Become a Coach

Make a difference in a girl's life! Become a volunteer coach!

Please click
HERE for the 2018 New Coach Application if you are NEW to Girls on the Run and would like to coach during the 2018 season (March until mid-May).

And, click HERE for the 2018 Returning Coach Application, if you are are planning to join us for another fun season.

The deadline to submit an application is September 25, 2017.

Questions? Contact Program Director Denise Pang at

Coaching is an opportunity to do something great for the girls in your community!

Who can be a Coach?
  • Anyone female OR male who is 18 years or older.
    • You do NOT need to be a runner -- You just need an enthusiasm for healthy living!
    • You do NOT need to having prior coaching experience -- We provide training, lesson plans, and materials!
    • You do NOT need to have a daughter in the program -- We have many volunteers who coach because they want to inspire girls to become strong, young women!
  • Our coaches are parents, teachers, and community members who volunteer their time to bring Girls on the Run (our elementary school program) and Heart & Sole (our middle school program)  to girls in their area.

When and Where are the Practices/Lessons?

  • When: The 2018 season starts the week of March 5, 2018, and culminates with the Girls on the Run 5K on Saturday, May 19, 2018, at Vasona Park in Los Gatos.
  • Teams meet twice a week for 10-weeks (plus one week off for spring break). Lessons take place after-school and are 90 minutes in length. Coaching requires a flexible afternoon schedule as all sites meet on weekdays, generally between 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm.
  • Where: Girls on the Run of Silicon Valley sites are located throughout Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties. Each school chooses its own days (two non-consecutive days, preferably) and times that work best for the program at their location.
  • You can sign up to coach at a particular school or we can place you at a site.

What is a Coach versus a Head Coach?

  • Coach: Coaches work in teams to lead the girls at their site. Coaches MUST commit to being at BOTH lessons each week throughout the season and at the Girls on the Run 5K.
  • Head Coach: Each site designates one coach to be its "head coach." This coach submits the site application and serves as the main point of contact with the Girls on the Run of Silicon Valley office. The head coach helps delegate program-related tasks so that ALL coaches participate equally in leading their team. Head coaches must be female and 21 years or older.

What are the Coach Responsibilities?

Our goal is to make coaching a fun, easy, rewarding experience! We provide coaches with curriculum books that include detailed lesson plans and the materials you will need for every practice. We do the back-end work so that you can spend your time making a difference in the lives of the girls on your team!

Coaches agree to:

  • Demonstrate a positive, encouraging demeanor and a healthy lifestyle.
  • Be your wonderful self with the girls at all times and have fun with them!
  • Prepare for, and be at, BOTH lessons EACH week during the season (the week of March 5, 2018, through May 19, 2018). You will also lead or assist with each lesson, participate in the games and activities, and attend the 5K with your team.
  • Complete all required coach training (an online training in October for all coaches and a half-day, in-person training in November), background checks, and reference checks.
  • Provide copies of your CPR & First Aid cards if you’re already certified (not all coaches are required to be certified) as well as a copy of a current negative TB test if required.
  • Promote the program at your school in October and November to build excitement for the opening of program registration on Saturday, December 2, 2017. Girls on the Run of Silicon Valley manages program registration but in some cases, we may need your assistance.
  • Read your coach newsletters and respond when needed.
  • Work together and communicate with your fellow coaches to create a positive coaching team and deliver the Girls on the Run curriculum at your site (this includes delegating lesson duties and tasks among coaches, picking up and dropping off all materials as required, using your snack stipend to provide a healthy snack at each lesson, communicating with the parents at your site, supporting the Run for a Reason fundraiser, ensuring all girls at your site have a registered 5K running buddy, planning your end-of-season Final Celebration, and other program tasks).
  • Communicate effectively with the Girls on the Run of Silicon Valley staff and respond in a timely fashion.
  • Notify the GOTR staff as soon as possible if there is any change in your coaching status.

What are the Benefits of Coaching?

  • A discount on your daughter’s program registration fee.
  • A guaranteed spot in the program for your daughter.
  • The option to have your 2nd-grade daughter in the program (coaches’ daughters only).
  • An official Girls on the Run of Silicon Valley “Coach” T-shirt.
  • Girls on the Run of Silicon Valley coach training.
  • The official Girls on the Run or Heart & Sole curriculum (complete with lesson plans for every practice) as well as the materials and supplies needed for each lesson.
  • Support throughout the season from the Girls on the Run of Silicon Valley staff.
  • Complimentary 5K registration, including custom bib, finisher’s award and more!
  • Invitation to our end-of-season party.
  • Discounts from national partners and local sponsors.
  • Other fun surprises along the way!
  • The good feelings that come with doing something great for the girls in your community!

How do I Start or Keep a Team Going at My School?

  • The head coach at each school site must submit a Site Application.
  • Review our 2018 Season Program Information Packet for more information about starting or keeping a team going at your school.

What our Coaches are Saying:

“My daughter participated in Girls on the Run in 2013. At the end of the season she asked me if I would coach next time. I have a career and thought, ‘I totally don't have time for this’ but when I realized my kid loved what she was participating in and wanted me to be part of it I decided I had to make it work. I think I ended up getting more out of it personally than she did.”

“This was my fifth year coaching. I’ve realized that Girls on the Run is truly my passion. I love to watch the girls grow and change over the course of a season. I never would have believed that 10 weeks could make such a lasting difference in a girl's life until I saw it myself. And it happens over and over again. I still see our alumni at the middle school and high school and these girls continue to shine. Why do I keep coming back, even when I don't have a child in the program? Because I can't think of a better, more worthwhile way to spend that time.”

“What I loved about being a Girls on the Run coach is that I got to inspire girls to be the best she could be. I loved watching a girl who was not confident in her athleticism find her inner strength and become excited about her accomplishments both on the track and off.”

"My running background is unremarkable. I had done sporadic 5K fun runs in my 20's, I did a marathon with Team in Training in 1998 and probably had not run 26 miles since until in 2011, I saw photos of my cousin and her daughter at the Girls on the Run 5K. I immediately went to the website and read about the program locally and nationally and knew that I had to be a part of it! I am a social worker by education and training and felt an immediate connection to the purpose of Girls on the Run. While I have worked almost exclusively with adults struggling with substance-use disorders in my professional career, I know how childhood experiences both good and bad shape futures. I looked at my participation as a Girls on the Run coach as a powerful prevention tool. Besides getting to work with other great women on our coaching team, I got a great bonding experience with my own daughter as well as other beautiful little people that I may not have ever known otherwise! You cannot teach these Girls on the Run lessons without learning them yourself and I can say that I am a kinder, stronger, healthier, more confident woman than I was before Girls on the Run."


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