2022 Mahwah Youth Track and Field
Important update: Signups have begun for the 2022 season and will close by March 7th, no exceptions. Space will be limited and signup periods has been shortened. Please note that once the number of athletes are signed up, it will be closed. We are still dealing with Covid restrictions and have a lot to consider with the safety of the athletes and coaches.
There will be a meeting with the parents and athletes on Thursday March 10th @ 7:30 p.m. at the Ramapo Ridge Cafeteria as well as a follow-up meeting right after the first practice so everyone can get the handouts and we can go over how the 2022 season will be run. Please note as per TMYSB rules, we are following the NJDOH rules on travel and quarantining.
Please note that due to COVID-19 the first day of practice 2022 season will be announced at the parents and athletes meeting March 10th. Below is the framework of how the meets will be run this year. This is a departure due to social distancing requirements for this season. This has been approved by the governing body's insurance. While this isn't the most ideal setup, this year's meet schedule will give all athletes a chance to compete in a more normal setting like we had in 2019. There are way more regulations we have to go through for contact tracing setup required by meet management.
2022 New procedures
Unlike previous years of a wider offering of events, due to time, cost and social distancing constraints, the following has been approved by the NJ Striders for the spring schedule.
Meet dates are as follows, meet locations are listed further down in this page:
April 10, 24
May 1, 15, 22
June 5 @ Mahwah High School
Since we are hosting a meet for the first time in 9 years, there will be a need for parents to help out with some food and beverage donations and volunteer their time for ensuring the meet runs smoothly. The only way we will be able to host future meets is if this meet goes well as others in past years.
Everything is determined on sites availability and are subject to change. Only up to 6 of the listed dates will be actual meets. Dates may have to change due to availability of venues. There are no mandatory meet attendance so if you are going away, there are no issues with the coaches.
There will be hopefully total of 6 full meets to be competed in 2022. We are however breaking up the meets into 2 hybrid groups competing on Sundays. They will also be broken down into the following
7-10 year old from 12-2:30 p.m.
11-14 year old as well as those who turn 15 in 2022 who are in 8th grade from 3:00-6:00 p.m.
A maximum of 3 events each athlete would be allowed to compete per meet for 7-12 year old athletes, and 13-14 year old athletes can compete in 4 events. Any additional entries will result in a $250 fine by the NJ Striders and your athlete will be banned from any future TMYSB sport.
Field events – 3 attempts are planned
Shot Put boys 1st girls last (2kg for 7-8yr. • 6 lbs for 9-12yr. • 6 lbs for 13-14 yr. girls • 4kg for 13-14 yr. boys)
Javelin boys 1st girls last (turbo javelin 300 grams 7-10 yr olds • finn flier javelin 450 grams 11-14 yr olds)
Long Jump girls 1st boys last (runway will have tape measure taped on side to assist on steps)
Special covid-19 rules: (Beware each meet will have approximately 500 or less people attending)
Please do not arrive more than 45 minutes before start of your meet.
At completion of your athletes events you are requested to leave the facility immediately.
Before coming to the meet please take your temperature. If you have a fever, any symptoms related to Covid-19, or do not feel well please stay home.
Concession stand availability will be determined by each site.
Results will not be posted at the Track & Field facility. They will be posted online within 30 hours.
Masks are required at all times for Officials, Coaches, Parents, Guardians & Staff.
Athletes are required masks at all times except when competing in your event. Athletes can carry it, put in shorts or shirt or hang from your neck during their event. When done they need to put it back on immediately.
Anyone that is a non competitor in the facility who does not follow our rules for COVID-19 will be asked to leave the facility. If they refuse, the head coach of that team you are with will be asked to have you leave or the team will be fined $100 and be asked to leave also.
Shot Put, Discus & Javelin equipment will be sanitized in between throws.
Athletes will be told to stand 6 foot apart at their field event & when getting clerked in for a running event, we expect cooperation on this. Athletes/Coaches repeatedly moving safety cones will result in expulsion from the meet.
Please stay 6 ft away from everyone that is not your family. You must ensure social distancing. We will have sanitizer available in multiple locations in the facility, use it wisely as your life & everyone’s life depends on it.
