here’s what you can look forward to on this episode of Inspire Virtual Runs Podcast.

Gail Williams 0:22

Our family was so disconnected before your program. And now all of a sudden, everyone is involved because we’re packing up lunches together, what are the tent together? We’re talking about our children together about their successes, because everybody has a success in track. If you start and you finish, you’ve accomplished more than someone who never even started. So to me, that’s a success because I don’t care if you come in first or last as long as you give 110% And I mean that because a lot of these kids come with skills and we refine them and some kids come with no skills, and we find something for them they become national champs.

Intro/Outro 1:00

Welcome to Inspire Virtual Runs Podcast, whether you are new to running or seasoned. Get tips in the inspiration that you need to achieve your health and fitness goals. Now, here’s your host Richard Conner.

Richard Conner 1:17

Hi, everyone, welcome to Inspire Virtual Runs Podcast. Today we have Gail Hill Williams, who is a head coach and sprinter coach of the Danbury Flyers. Gail has over 10 years of being involved in youth in track and field use Track and Field. She co founded two successful Fairfield County Connecticut Middle School, track and field programs. as head coach Gail has developed over 500 athletes that have gone on to be conference state, national and international champions, some of which are current record holders and their respective events, and some of which have gone on to compete in nationals as a freshman in high school. Gail’s leadership roles include currently serving on the middle school Western Connecticut Track and Field Conference Board of governance, and the co founder of former commissioner of the and former commissioner of the Danbury, lightning Youth Track and Field. So welcome to the show, Gail.

Gail Williams 2:14

Hey, Richard, thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited to be here with you.

Richard Conner 2:18

I’m excited to have you as well, and you have an impressive bio. So I’m really looking forward to getting into your background and what you do and which is a lot of wonderful work with the kids. So really excited about this topic today. Sounds

Gail Williams 2:32

great. So am I delivered every day and each day gets more and more exciting.

Richard Conner 2:36

Very cool. Very cool. So you know, I read a little bit of butcher bio, but love to hear a little bit more from you. Maybe starting with how did you decide to get into this field and work with kids and youth running?

Gail Williams 2:49

It’s a great, great question. Believe it or not my son who’s 10 years old then and now 23, almost 23 was on a football bus and I was team mom for the one of the local teams. And he goes mom, me and my friends are really really fast on the team. And we think that you should start a track and field program. And me I tell the story all time being the codependent mom and team mom for the football team. I’m like, You know what? The coaches and I talked about it briefly on that bus ride. I think we’re coming back from a winning game. And we said okay, we’re feeling pretty good about ourselves and said, Yeah, let’s do it. So what we did was we challenged my son Sean and his friends to you know, create a talk track and then we would support them going to a board of a youth organization that had multiple sports one of which was football but they didn’t have a track and field program because Danbury at the time and still does not have a middle school sports program. So they rely on on you know, pay to play track was the only one after 25 years of not being in existence that was not covered in the youth program. So we said you know what, we could do this and I had never really coached before but I was a good program manager so we took some of the the football coaches and said okay, you guys can do the coaching part of the track please. And I’ll do the program management piece. And you know, two programs and God 13 years later here we are one of the top you know, Youth Track and Field programs in the country I can tout that so that’s the Reader’s Digest version of it but it just when you get to see us develop as individuals we didn’t do the track and field program specifically for track Believe it or not, we did it to develop character build and make us athletes accountable as track as our venue that continues to be our mantra at this point. I’m as you mentioned before, I’m not with the lightning anymore. We spun off and became the Danbury flyers and became an elite program from there just based in our success and in common philosophies and just the athlete that were successful and making a model based on that success. So that was the reason my long winded speech on on that. And then when you get to see them get to high school and college and now I’m officiating as a USATF track official. And I’ve built that mentoring program as well as a recruitment process for the USATF officials for the state of Connecticut. And you get a front row seat as an official to see, okay, that kid started with me as a seven year old. And now is that you know, a college that you recognize, and they’re still running and coming up to you as coach, Coach Williams, you know, I’m here because he you, that’s what makes it worthwhile. Because it is a lot of work, I’m not gonna lie, it’s definitely a lot of work. And it’s for very little compensation, but the remunerations are just so much greater, to see that person that you created with the help of other people. That’s why you do what you do.

