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CONTENTS | TRACK & FIELD Edition | PREseason 2011 | Vol. XIX, No. 1
COVER STORY 14 A HOST OF DUTIES
LEADERSHIP 21 READY TO RECEIVE
NUTRITION 27 NEXT UP: RECOVERY
Everyone wants to win a championship, but not everyone wants to host one. Here’s a look at how to run an organized, memorable, endof-year event—and why you might want to.
Many high school athletes today are eager to receive advice on how to get recruited to colleges. That’s why every coach must be prepared to offer meaningful guidance on the topic.
After a competition or practice, an athlete’s body is working hard to adapt to the stresses it just encountered. In order to aid that recovery process, the right nutrients are essential.
Q&A 11 LISA MORGAn
NCAA Division I continues to discuss regionals … New NFHS rules on jewelry, hair control, high jump, and pole vault … Coach suspends team to teach a lesson … Three questions for Missouri’s Brett Halter… Boosting enrollment with track and field ... High school partners with University of Washington
On the cover
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE 31 SURFACES & FACILITY EQUIPMENT 33 TEAM EQUIPMENT 35 STRENGTH & CONDITIONING
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Mailing lists for Coaching Management Track & Field are provided by the Clell Wade Coaches Directory. The Coaching Management Track & Field edition is published in January and September by MAG, Inc. and is distributed free to college and high school coaches in the United States and Canada.
Track and field athletes at Columbia High School, in Maplewood, N.J., are being recognized on a national level thanks to Head Coach Lisa Morgan’s focus on maximizing individual potential.
Runners in the 800 meters take off at the 2010 NCAA Division III outdoor championships, hosted by Baldwin-Wallace College. Coaches provide advice on hosting end-of-year events in our cover story, starting on page 14.
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Coaching Management 1
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BULLETIN BOARD PREseason 2011
3 D-I reviews
4 New HS rules more lenient
More Changes in Division I?
Advancing to the NCAA Division I Track and Field outdoor champion ships final meet is a great accomplish ment for college athletes. Figuring out how runners, jumpers, and throwers should qualify for that experience contin ues to be a great challenge for coaches and administrators. After one year of using two qualify ing meets, which followed several years with meets at four preliminary sites, the Division I Championships/Sports Manage ment Cabinet has asked the Division I Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Com mittee to come up with ideas for improv ing the regional events. It has also asked the committee to consider eliminating the qualifying round. The four regional qualifying meets were originally implemented to increase access for track athletes to NCAA cham pionships. They were condensed to two meets in part because coaches felt there was inconsistency due to the varying num bers of participants in the different geo graphic regions. “Runners would be going through four different qualifying processes at four different sites to get to the same champi onship,” says Sam Seemes, Chief Executive Officer for the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. “With the [two-site] format, if we have four heats with seven athletes per heat in the 100-meter dash and the top three finish ers qualifying, we have the same process at the other.” But questions remain whether the qualifying rounds are worthwhile. The main concern, according to Todd Patul ski, chair of the Division I Track and Field Committee and Executive Associate Ath letics Director at Baylor University, is the cost to institutions. “Schools are responsi ble for funding trips to the regionals, not only with regard to travel, but keeping
6 D-III coach
6 3 Qs on replacing a legend
kids on campus after the spring semester, and those things are expensive,” he says. With regards to improving the cur rent format, Patulski is gathering feed back from various site representatives and coaches on ways to improve the meet. “One of the things we’re looking at is fixing the flow of the meets,” he says. “We’re having conversations on whether the long jump finals should be at one pit or separate ones. There’s also a discussion about not having the 10,000-meter run at the preliminary rounds because it may be too much to ask athletes to run that event at the preliminaries and champion ships. Those are things our committee has to decide on, then we will make recom mendations to the Cabinet.” In terms of eliminating the regionals altogether, one idea being discussed is a “24/8” model. The current format sends
9 HS team hosts college meet
96 athletes in each men’s and women’s individual event, 24 men’s and women’s relay teams and 24 men and women for the decathlon and heptathlon. In the onemeet model, the top 24 declared individu als with the top times would qualify for the championships, while the remaining eight participants would be the confer ence champions with the next best times. There would still be 24 relay teams per event, determined in a similar manner: The top 18 declared teams would have access as would the next best six confer ence champions. “The 24/8 format is an idea that could relieve some of the financial burden to the participating schools. Whether it’s the best way to do it, however, is an unknown,” says Seemes. “You’ve got an obligation to provide participation oppor tunities for athletes and access to champi
After eight years of conducting qualifying meets prior to the Division I outdoor championships, the NCAA is reconsidering the idea. At right, the University of Michigan’s Erin Pendleton competes at the 2010 East preliminary round.