No Team warm-ups are allowed on the infield.
Please note that some meets may not have all events listed on the meet schedule. There are not only covid restrictions that may still be occurring but some of our venues suffered damage during Tropical Storm Ida and may not be repaired in time.
All field events may have reduced attempts to ensure that each competitor has an attempt.
The above rules are to be adhered to without exception. Due to the size of our typical meets, if there's any variation from our proposal to the hosting schools Board of Educations as well as USATF state and national offices, we will be prohibited from having any future meets. Over 25 hours of meetings alone, not to mention another 40 hours of taking data and trying to crunch numbers with 3 drafts of possible meet schedules were done to make sure that there would be a 2022 season.
As part of the USATF Developmental program we look forward to having your kids involved. This track program has been in existence for over twenty-five years and we have grown to a consistent 100+ athletes per year participating. As we have in the past, practice days are Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning at 5:30 pm and finishing at 7pm. For the first two weeks, practice will be from 5:30pm to 6:30pm so as to have the kids get acclimated to running, jumping & throwing. There will be no off practice days due to schools being closed for vacations. Please note that any practices cancelled due to inclement weather will not be made up. Practice days will run straight thru the second or third week of June in a normal season, for 2022 this will be determined at a later date. The meets are held on Sundays at 12:00 pm and are at the following locations listed below. Note that you must turn 7 years old in 2022 to sign up. Those who turn 15 in 2022 and are in the 8th grade are also allowed to sign up.
Mandatory Parents & Athletes Meeting Thursday March 10th @ 7:30 p.m. at Ramapo Ridge Cafeteria. There will be a collection of uniform deposits for everyone going from 6:15 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Upon receipt of uniform deposits, I will be handing out uniforms on March 10th along with the meet schedule, and practice t-shirts. Waivers for the meets, will be there to be signed. No signed waivers and uniform deposits completed on March 10th, no uniforms. No exceptions. Checks only for the uniform deposits, payable to TMYSB for $60 per athlete. If you have more than one athlete in your family, one check will be fine but must cover all uniform costs.
I need parents and athletes there to get familiar with the coaching staff and insurance waivers must be filled out that night so I can turn it in to the meet director. Also we will have parents be familiar with the Parents Code of Conduct and Concussion symptoms overview.
First day of practice is TBD @ Glascow Field behind the Mahwah High School track (Once Mother Nature lets me know of the weather in advance). Uniform deposits of $60.00 check payable to TMYSB will be collected prior to receiving uniforms. Checks only are acceptable. Upon return of the uniforms by T.B.D, deposit checks will be destroyed.
2022 NJ STRIDERS SCHEDULE All events – Field opens at 11:00 AM
Registration: 11:00 PM – 12:00 PM All Meets start at 12:00 noon with Registration beginning @ 11 am. Note that all Mahwah athletes are pre-registered for all meets.
Sun, April 10 @ Rutherford Tryon Field
Sun, April 24 @ Hackensack High School
Sun, May 1 @ Fairlawn High School.
Sun, May 15 @ East Rutherford along Rte 17 parking instructions to be emailed
Sun, May 22 @ Rutherford USATF qualifying meet. Everyone is eligible to compete
Sun, June 5 @ Mahwah NJ Striders Invitational. Everyone is eligible to compete.
You must have a USATF-New Jersey number to participate in ALL MEETS NO EXCEPTIONS. Click below. Having a USATF number does not mean you are part of the Mahwah Youth Track & Field team. You still must register through Blue Sombrero on the TMYSB website.
For registration for the Mahwah Youth Track & Field program the link is
The USATF number link is below
for online registration or to print out and mail the application, club is NJ Striders #109.
Sat / Sun, June 2022 T.B.D. USATF NJ STATE MEET
T.B.D. *** 2022 USATF Region II Junior Olympic Championships (Eastern Pennsylvania) – TBD
T.B.D. 2022 USATF- National Junior Olympics Sacramento, CA
One must purchase a USATF-NJ number to participate in ALL meets this year. This must be done prior to the first meet by T.B.D. at the very latest. All athletes must be age verified for T.B.D meet absolutely no exceptions. That will be explained at the parents meeting on T.B.D. and the USATF-NJ sign-up form will be handed out. A link will be emailed out following the meeting so you can register online or click on the link above. Unfortunately it is done due to liability concerns by the national office and is out of all local associations hands.