Richard Conner 5:53

That’s so wonderful to hear. And congratulations on the success that you’ve had. It’s great to hear that you went from just an idea started as an idea to where you are today. Just a tremendous success story. And it’s interesting, because through some of my conversations, I find that runners start running, you know, as part of sports, but maybe maybe not their primary sport. Maybe they’re doing football or soccer or some other sport. And they’re they need to run as part of their training. And it’s not always something that they enjoy doing or like, it’s kind of interesting that you sense it. Oh, this is something you should start this. That’s really cool that

Gail Williams 6:33

and nobody like you said before. No, but me and all the coaches on all levels are always whining, complaining, why doesn’t anyone pick track first? Because they never do? It’s always as an ancillary sport to become better at something else. And you know, I guess we’ve accepted it as such, but continue that crusade to make us number one.

Richard Conner 6:52

Absolutely. Well, I think you built a really great program, which we’re going to get into. And, you know, hopefully this conversation really inspires youth to to get involved, right to see what’s out there and think of this as their primary sport.

Gail Williams 7:05

So fingers crossed.

Richard Conner 7:07

Yeah. So let’s talk about that. Let’s dive into the Danbury flyers, which I think is what brought us to this conversation. Just tell us a little bit about the program and and what you offer there.

Gail Williams 7:19

Right, oh, God, I could spend days, months lifetimes talking about the success of our program and and the individuals that ride along and put up with me to make it a successful program. We started it as I mentioned before, it’s just a summer program, because the the lightning that we founded, didn’t want to do a summer program because it is expensive. It’s very, very expensive. And the lightning didn’t see the organization that had originally, you know, bless the program, with my son’s urging his friends urging, they didn’t want to spend a lot of money, they just wanted it to be a small little in house program, quote, unquote. And my visions were a lot greater and a lot more grandiose. So we made a deal, you know, in the fact that we would spin off because the indoor dome that’s in Danbury had wanted me to do an indoor program, and I didn’t really want to do that, because I didn’t want to compete against, you know, another organization. But then when we parted ways, and it was an amicable parting, we decided that the philosophies were different, and we would part ways and they would stay recreational, but I would aspire to doing something more. So we galvanize the troops and, you know, shared resources and parted, you know, on a way that both programs could still be successful. But, you know, serve two masters, if you will. So when we decided to do a summer program with the flyers, we got the help of a coach who had been his father had been the head of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympics team. So he mentored me through the whole process and showed me not only could I be a commissioner, but I also could be a coach to just be a student of the sport. And so that’s what we did, I constantly am getting trained, constantly understanding what the criteria to be successful is learning the mechanics behind it, learning the technical aspects of running, but again, with parent involvement. Previously, you know, we wanted a hands off approach for the parents. And as the program evolved, you know, we had parent coaches in the light, and I would train those coaches and send them to camps and things like that. But in the end, in 2019, when COVID started to really more, we needed, we knew we needed to do something different. Sometimes you have to go through trials and tribulations to understand what makes you successful versus what is hindering your success. So what we did was we had hundreds of kids and then went down to like 40 kids to make an elite program. When you have hundreds of kids, it’s very hard to herd that many kids you know, as well as you know, kind of manage the parent expectations and we were Trying to figure out, okay, how can we make this union successful, and also not lose ourselves in the mission. So I scaled back the program from hundreds of kids to like that we capped out at 40. And we have a interviewing process. So we’re going to be the parents first, have them understand how this program is very, very competitive. We’re nationally known, and our athletes are nationally known, you’ll come from a little state of Connecticut, but you also have to make sure that the discipline is there. So a big thing, not only I’m not talking just behavioral discipline, but also competitive spirit discipline, because we asked five year olds to do a lot. Okay, you know, we asked you to get up there, tie your own shoe, which a lot of them cannot do. And we asked you to run in front of, you know, hundreds, maybe even sometimes 1000s of people, and then we expect that to move on up through the ranks of when they become high schoolers. So, with that kind of focus and understanding, well, you know, what, we don’t need 100 kids to have a successful program, what we need is, you know, cap out at 40 kids to be out in 40 sets of parents to be involved in their program. So we took that model in 2019, and said, okay, the kids that have been successful is because of the parent involvement. But then we had too much parent involved, they were starting to bring their kids. So we said, Okay, what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna have a two day a week practice, and the parents would actually train their kids or train with their kids, whether it’s physically mentally or spiritually, or emotionally. And here is the workout that we don’t want you to deviate from, because we don’t want you breaking your seven year old, so they can’t run when they’re 17. It was a very thoughtful, very methodical, very statistically balanced metric that we use to say, hey, look, the kids whose parents are running them up and down the East Coast, or even across, if the nationals were in California, or Oregon, those are the ones that are successful. So now, like I said, before I interview the parents before, let them know the dedication, because it’s not cheap. But what we’re going to do for your child for very little money, because of the fact that we care about your child, and this is the expectation. So we set that stage right up front. And then we interview the kid for all intents and purposes. And that was people will say, I want my kid to come to this program. I want them to see it. They have to jump right in. They can’t sit on the sidelines. Yeah, they don’t have the same practice uniform as everybody else, because they haven’t officially joined yet. But you know, Richard’s got to jump right in. So Richard can jump right in this program is not going to be for him. Because it’s too intense. And it’s too laborious, and just not for the faint of heart. Even as a five year old. We have five girls that come in, and they’ll say, Can my my five year old come and look at the program? Well, yeah, your five year old has to do a workout now, do they do the same workout as a 12 year old or a 16 year old? No, they do not. Some of them try, though. But that’s the kid that you want. That’s the type of spirit that we’re looking for. And that’s the type of involvement because we want to raise winners. But again, we do not win at all costs. And we do not care whether you come in first or last, we care that you give 110%. So that is the expectation, and we expect the child to do what we asked them to do. We’re not disrespectful, but we are difficult. We expect them to have fun. But we don’t want them to be you know, fooling around. So there’s a lot of things that go in and everybody’s not accepted into the program we’ve turned in, since we’ve had our new model at least 10 or 20 kids away. And some kids come to the first practice and just never come back because they just they can’t do it. But the ones that do come that better people, they’re better students, and they’re better athletes.