Coaching Management 3
BULLETIN BOARD onships. If you keep cutting back, it’s difficult to do that. The NCAA is trying to identify the best way to balance access and financial viability, but it’s challenging because the two aren’t exactly bedfellows.” Louisiana State University Head Coach Dennis Shaver feels that cutting down to 32 competitors isn’t necessarily a bad thing. “You have the whole year to position yourself to be one of those 32 athletes,” he says. “In all likelihood, you’re still going to wind up with the top athletes qualifying.” Shaver wonders if there is too much emphasis being placed on providing access to championships. “Where do we need to focus on participation?” he asks. “Is it on the number of participants at the championship meet? I’m sure the NCAA really likes the numbers they have now, but we need to consider what’s best for the athletes and the sport itself. I recognize a 24/8 model will reduce the number of athletes who get the ‘NCAA championship experience,’ but it should be challenging to make the field.” A one-site championship also makes qualifying more consistent. “Any time you can put the entire meet at one venue, it’s going to be fairer to the athletes because all of the conditions and facilities will be the same,” Shaver says. “I think our executive committee and our coaches’ association can agree that a one-site system is fairer than what we have now.” RULES CHANGES
New HS Revisions Allow More Leniency
4 Coaching Management
Along with more leniency on jewelry, new NFHS rules for this year cover high jump and pole vault regulations. Above, Amy Medina of Mountain View High School competes in the Colorado Class 4A state championships.
Adjustments were also made in the high jump and pole vault rules. Once a high jumper or vaulter is declared the winner of an event, he or she will be allowed to determine the height of the crossbar for successive jumps in the same meet. And jumpers and vaulters will no longer be charged with an unsuccessful attempt in the case of a faulty or improperly placed crossbar. A final rules change for pole vaulters allows those who have passed on three or more consecutive heights additional time to warm up before their next attempt. “Over the last couple of years, we had a state association that experimented with setting aside two minutes for vaulters to do their run-throughs,” says Oakes. “In over half of the meets where it was tried, vaulters didn’t use the full time, so the committee felt comfortable that changing the rule wouldn’t significantly lengthen meets. And it can greatly help student-athletes who are coming in at higher heights after sitting out for a while.” In ratifying proposals from the NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, the rules committee clarified the intention to permit student-athletes to compete wearing braces, casts, and prostheses, with the specific requirements for approval to be determined by state associations. In response to concerns about head injuries, any athlete who exhibits signs of a conCoachesNetwork.com
AP PHOTO/DAVID ZALUBOWSKI
After clearing 7-feet-6 to ensure at least a second place finish and a league title for South Pasadena (Calif.) High School last May, pole vaulter Robin Laird became a topic of national debate among high school coaches. It wasn’t her performance that generated attention, though. It was the friendship bracelet around her wrist. Seconds after the vault, the opposing coach lodged a complaint, since NFHS For a complete list of rules prohibit rules changes and interpretations, visit: athletes from www.nfhs.org/ wearing any track.aspx. type of jewelry. Laird was disqualified, South Pasadena lost the meet and dropped to second in the league standings, and some people questioned the opposing coach’s sportsmanship. In response, the NFHS Track and Field and Cross Country Rules Committee revisited and has revised its rules regarding
jewelry worn during competition. It also implemented several other new rules, which took effect with the start of the 2010-11 school year. “It was a big year for rule changes,” says Becky Oakes, NFHS Assistant Director and Liaison to the Track and Field and Cross Country Rules Committee. “The committee did a lot of good work clarifying some old rules, writing new ones, and making the track and field language consistent with that of other sports. Some of these rule changes may only have a limited impact, but others will affect coaches across the board.” The South Pasadena situation, which dominated the discussion, prompted the committee to create a less strict initial penalty to keep student-athletes in the competition. A first violation of the jewelry rule now results in a team warning, and athletes will only be disqualified if they commit a subsequent violation during the same meet. “The committee’s intent was to add a little leniency,” says Oakes. “They’ve been discussing jewelry-related rules for four or five years, and this seemed like a reasonable way to address the issue while preserving the safety and integrity of the sport. Wearing jewelry is still prohibited, but instead of going straight to disqualification, they’ve reduced the severity of the penalty and built in a warning.” In the wake of that decision, the committee relaxed its rule on hair control, agreeing to allow bobby pins, barrettes, and clips, as long as they are not adorned or longer than two inches. It also updated rules on medical alert bracelets and necklaces, allowing cloth, vinyl, and rubber alerts to be worn freely, though metal ones still need to be taped to the body and visible.