Any questions you may have can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or Victoria_mold@yahoo.com you may call 862-881-2216
Mahwah Youth Sports Boosters
Track & Field Coaches
2022 Township of Mahwah
TRACK & FIELD PROGRAM
The number one goal of this program is to make the sport of Track & Field enjoyable for everyone involved – both athletes and parents. Along with this, we strive to make each athlete feel good about their own individual efforts and to achieve a measure of success. Our secondary goal is to teach fundamentals, develop specialized event – specific skills, and allow all athletes the ability to master all events (ANYONE CAN COMPETE IN ANY EVENT). We hope to introduce each athlete to fitness regimen and to a sport that they can compete in at every stage of their lives
Designated Coaches have been assigned to teach our athletes the basics in whatever event(s) they decide to participate in. Each Coach participating in our program has been selected because of their prior experience with the particular event(s) / skill(s) they will be coaching. To assist our Coaching Staff, we will also have several Assistant Coaches working with our athletes in each of the competitive areas. We try to have the largest Coaching Staff possible in order to provide each athlete with as much individual attention as possible and to “break down” where possible, each activity into age groupings. We welcome anyone who wishes to coach and help all kids further their abilities. To further support our efforts, the High School Track Coaches / Athletes will provide additional assistance / demonstration on an “as need” basis”.
Training for Track & Field has tremendous health benefits for each athlete. It provides the athlete with probably the most complete work out available which is one reason it is a sport that generally helps the athlete improve in other competitive sports. Track & Field is one of the only sports where everybody competes at the meets. Unlike many sports where only a certain number of players can participate at one time (usually the most talented athletes), there are no such restrictions in Track & Field. Anyone can do running, jumping & throwing at one meet no matter of one's ability.
ATHLETES GET TO PARTICIPATE, LEARN AND IMPROVE!!!!!
The real key to success lies in YOU!!!
How will I succeed at Track & Field (and many other things I do ? )
Use the 3 – D Philosophy: DESIRE DEDICATION DETERMINATION
Desire asks: “How badly do you want something?”
Dedication asks: “What price are you willing to pay?”
Determination asks: “If at first you don’t succeed, will you keep on trying until you do?”
We hope everyone has fun this year and that we all show some type of personal development.
If you would like to participate as a Coach, Ass’t Coach, Team Coordinator, Equipment Mgr or Publicity Director, please notify one of the Coaches. We welcome your participation in our program! (Contact: Pete Cassotis, Track & Field Commissioner Tel: 862-881-2216
PRACTICE: Tuesday / Thursday 5:30 pm–7:00 pm (5:30PM – 6:30PM FOR the 1st two weeks)
PRACTICES SITE IS Glascow Field behind the Mahwah High School baseball field. We will have use of the track when lacrosse is not on it.
Athletes must be dropped off and picked up on time. They are to be escorted to and from the practice facility. This is due to safety reasons. Also, everyone must park at the front of Mahwah High School parking lot. NOONE is to park near the tennis courts or by the side of the high school. Abuse of this and we will lose the use of the facility.
Practice will be canceled in the event of heavy rain. There are no make-ups due to canceled practices
Facility: Is the property of the Mahwah School districts. Please take home everything you came in with, including garbage. Absolutely no pets allowed. Parents are not allowed on the track during warm-ups and practice. I need use of the whole facility and I understand you would like to get a workout in, it does distract the coaches and athletes from their duties.
We do not have a lost and found. All Athletes are to stay off the pole vault mats. They are very entertaining for the children, but jumping on them is risking injury. Remind your children that the sand in the long jump pits is not for playing in.
There should be no kicking or throwing sand at others. The coaches will appreciate any help keeping your children focused on practice. Our team has a medical kit at practice to cover the basic injuries that may occur.
The school has first rights to use or their facilities without notice to us, so sometimes our practice may be retrofitted. Middle school/high school track meets, and lacrosse games will conflict with our practice. On those days we will run on the soccer fields, or practice in the field event areas.