Richard Conner 13:44

Thank you for sharing that I was going to ask you, do you have a waiting list for the kids who would make it into the program but you only have these 40 slots? Do you find yourself having a long waiting list?

Gail Williams 13:53

What we find now the 40 slots is because we like to have like 20 Girls, and we’d like to have 20 boys now obviously doesn’t always happen like that. And some kids aged out of the out of the program as well. If we do see that 41st kid or that 42nd Kid, yes, we will open up the floodgates and welcome them in, you know, wholeheartedly, but we don’t always get to that 40 number because that’s not the intent. But I will tell you that we do have people asking for our program and information, possibly two seasons before their kid is available. But in the fall, they might be doing football, so they want to slot in the winter because their child doesn’t have a winter sport and they can benefit from our second choice work. And they’ll do things like that, like I work just in the middle of spring and already have people save my kid a spot for summer. So we have that kind of so it’s kind of a proverbial weightless, not so much. A heart cap at 40 but we do see that magic number at 40 Because of the amount of coaches and we like to have 10 kids to one coach, and we have, so if we have more coaches than will let more people in, if we have less coaches, we wouldn’t let less than 40. And you know what I’m saying, because we know we can handle especially in the fall, when you have cross country, the team, the team set tend to be smaller. So you don’t need for, you know, for coaches. So we adjust based on the demand, but you know, our parents paying decent money, so they want to make sure that their kid is getting that instruction. If that starts to suffer, then we have to look at what kids are behavior problems, possibly that are, you know, impeding their kids ability to learn, develop in and to work and grow. So we’ve done that in the past, I’ve definitely said, you know, this is not the program for your child. There are other programs that your child can benefit from, unfortunately, for whatever reasons, and I might even cite the reasons why. In some parents want the program more than their kids want the program. There’s that too. We’re in, I’ll see, you know what, Richard gales you want these, and I think it wants his program. But I don’t think we’re on the same page. And maybe Gail has to come back when she’s older, more mature or more interested in running, because running is not fun. I don’t I don’t see as being fun. I see the coaching piece being fun, I see the benefits of, of running being fun. Do I like it? Once I get out there? Yeah, I do. But to move the needle to get me out there. That is a that is something and these kids experienced the same thing. Those types of things are are real, and we want to work with them. My intent, and my coach’s intent is never to kick somebody’s child off that that’s not the intent. But the intent is not so you know, we’re not eager to have them be disruptive either, and then their kids, so we try to work with them on that.

