Head Coach Rebecca Hession has steered Andover Girls Cross Country to great success since she started coaching at Andover nine years ago. Most notably, Hession led the team to a first place finish at Interschols last year after an impressive undefeated regular season. She looks to continue the team’s success streak in the 2015 season.
A passionate runner herself, Hession began running in middle school when she competed in track and cross country. She continued to run competitively throughout her high school career and still enjoys running in her free time.
“Running comes naturally to me as a source of fun, adventure, competition and relaxation,” said Hession.
After her competitive career in cross country, Hession assumed her first coaching position in Girls Cross Country at Andover in 2006. She became Head Coach of Girls Cross Country five years ago and also serves as Head Coach of Andover Girls Track.
To ensure success on the course, Hession has set a rigorous daily training schedule for the team.
“Each practice has a general rhythm. We begin with a team warm-up, move into the key workout for the day – this could be a distance run, hill workout or aerobic threshold workout – and then finish with drills or strength work,” said Hession.
Hession said her coaching philosophy revolves around inspiring and encouraging her runners to give every race their all. One of her favorite mottos is adopted from the previous Head Coach, Nancy Lang.
“You are either contributing to or detracting from the group dynamic. There is no such thing as being neutral,” said Hession.
Although she focuses on continuously challenging her runners to improve, Hession is also a trusted adult for her runners, connecting with them on a personal level.
Morgan Rooney ’17 said, “She always has a good attitude, and you can talk to her about anything, from running to sleeping to how your day has been. She truly cares for each runner and wants each to get better, and, through her coaching, we all do.”
“It is amazing how deeply she cares about each member of the Cross Country team and will support us in any endeavor… [She will] come to see any of us in a play or at a performance. Coach Hession works really hard to create a sense of unity and belonging on the team,” added Grace Rademacher ’18.
Michaela Jones ’18 said, “[Coach Hession] really encourages everyone to get to know each other and wants everybody to feel welcome.”
Hession hopes to leave a lasting impact on her runners that stays with them beyond their running careers at Andover.
“I hope that each runner finds value in being a part of an active and supportive running community and that she uses running to discover a sense of place. Running with friends in a special place is what I hope each girl seeks after her time on this team,” concluded Coach Hession.