EQUIPMENT: Athletes must dress appropriately for the weather
Sweat shirt / Suit – Cooler weather Shorts / T Shirt – Warm weather
Running Shoes – Strongly Recommended for Runners
It can be windy and cold at the track, so have your athlete dress in layers. Running shorts and a t-shirt with sweats on top. Bring gloves and a hat in the beginning of the season. Bring a bottle of water or Gatorade for your child for each practice & meet, and label it with his or her name. Please be sure they take them back home at the end of each practice! Wear white socks only! Absolutely no gum is allowed. Have your hair tied up if it’s long.
Do not purchase running shoes until your child has started running in practice. They can use their gym shoes. Some children may not like running, so this will save you some money.
About Running Shoes: They are different than gym shoes, basketball, or tennis shoes and hiking sneakers. The best and safest models for your children are the ones that have a strong plastic heel cup. It is very easy to tell if the shoe contains that opposed to a cardboard one. Squeeze the back of the heel cup from both sides, and also from the back. It should be very firm and not collapse easily. This is the most important part of the running shoe. Also, bend the front of the shoe upward – the shoe should bend to the second shoelace. This is the second most important item. Third are laces -- no Velcro.
DON’T LISTEN TO YOUR CHILD ABOUT STYLE & COLORS, THAT IS WHAT CAUSES INJURIES!
Fit and make of the shoe is the most important factor.
****Upon receipt of Uniform deposit, uniforms will be handed out and must be returned. Failure to return uniforms by June 9th, 2022 will result in loss of deposit. ABSOLUTELY NO EXECPTIONS.***** T-Shirts will be provided for the athletes to keep.
EACH ATHLETE MUST COME TO PRACTICE & MEETS WITH A WATER BOTTLE
Mahwah Track & Field is a “traveling program” – parents must supply their own transportation
(CARPOOLING TO MEETS AND PRACTICES IS RECOMMENDED – )
AGE GROUPS / TRACK & FIELD EVENTS
Age 7 – 8 Age 9 – 10 Age 11 – 12 Age 13 – 14 (15)
100 Meter Dash 100 Meter Dash 80 Meter Hurdles 100 Meter Hurdles
100 Meter Dash
200 Meter Dash 100 Meter Dash 100 Meter Dash
400 Meter Dash 400 Meter Dash 200 Meter Dash 200 Meter Dash
800 Meter Run 800 Meter Run 400 Meter Dash 400 Meter Dash
1500 Meter Run 1500 Meter Run 800 Meter Run 800 Meter Run
1500 Meter Racewalk 1500 Meter Racewalk 1500 Meter Run 1500 Meter Run
Long Jump Long Jump 1500 Meter Racewalk 3000 Meter Racewalk
Shot Put High Jump 3000 Meter Run 3000 Meter Run
Shot Put Long Jump Long Jump
Turbo Javelin High Jump High Jump
Shot Put Triple Jump
Discus Shot Put
Turbo Javelin Discus
TRACK & FIELD TERMINOLOGY YOU MAY NEED TO KNOW:
Track: a surface made of rubber and is usually 400 meters long.
Track lanes: boundaries marked with white lines that range from 36” wide, to 48” wide, depending on the facility.
The following races are run in lanes for our developmental series, and the athlete must stay in their lane at all times. If they take three steps in a row outside of their lane, they can be disqualified.
100M (meters): a sprint down a straightaway of the track
200M: ½ of a lap
400M: one lap
The following races are run from the starting line and the athlete must cut into lane 1 once they have a 1 stride lead If they take three steps in a row inside of lane 1 they can and will be disqualified.
800M: two laps
1500M: 3.75 laps, and is known as the metric mile. A mile is actually 1609 meters, or four full laps. (1600M)
3000M: 7 ½ laps
Shot put: a round steel ball that weighs 6 lbs for 9-12 yr olds & 13-14 yr old girls
The 13-14 yr old boys use a 4kg (8.8lbs)
Discus: like a weighted frisbee
Turbo javelin: a developmental level spear training tool plastic modified (for safety) that is made especially for young competitors.
High jump: a parallel crossbar that is jumped over from one foot, landing on three foam mats placed behind the stance.