Richard Conner 16:52

Right. And, you know, you mentioned this a few times about the commitment to be in this program, both on the parent side financially as well as the child side to, to really participate and be held accountable for giving 110%. So you know, as I’m kind of thinking about that, what are the benefits for the children? Like why would the child want to run? Or why would the parents want to encourage their children to run? In general? I would say put the program aside, but in general, what are some of those benefits?

Gail Williams 17:21

You know, that is a really great question. Because the track programs are getting smaller across the country, running is a lot of work, let’s let’s be real, it’s a lot of work. And it’s a mindset. And it definitely is something that has attributes that, you know, extend way beyond just the physical aspect of just running, what we try to do, like we have a lot of kids that have anxiety, okay, so with the anxiety piece, you know, you have kids that freak out when they’re at the starting line, and then realize when they finish, oh, it’s not so bad, but you got to get them, you know, to the starting line. So the one of the things that we really pride ourselves on is you have to have good grades. So if you don’t have good grades, you will get kicked off. Because if you have a 14 in Spanish, you need a tutor, not track. So we have the kids have to have the stellar grades or be working towards getting those grades, because a lot of parents have said in the past, if it wasn’t for track and field, my kid would be flunking but they know they gotta enter to you coach Gail. So then that’s not an office visit they want. Okay, you know, so that’s the one of the things which academics above everything in our program, you also have to have be be doing more than one sport. Now more than one sport could be cross country and it could be tracked. So you know, that we allow as well. We also have kids that swim, we have kids that play football, play soccer, by the way, soccer players make best runners, I gotta be honest with you, because they have no fear. And they’re constantly running and throwing and throwing something and, you know, throwing themselves in front of, you know, harm’s way. But then you also have the attribute of anxiety, like there’s certain mental issues that the kids go through that track track helps them with, we teach them how to be mentally tough, and also physically strong. But there’s like, we teach him about yoga like they get they bring a yoga mats to track practice because we do a strength and conditioning with them that’s timed. And we do it different ways that they are building different muscles. And the other thing is we help them with the muscle rollers because there’s a lot of kids that again suffer from anxiety not only in our team, but just in life in general. So if they’re getting ready to run, we teach them how to roll out a muscle because it counterbalances they’re focusing in on the muscle more than the anxiety piece. And the other thing too is that there’s times because we spend a lot of time on the road with our program because we’re only team and we travel a lot that you get to spend time with your child. There’s nothing more gratuitous I want to say on our part but also euphoric for the child to be able to please their parents are poor. Britain has helped relationships with parents and children to be a little bit more cohesive and a little bit more connected, and less screen time. So you actually have to talk to your child imagine talking these days. And then we’ve also believe it or not, I don’t I don’t want to toot my own horn. But we’ve saved marriages too, because the parents get involved, we’re in if you have someone coaching, or you have to be there to stadium, parents have come back and said, you know, our family was so disconnected before your program. And now all of a sudden, everybody’s involved because you’re packing up lunches together, what are the tent together, we’re talking about our children together about their successes, because everybody has a success in track. If you start and you finish, you’ve accomplished more than somebody who never even started. So to me, that’s a success, because I don’t care if you come in first or last as long as you give 110%. And I mean that, because a lot of these kids come with skills, and we refine them, and some kids come with no skills, and we find something for them, they become national champs. So we do have that to tout. The other thing too, is that we don’t allow kids just to behave whatever way they want. So in our tracking, there is no sense of entitlement because you gotta go. Our motto is you can run here, you can walk home, this is not an everybody gets a trophy type environment, on any level, not just in our program. But if you go to a track meet, and there’s two people in here, they’re given our top three medals. You both can be disqualified, because you have to earn that medal, you have to earn that accolade, you have to earn that ribbon, you have to earn everything in track. So it teaches you a sense of accomplishment. And as soon as they come off the track, I’m the first one to hug them. But if you misbehave, I’m the first one to say, look, Richard, that’s not how we behave here. And it’s not a play date. It’s not a playground, this is a place to run, we have track, we want to have fun, but this is not how we behave. Now then you have the flip side where I’m like acting crazy, like a kid and I get them all riled up, and then they start acting like what happened there, you know, like that, like, you just did that Coach Williams. And that’s why we react like that. I’m like, who wound them up that tight, and it’d be me who did.

