Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Track Notes, 02/28/12

Good morning and welcome to U-High Track and Field, 2012 edition!

Coach Neisler, Coach Simple and I would like to thank all our parents for their patience, support and understanding through these first few weeks of practice.  This team has many "new to track"  athletes and at times, practice can run over, or even occasionally, finish early.  Our practice time should run from 3:10p to 5:30p each weekday.  Depending on what events we work on each day, some may finish early but they can be in the lounge area until 5:30 if you chose to pick them up at a consistent time each day.  The coaches are at school until at least that time each day.

If your athlete cannot make practice or will be late, they are asked to let Coach Neisler and I know by e-mail before the practice.  If there will be a Saturday practice, we'll give as much notice as we can.  Saturday practices are typically listed as optional but we would still like to have notice if an athlete cannot make it.  This is the athlete's responsibility but wanted you to be aware that we do ask them to let us know.  We ask for the athletes to notify us ... we believe it develops their commitment, and a personal responsibility, to our team. 

Our first meet is this Saturday at the ISU indoor track facility located in Horton Field House.  The meet starts at 9a and has the potential to last until 5p.  I typically ask our athletes to stay for the entire meet unless they have permission from Coach Neisler and/or I to leave early or arrive late.   Due to the length of this meet, it is understandable if the athlete cannot stay the entire time although we encourage team members to stay as long as practical.  We also have athletes who have other school related commitments this Saturday and we have considered those when we entered them in events.  They will be encouraged to stay longer than for just their event .... to support and cheer on teammates.  We do, however, ask each athlete to let us know when they plan to arrive and when they will be leaving.  Coach Neisler will keep track of the distance runners and I will track the sprint/field event athletes.  The meet does not have a specific time for events to start.  It is a "rolling" schedule where events start as soon as other events are over.  We will work with the girls to let them know an approximate time their event will be run so you can come out to cheer for our team and your favorite athlete. 

Each athlete should bring a gym bag to hold their "stuff" to each meet.  Their "stuff" should include proper clothing for the meet (Uniform and shoes/spikes are always a good idea, warm clothes to include hat and gloves for outdoor meets, extra socks etc ...), water and/or gatorade, snacks (fruit, crackers, granola or energy bars etc... ) and any personal items they may need.  A few dollars for food or drink after they complete their events is always a good idea. 

Each athlete will be issued a uniform this week.  The uniforms will need to be returned at the end of the season.  As is typical of this age, we find pieces of uniforms everywhere during a season.  Please emphasize to your child to keep close tabs on the uniform to avoid a replacement bill at the end of the season.  They are fairly easy to care for ... you may want to dry on a cooler setting or just air dry them. 

Team and individual photos will be taken on Wednesday, March 7 at 3:30p in the U-High gym.    The girls will all need their uniform that day.  We'll send home photo order forms as soon as we get them.  They should bring these forms on photo day. 

For many of our girls, this will be their first high school track meet.  Many of those have not yet found out which events they will be best at and the meet is just their first attempt to find their niche.  The coaches and I will do our best to work them through any pre-competition  jitters but they may be nervous.  A positive voice at home and in the stands will always be their best support.  This meet is more for experience ... we will gain insight into what they may be able to do this season but we hope for a positive/fun experience more than anything else. 

Please keep encouraging your athlete to eat properly (at least three meals a day ... avoid soda, high sugar content snacks and too frequent trips to the fast food joints) and drink plenty of water.  We have noticed, even in this cold weather, many girls experiencing symptoms of not getting enough water.  This will become even more of an issue as the season progresses.  Demanding workouts and warmer temps will combine to cause problems if the girls are not properly hydrated ... watching them go everywhere with a water bottle in hand should become a common sight.

Finally, thank you so much for this group ... they have been wonderful to work with so far.  They are easy to coach, work hard and even pleasant despite the daily torture we orchestrate.  The coaches and I will do our best to create an atmosphere where they are all comfortable, work hard and have success.   Hopefully they will learn and have fun along the way!

My e-mail address is shavers6@aol.com.  My phone number is 309.310.3018.  Please do not hesitate to call or e-mail if you have questions or concerns.