Long Jump: a sprint down a straightaway jumping off a white board into a sandpit.
Racewalk: A fast walking race where the athlete must keep one foot on the ground at all times and also straighten their leg upon impact to the ground each time. (This race is judged for form)
Relays: Four athletes run a percentage of the race and hand a 1-foot long aluminum tube (baton) to each other.
Starting blocks: metal foot pedals used by sprinters at the start of a race to assist in the push off.
Who wins a race: Torso first (shoulders to waist)! Arms, head or feet do not count.
Starting commands in races of 400M or less: On your marks, set, slight pause, then gun sound
Starting commands in races of 800M or longer: On your marks, slight pause, then the gun sound
2022 NJ STRIDERS SCHEDULE
All events – Field opens at 11:00 PM
Mahwah team Warmup starts @ 11:30 AM for the 1st half of the meet, 2nd half time TBD
Sun, April 10 @ Rutherford Tryon Field
Sun, April 24 @ Hackensack High School
Sun, May 1 @ Fairlawn High School
Sun, May 15 @ East Rutherford on Rte 17
Sun, May 22 @ Rutherford Tryon Field
Sun, June 5 @ Mahwah High School
You must have a USATF-New Jersey number to participate in ALL MEETS NO EXCEPTIONS
Sat / Sun, June T.B.D. South Plainfield, NJ 2022 USATF NJ Junior Olympic Championships T.B.D. (Ages 7 – 18) **
(** must pre-qualify to enter)
July ****th 2022 USATF Region II Junior Olympic Championships – TBD
July 25th-31st, 2022 USATF National Championship – Sacramento, CA
THE NEW JERSEY STRIDERS TRACK CLUB INC.
The New Jersey Striders Track Club, Inc. has been in existence since 1978. It is one of the largest clubs in New Jersey. They have organized many regional & state events over the years, and have been organizing the youth spring track program since 1980.
NJ Striders team members:
Saddle Brook Paramus Rutherford East Rutherford
Mahwah Wayne Fair Lawn Hackensack
Englewood Wood Ridge Westwood Haworth
Hasbrouck Heights Monroe-Woodbury Ridgefield West Milford
When athletes compete in the NJ Strider meets ending in T.B.D., the membership dues covers their entry fee.
From the Junior Olympic Association State Meet on, parents start to pay.
Your athlete will be given one bib with a number on it, along with four pins to wear on the front of his/her uniform at the meets. This bib will be worn for all six NJ Strider meets we are contesting in. Do not throw it away and do not wash it. The numbers are to be returned to one of the coaches at the end of each meet. If you lose it you can get another bib at the meet press box for $10 at your expense. This must be done prior to 12 noon. There is a color-coded dot on the bib that tells the officials on the field what age group your athlete is competing in. Please check the color-coded dot on your athlete’s bib to be sure it is correct. If not, bring it to a coaches’ attention so it can be fixed before the start of the meet.
For those who qualify for the USATF-NJ Junior Olympics meet held sometime in June you will get a new competitor's number.
To understand more about the National Organization, or the Junior Olympic program visit USATF online at www.usatf.org.
Competition sites: Parents be aware some of the sites parking lots will fill up by 11:15 am.
Plan to arrive early. The team will warm-up as a group at 11:25 am on the field with the coaches. Please, no parents on the field. The team has a tent that will be set up near the finish area and stands. You are welcome to bring your own seat. (The stands are all metal.) The meets run from noon to 4:30 pm. When your child is done competing, he/she may leave after checking in with one of the coaches & turning in their race number. Please keep your children from playing under the stands. Bring a book or game boy, etc. for them to keep busy. Be sure your child’s shoelaces are tight & double knotted. They cannot be touching the ground. Don’t forget your sunscreen!
Eating: before, during & after events
Each child should have plenty of water or Gatorade with them. Try not to let them eat anything too fatty or heavy before their race. Low-fat, low-sugar snacks like whole-grain food bars and nuts are recommended. They provide a good source of energy. Fruit, or raw vegetables, are also a good alternative to sugary snacks, and can help replace lost minerals and help balance electrolytes. Better nutrition equals better performance! Limit or eliminate the junk. Soda (as well as any carbonated drink) is the worst thing to drink.
