Tell the truth. How many times do you read Facebook posts where the local high school team took first place in regional Track & Field? It’s not that they didn’t take regionals, it’s that we don’t seem to make as much of that as we do football, basketball and baseball.
That is, unless you have a kid on the team and it’s another matter altogether. Actually, why don’t most coaches focus as much on track as they do on those competitive team sports?
Could it be that they don’t know much about track because they were football or baseball stars in college sports? Whatever the case, it should be said right up front that the biggest mistakes in high school track & field are probably being made by schools that just don’t put enough money into this sport. So then, what are those mistakes?
1. Insufficient Warm-Up Time
With all due respect, we can’t put it all on the coaches when there isn’t enough time to warm up before getting to the actual training. Schools either don’t have the budget, or allocate it elsewhere, to hire more coaches to meet the needs of all the sports their schools offer.
You may see one head coach and perhaps an assistant coach, but most assistants are classroom teachers filling in for that extra stipend they earn.
Coach is usually hustling to get one practice over because he has another sport due on the field (or court) back to back with track. They are overworked and have insufficient time to let athletes warm up. Is it the fault of coach? Not at all!
2. Poorly Kept Running Tracks
If something needs to be repaired on the basketball court or infield on the baseball field needs several holes to be filled in around the bases, that would have been done yesterday. That said, it takes a rare county board to allocate money to running track crack repair. What makes those cracks any less important than the hole gouged into the ground approaching home plate?
One thing those county officials should keep in mind is that we do have some amazingly athletic high school track stars that could very well make the Olympics team with a bit more training and a much better track on which to get those runs in day after day, week after week, and so on. Running track crack repair is vital because one big crack could down a runner and that could be the end of his or her career.
3. Insufficient Training Time
Once those warm-ups are hurried through, runners are equally hurried through their actual training time. There just seems to be insufficient time all the way around.
There is no time to warm up. There is no time to train, and even if time wasn’t a factor, a coach that is spread way too thin may be why warm-ups and training sessions are held so short.
Those high school track & field mistakes can be easily rectified and sometimes all it takes is a bit more money being allocated to the sport. Does this sound like your school? If so, you really are not alone.