Become a Coach

Life comes at girls fast.
Help them find their pace.

You have a tremendous opportunity to help girls understand the true inner power they possess; to serve as the critical ‘fuel’ that propels them forward in life.  As a volunteer coach for Girls on the Run, you can unleash the strength, bravery, and limitless potential of girls right here in central Illinois.

Girls on the Run coaches are as unique as the girls they serve. Just like the girls, many are not runners. They are people just like YOU who take great pride and care in role modeling character, connectedness, and inner strength.

Girls on the Run coaches are truly a reflection of the girls we serve here in central Illinois. By being themselves, they prove that one person can really make a difference.  And they have a lot of fun too!

There are over 400 girls waiting to participate in Girls on the Run in our area this fall. They need you!  We need you!  Click here to complete our Volunteer Interest Form

(If you have already been placed at a site and are trying to register as a Coach & Practice Partner for a specific season, please email

The fall season will begin the week of September 3rd, and concludes with the End of Season 5k event on Saturday, November 10th. Lessons are held two times per week and are one hour and 15 minutes in length. Coaches are encouraged to participate in both weekly lessons but can choose to commit to only one lesson per week. All coaches must be available to participate in the Practice 5k, Community Impact Project, End of Season Celebration, and Community 5k. Program start times vary from site to site (2:45pm to 5:30pm).

First-time coaches must attend a National Coach Training session hosted in Springfield by GOTR of Central Illinois. Fall 2018 National Coach Trainings are scheduled for August 10th & 25th. We also include the option of free CPR and First Aid training to ensure coaches are well-prepared for the GOTR coaching experience. All Coaches must be CPR certified every two years through either the American Heart Association or the Red Cross. Educators can now receive FIVE CONTINUING EDUCATION UNITS (aka CEUs, CPDUs, PD hours) for successfully completing National Coach Training through the Sangamon County Regional Office of Education. For more information, email

Not ready to coach quite yet? Join a team as a Practice Partner! The role of the Practice Partner is to attend lessons to cheer on the girls and provide extra encouragement and camaraderie throughout the season as well as during our 5k. Practice Partners do not need to attend New Coach Training and cannot deliver the lessons. The time commitment for this role is typically one lesson per week (90 minutes) throughout the season as well as attending the Practice 5k, Community Impact Project, End of Season Celebration, and Community 5k.

All volunteers must register with Girls on the Run each season and complete a background check every two years. 

If you have questions about becoming a coach or volunteering with one of our teams, please email our program manager, Lara Lebeck, at

Click here for full role descriptions!


Become a Coach FAQs

No! Some of our most fabulous coaches were not runners, just individuals looking to make a positive change in girls lives. Any woman or man who lives a healthy lifestyle and is committed to improving the lives of girls can serve as a coach.

We offer the program twice a year, in fall and spring. Each program season is 10 weeks long. Practices are usually held after school in the 3 – 5 p.m. timeframe, twice a week.

During the season, coaches should expect to volunteer twice a week, for 1 hour and 15 minute lesson (*the time commitment may vary if your site only needs you to attend one lesson per week, based on number of coaches). Practice partners generally have more flexibility, but should try to attend at least one lesson a week for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

  1. Read through the coach position descriptions and find out which role would work best for you
  2. Attend ONE of the New Coach Training sessions and CPR certification (*if not already certified)
  3. Complete the coach registration form online, and background check

No, practice partners are not required to attend training or CPR. They must still submit a form and background check.