Concussion/Injuries information can be gotten from the following links:
1) There are handouts and further training
available online from the CDC:http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/HeadsUp/youth.html.
2) The Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey (BIANJ) has similar
resources for community youth sports groups and just developed a new poster -
"Don't Play Games With Concussions". It is available for free here:http://www.sportsconcussion.com/links/resources.htm.
3) For helping identifying injuries click on here:
Helpful links on different events:
Long Jump & Triple Jump:
Shot Put, Discus & Javelin:
Long Distance Running:
TMYSB Track & Field Code of Conduct
1. Listen to your Coaches – they will help you to learn and have fun!
2. Attend all practices – Work hard to improve your skills
3. Be a Team Player – get along and support your teammates.
4. No cursing – No FIGHTING - No taunting.
5. Learn teamwork, sportsmanship and discipline.
6. Be on time for all Team events – practices as well as Track Meets.
7. Learn the rules and follow them. Win or lose, always be a “good sport”. Improving on skills, times & attitudes are equally important goals.
8. Respect your coach, your teammates, your parents, competitors and Meet Officials.
9. NEVER ARGUE WITH A MEET OFFICIAL’S DECISIONS
Parents / Spectators
1. Display, at all times, good sportsmanship. ALWAYS respect competitors, coaches and Meet Officials.
2. Act appropriately – DO NOT taunt, boo or in anyway, disturb other spectators
3. Cheer in a positive manner and encourage fair play – NO PROFANITY OR OBJECTIONABLE GESTURES !
4. At Track Meets, STAY – AT ALL TIMES IN THE GRANDSTAND.
5. Parents: Encourage your child to play by the rules. Remember, the children learn best by example, so applaud the performances of ALL athletes.
6. Applaud good performances and reinforce the positive points at all times. It helps to remember the competition is for the athlete.
7. Never yell or berate your child after a game or practice session – it is very destructive.
8. Be a “good neighbor” at Track Meets – don’t leave a mess behind in the grandstands.
9. Recognize the importance of volunteer coaches. They are very important to the
development of your child and the support. Communicate with them and support their efforts. Feel free to discuss any problems or bring up any suggestions.
10. If you enjoy Track & Field, learn all you can and above all, volunteer to become an Assistant Coach.
ARE YOU A WINNING TRACK & FIELD PARENT?
If You Learn And Practice The Following Seven Keys To Becoming A Successful Track & Field Parent, Your Child Should Have A Successful And Rewarding Relationship With Track & Field.
THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN BY DR ALAN GOLDBERG, A SPORTS PSYCHOLOGY CONSULTANT
Do you really want your children to have a rewarding and enjoyable experience with their athletics (track & field)? Would you like your son or daughter to feel good about him/herself and perform like champion? Do you know what it takes to be a winning athletics (track & field) parent?
Whether you know it or not, much of your child’s success at the track rest squarely in your lap. That’s Right!
You are the most influential and important member of the coach-athlete-parent team.
You have the power and ability to shape your child’s relationship with this sport so that it brings him/her lasting joy, enduring self- confidence and self esteem-building success.
In fact if you play your role on the team the right way, then you can help ensure that your child will go into the world feeling well adjusted, confident and happy long after he/she has hung up his/her competitive running shoes.
It’s an unfortunate fact of this sport that well-meaning parents all too often say and do the wrong things with their child-athlete under the guise of trying to be “helpful.”
Attempting to motivate their children to go faster these parents instead inadvertently set them up for failure and unhappiness. They do this by unknowingly breaking all the rules of peak performance and, as a result, stresses their child, distract him/her from the task at hand and ensure that there son or daughter always runs far slower than his/her abilities. If you truly want your child to have a successful and rewarding relationship with Athletics (Track & Field), then it’s up to you to do your part. Learn and practice the following seven keys to becoming a winning Athletics (Track & Field), parent.
