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Maya English

Maya English

From Emotions to Transformations

I feel __ when you__ because__. I would like for you to __. This GOTR lesson is probably the single most important lesson that I ever participated in as a GOTR Girl. As a GOTR Coach, I have been waiting for it to come up all season!


The lesson was created with intent to teach us how to communicate our feelings efficiently. When I was a GOTR girl, my team and I thought it was really goofy. We made up silly examples when practicing these phrases. Some real examples from my practice as a kid: 

  •  “I feel angry when you steal my boyfriend because he was MINE. I would like for you to give him back.” 

  • “I feel annoyed when you eat my snack because I did not give you permission. I would like for you to spit it out and give it back.”


The team that I coach for was very similar and they came up with some very unserious examples for this lesson. 

  • “I feel disappointed when you don’t give me a sip of your milkshake because I wanted some. I would like a sip RIGHT NOW.” 

  • “I feel backstabbed when you hide too well in hide and seek because I want to switch places. I would like for you to let me win.”


We came up with the craziest situations and laughed the whole time because who really talks like that? Well, it turns out, I do. But if you told 9-year-old Maya that, she would have burst out laughing.

I went away for college my freshman year, and to say that it was difficult would be an understatement. My first semester was great and I was making new friends, but in the second semester things took a turn. 

I had some difficult situations with some of the girls there and I used my “I feel” statements when talking to them. I didn’t even realize that I had used this Girls on the Run lesson until after. I called my mom and was telling her about the situation and I blurted out, “I even used my Girls on the Run language!”

This season I wanted to make sure that my team understands that people ACTUALLY do talk like that and it can work. That is why I asked to do the main part of our lesson. I was so excited to teach this little phrase to the girls.

It was my first time doing this part of the lesson so I was a little nervous, but when we sat down in our circle and started the lesson everything went smoothly. The girls were quick to catch on and started coming up with examples before we even got to that point. There was a mix between silly answers and serious answers the whole practice, but overall I was ecstatic because it seemed that they were really getting the lesson. 

While they were running one of the girls stopped and said, “Coach Maya, I know you said people actually use this, but do YOU actually do this?” 

I explained to her that I use this at least once a week, whether it's with my friends, at work, with a professor, and even with my family. She nodded and then continued running. At the next practice I overheard her using the “I feel” statement with one of her friends on the team.

I felt so proud of her and it made me realize just how much of a difference that this program can make for young girls. It’s the little moments like these that truly make coaching worth it, and I can’t wait to see how the girls use the rest of the curriculum throughout the season!


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