So we do a lot of like, Oh, God, you know, but it’s when you get to see them from seven year olds, up to college age, it’s, you know, you did something well, you know, that you’ve done, you’ve done the best you can, you know, you you play a small part in their success as a as a person, figure about track, just as a person. That is the thing that is the holy grail for us.

Richard Conner 22:38

That’s really wonderful. And, you know, you just listed off a lot of benefits for kids who start running and be a part of a program like this, not only the physical benefits, but also the mental benefits. And, you know, it’s something interesting, you said about the sense of accomplishment, I’m just kind of reminiscing to my time in high school many, many years ago, trying out cross country for the first time, and just being able to run the race and seeing where I land. I was never first I was never the fastest. But I felt that sense of accomplishment, like, wow, you know, I did this, I got my name on the board. And I know what I can work towards to improve and I can really see that. But even beyond that you listed out really great reasons why kids should consider running.

Gail Williams 23:22

Also, the one thing I wanted to do with the, when we give them the off date workouts and things like that, I think I forgot to mention that they come to us two days a week, and we do all the technical training. And then we have two days a week where they actually train with their parents, again, mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, whatever level they need to be on, but the kids like to beat the parents. And that’s the other thing because the parents get out there too. And they’re like, you know, what I used to run, you know, and they were, you know, Bill Rogers, or whatever, Flo Jo. And all of a sudden, now they’re getting in shape in the fact with their children, that kids want to beat them. And some of my peers are really competitive like, I’m not gonna let my seven year old beat me, and we’re gonna kill yourself in the process. But right, that the family connection, you know, on a health benefits level, is like, amazing. So, anyway,

Richard Conner 24:07

I really love that. That’s awesome. That’s awesome. And, you know, I’m thinking about your program. You mentioned it’s an elite program, it’s limited spots. It’s not for the faint of heart. What would you say to parents? Or what’s kind of some of the criteria? How could they determine is my kid right for your program versus maybe a school program? Like how do they how do they make that determination before even coming to you.

Gail Williams 24:33

you? Well, that’s like a, it’s club versus middle middle school. If I’m, if I’m hearing correctly,

Richard Conner 24:39


Gail Williams 24:39

So there’s middle school teams, and I would just listen to my son make a great speech at his wrestling, a senior banquet Saturday, and we were talking about how I didn’t understand as a parent, what the difference was between middle school and club sports and my husband tried as he may, my son was eight years old. He’s like Okay, Shawn is on a middle school team, but he also has the, you know, or the elementary school team, but he’s on club on weekends and, and things like that I’m like, What is this club thing versus Middle School? And what are the differences, okay, if your child wants to be a casual runner, and I would say, you know, like, physical education, like, you know, they’re, they gotta run the mile in less than 10 minutes or whatever, and they do it out of obligation, they’re not going to be part, they’re not going to be right for our program, if they want to hang out with their friends, and they want to, you know, run because it looks like fun. Hmm, maybe might be for our program, because they might like it more when they’re more controlled and more definitive environment. But if you want, your kid wants to win, they want to run, they want to be better than most, they want to have the thrill of victory. And then the agony of defeat comes back, like you were saying before, and sparks them to do even better the next time. And they just want to run. That’s our program. We don’t care whether Richard, you know, aspires to the Olympics, or Richard just wants to be an active contributor on his high school or college team. We just want Richard to want to run middle school or elementary school teams, or that recreational type attitude, the kid might have skills beyond that. But middle school and elementary schools and attitude more, I guess that’s what I would say. And then being on a club team is a different attitude, they want to win, they want to get better, they want to be pushed to another level, so that they can shine as individuals, whether it be people in general, or, again, athletes. So that’s how we’ll quantify the difference. And the parents have to be all into the parent support is the other piece of it, because you are going to be going up and down the road with your child, you are going to be sitting in the bleachers, you know, for six hours a day, in the hot sun or in the cold or the rain or in the snow, whatever element comes without side indoors a little bit more temporary, but you aren’t going to be sitting in the stands for hours upon hours. And the meats are a hall. So it’s the mindset of the athlete, but the commitment and the dedication of the parent and the athlete, and it costs money, you have to be prepared to write some checks, to for clubs, sports, we do have scholarships, because we don’t want to turn anybody away, economically based for that. So we have scholarships, we have businesses that will underwrite, you know, the the athlete, because it’s more than just running. And but we don’t want to turn away anybody who has the attitude, and wants to be that guy or that girl. So So if anybody’s interested in that, like we don’t have any money, we can figure it out.