1. DON’T COACH
Trying to “coach” your children behind the scenes when the team already has a professional staff will ultimately hurt your kids far more than it will help. As a parent, it is not your job to coach either at practice or meets. This means that you don’t want to push your children to train harder or do extra workouts so that they can be better, quicker. You don’t want to discuss form technique or race strategy with them before or after practice, on the way to the meet or right before the races. You don’t want to subject them to last minute motivational talks. You should never offer helpful hints and criticism after their races even if you think you know exactly what went wrong.
This is the coach’s job, not yours! Your ”helpful” hints in these are never helpful and will ultimately backfire! Coaching is the very last thing your children need from you when it comes to their Athletics (Track & Field). Winning Athletics (Track & Field) parents don’t coach. Instead, they leave the coaching to the coaches.
2. BE UNCONDITIONALLY LOVING AND SUPPORTIVE
Your primary role on the “team” is to be your children’s “best fan.”
You want to support their efforts and love them unconditionally regardless of how fast they run or in what place they finish. Whether they win or lose, run slow or fast, your love and respect for your children should never change.
What you can do in your support role is to arrange for extra lessons for them if they ask, endlessly drive them to practices, cheer for them at their meets, make sure that they have nourishing, healthy food to eat and do everything else that loving, supportive parents are suppose to do.
And you should do every bit of this without ever expecting or demanding any “return,” performance-wise, on your “investment” of all this time, money and energy.
3. DON’T PRESSURE YOUR CHILD TO FOCUS ON OUTCOME
Perhaps one of the more destructive things that you can do as a parent is to get your children worrying about how fast they run or the times that they need to achieve. When you do this, you will guarantee that they feel to pressured and distracted before their races to run to their potential.
Going fast, achieving cuts and winning are always a paradox in running – that is, these goals can only happen if the runner focuses more on him/herself and the process of the race, one stride at a time, and less on the races outcome or their times
Pressuring your kids to go fast is a great way to get them consistently to go slower!
4. HELP YOUR CHILDREN FOCUS ON THEMSELVES
Parents who continually emphasize to their children the importance of beating certain teammates or opponents inadvertently add to their children’s stress and actually contribute to their children underachieving. Runners can only go fast when they focus on what they are doing and not on what everyone else is doing.
Comparing your children with others on the team or in the league is a great strategy if you’d like them to fail. Instead encourage you runner to stay in their own lane focusing on their stride, form and race strategy and what they are doing.
5. KEEP THE SPORT IN PERSPECTIVE
Help your children understand that running is just a sport and is not larger than life. Teach them that the main purposes of their sport are to master new skills, feel good about themselves and have fun.
Help them understand that if they have a bad race or meet, this does not mean that they are a bad person or a failure. Help them view their losses and setbacks as a normal and healthy part of the learning process and a necessary prerequisite to ultimate success.
Remember, your children can only learn these lessons if you, as the adult, keep their running in the proper perspective.
6. DON’T BRIBE YOUR CHILDREN TO RUN, JUMP, THROW
Running should be something your children do because they want to do it.
It’s not your job to try and motivate them to go harder and reach for certain goals The goals and dreams that your children have at the track should be their goals and dreams not yours!
Bribing your children to run with money and incentive gifts gives them the wrong message about the purpose of their sport, and ultimately serves as a de-motivator for them.
Instead, encourage your children to take ownership of the sport and to run, jump, throw for themselves- because they like it, because it makes them feel good and because they have goals that they’d like to achieve.
7. BE A GOOD ROLE MODEL FOR YOUR CHILD
Keep in mind that how you conduct yourself in relation to your children’s running provides them with very compelling and powerful on-going life lessons.
This education starts with the comments that you make to them about their coach. It includes your treatment of their teammates and opponents before and after the races. It’s strongly shaped by how you behave at meets, how you handle their setbacks and failures, and whether you’re a good sport or not.
Remember, your actions always speak louder than your words, and your children are constantly listening to every “word” that you say. Do you know exactly what life lessons you are modeling for your children?
Remember, winning track & field Parents understand what’s really at stake whenever their children get up to the staring line to race. It’s not the race’s outcome, trophy or medal or ribbon or track records that are important. It’s not the qualifying times or a chance for a college scholarship that matters.
What’s really at stake here is your sons or daughter’s long-term happiness and psychological well being, not to mention the health of your parent-child relationship. A winning track & field parent always keeps this in mind.