Lanette Cousineau has coached the Girls on the Run team at Mary Lin Elementary for the last eight seasons. She grew up in the Midwest, went to college in California and grad school in Virginia. After stints in Nashville and Arizona, she moved to Atlanta 13 years ago.
What is the most rewarding thing about Girls on the Run?
Each season I love to see returning girls light up when we get to a lesson that has stuck with them from the previous season(s). They raise their hands and say, "Oh I remember this! It's about..." I love to see these great life lessons within this curriculum become part of the girls' lives.
What attracted you to coaching and what keeps you coming back?
Growing up I was a gymnast and swimmer. I went on to coach both of these sports for several years. I love coaching! I love working with this age group and believe strongly in the GOTR curriculum, so I really enjoy coaching this program. As with everyone who coaches, life gets so full, but coaching for Girls on the Run is something that I perhaps feel I will always find space for. Seeing the impact on the girls as we teach, coach and cheer them on through the season is such a wonderful thing to experience. Each season GOTR weighs high on my life priority list.
Do you have a particular coaching experience that stands out?
I have loved that every season we have girls who at first seem so shy; they sit quietly as we do the lessons for the first several sessions. But then through the team oriented warm-up games, we ask the girls to find new partners to run with. We slowly see them have a lot to say as they feel known, liked and supported by their other team members.
What do you do when you are not coaching Girls on the Run?
I am a wedding planner/coordinator. My days are typically filled with bridal meetings and venue walk-throughs. I try to squeeze in a run most days, for the exercise. It’s a break from all the detailed things I focus on all day, and because it is something I have come to really love in this last decade or so.