Richard Conner 27:59

That’s really great to hear. And thank you for kind of sharing how a parent might think about our child might think about it, this is the right program for them. And I love you know, some of the words that you used about mindset and commitment. You know, that makes a lot of sense, right? If they don’t have that type of mindset or commitment, then, you know, this isn’t for them. And yeah, so I totally get that. And being part of the high school programs, I can certainly see the difference of maybe what I went through versus what you’re describing here. So that makes a lot of sense to me. So, you know, thank you so much. This has been just a wonderful conversation. And as we kind of wind down here, I like to ask you is there maybe one thing that you would say, to inspire kids and their parents to really, you know, kind of think seriously about getting into running, you know, as part of kind of their, their physical fitness, whether you know, and in particular, maybe part of your program?

Gail Williams 28:55

You know, um, one thing that’s tough, the one thing I would say is you got to believe you really have to believe that you can be anything you want. Me and my son always say that you can’t do everything, but you can do anything. If you believe my motto on the back of our shirts, because we have practice uniforms. I forgot to mention that too. For the discipline piece. They have practice uniforms that they’re expected to wear in each practice and wash them in preparation for the next practice. And then they have obviously competitive uniforms and we’re very organized like that. But on the back of their practice uniforms, it actually says inspiration is environmental motivations from within, because you cannot I don’t care how small how big you cannot make anybody do anything they do not want to do, but they can motivate themselves to do what it is they want. Just based on why. You know I have another model that I say You know what you you work for what you need, but you fight for what you want. And if you, as an individual want something bad enough, you will definitely be able to achieve. So the one thing that kind of umbrellas, that type message you have to believe, because you have all the tools to be successful. It’s just you have to believe and want to be able to do something that you become better at constantly being a student of life, constantly, and our track and field program will I don’t want to oversell it, but it will give you and provide you a platform to be successful, whatever is you want, because you’re not going to go back and to say, you know, they just let me close tonight because it’s not going to do a we need you to step up your game. And you need to step up your game because it’s better for you. So they just have to believe.

Richard Conner 30:52

I love it. I love it. Gail, thank you so much. How can our listeners find find your find Danbury flyers online and

Gail Williams 31:00

they just need to go to w w w dot, Danbury flyers with an s And I can be reached at G H will 196 And I also accept phone calls to because parents call me all the time at 914-396-7473 I’m very accessible, because if they are interested, we do our little phone interview. And then we interview the kids and then we see if there’s a love connection. And if there is welcome aboard if there’s not. There are other programs, you know, out there for their child. But it’s not the end all be all. But we welcome anybody and everybody, you know, go flyers.

Richard Conner 31:44

Gail, thank you so much. I really, really enjoyed this conversation, you really share some great information about this program and your journey, which is wonderful in the success that you’ve had with these kids. So thank you again for coming on the show and have a great day.

Gail Williams 31:57

Thank you. Hopefully I’ll be invited back and we’ll hear from your round audience. Take care bye.

Intro/Outro 32:05

That’s it for this episode of Inspire Virtual Runs Podcast. If you enjoyed this podcast, please leave a review. Also, be sure to click the subscribe button so you don’t miss an episode. Thanks for listening

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