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Circle No. 102
cussion, including loss of consciousness, headache, dizziness, confusion, or a lack of balance, will be immediately removed from competition until cleared by a healthcare professional. Overall, says Oakes, committee members were very thoughtful in coming up with changes that will work for athletes, coaches, and officials. “Leniency was very much on their minds,” she says. “Their goal is to keep athletes participating, so they looked at the best ways to let performances stand, help athletes stay in the competition, and match any disciplinary action with the severity of the infraction. It’s all about improving the experience of our competitors.” TEAM DISCIPLINE
The Last Straw
The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse men’s cross country team is respected nationally, having won two NCAA Division III titles in the last 10 years. But on its own campus, the squad’s reputation has been less than stellar. So when team members misbehaved at a school-
sponsored dance early in the fall semester, administrators and Head Coach Donald Fritsch decided to send a strong message. In September, the school suspended the entire team for three meets. “It was nothing evil or criminal that they did,” Fritsch says. “But they were exhibiting stupid, rude, and obnoxious behavior. “It was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” he continues. “We were on thin ice due to a pattern of similar behavior, and I had warned the team numerous times to not do anything that would embarrass the program. But they apparently thought nothing would come of it and continued with the same behavior.” Although only 17 of the 24 members of the squad were at the dance, and not all of them were accused of misbehaving, the administration chose to suspend the entire team. “I initially wanted to isolate individuals to punish, but our athletic administrators felt we needed to have some consequences for the whole team,” Fritsch says. “After thinking about it, I agreed with them. There’s been a pattern of bad behavior that we haven’t been able to isolate to one or two people, and a feeling that
Replacing a Legend
After 27 years at the helm of the University of Missouri track and field program, a stint that included coaching 139 All-Americans, 108 conference champions, and seven NCAA champions, Rick McGuire retired last spring. Replacing a legend is never easy, but that was the task given to Brett Halter, a 17-year veteran of McGuire’s staff who was promoted to Head Coach in mid-August.
Have you done anything to put your own stamp on the program? Coach McGuire had a large impact on the sport and in many people’s lives. So it’s really important to
6 Coaching Management
me to carry on his legacy. It’s absolutely critical that we maintain his value-based philosophy of coaching, our academic integrity, and pursuit of athletic excellence. The single most difficult thing is that anything I say or do that looks like a personal twist on the program could be interpreted as an indictment of Coach McGuire. That is not the case at all, but might be seen that way. What part of Coach McGuire’s philosophy is most important to you to maintain? At one of the first practices I came to when I started here, Coach McGuire said, “Hey, I love you guys,” to the team after a meeting. That was like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. That wasn’t me. But I’ve learned that creating such an environment is very conducive to high-level performance. It took me some time to recognize the value of unconditional love and creating a famBrett Halter ily atmosphere—and what that really means. An environment full of love and free of ridicule, innuendo, harsh criticism, foul language, and challenging your manhood is very important for me to continue.
mizzou athletic media relations
CM: What has it been like taking over the program? Halter: It’s been fast and fun. Coach McGuire was great about keeping me really involved with many aspects of the program for several years so I’m not lost. The biggest difference is that I’m now dealing with so many different things. I have to be a coach, psychologist, mentor, dad, mechanic, and craftsman, among other roles. It’s a lot of hats to wear.
the team in general can’t seem to conduct themselves appropriately.” The suspension took the Eagles out of the St. Olaf Invitational and the Roy Griak Invitational, a meet they had won in 2009, as well as the University of Wisconsin Adidas Invitational. “The Wisconsin Adidas Invitational is a classy Division I meet, and we were the only non-Division I team invited,” Fritsch says. “I wanted to send the message loud and clear to the team that this type of behavior is unacceptable, and if they want to go to prestigious meets like that, they have to act in classy manner.” Along with the suspensions, Fritsch is incorporating regular efforts to show his runners the importance of doing the right thing. “We meet every day and a lot of the discussions have nothing to do with training and racing,” Fritsch says. “They’re about lifestyles, making good choices, and developing as quality individuals.” He also enlisted help from a pair of former All-Americans who were on campus for the school’s Wall of Fame ceremony. “I asked them to speak to the team about what it means to be a distance runner with the La Crosse program—the
UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-LACROSSE ATHLETICS
Members of the University of WisconsinLa Crosse men’s cross country squad learned a tough lesson this fall, sitting out three meets for misbehavior at a school event.
honor, the tradition, and the responsibility that you have as part of this family,” Fritsch says. One other tactic has been to reevaluate the messages he sends as a coach. “Part of the problem is that we try as coaches to instill in athletes a mindset that they are invincible and nothing can stop them from reaching their goals,” Fritsch says. “Combining that with a sense of entitlement some young people have can lead to disrespectful treatment of others. So I’m making our athletes aware that the invincible mindset that can lead to success in competition can get them in trouble elsewhere.” Fritsch believes team members have gotten the message and are ready to restore a positive reputation to the program. But he has some regrets about not acting sooner. “I should have pulled my head out of the sand years ago and
recognized that this had to be dealt with more severely,” he says. “Instead of just talking about it, I should have been putting down some pretty hardcore consequences a long time ago. If they’re
not breaking the law, you don’t see it as being that bad, but there was a continuing pattern of small issues year after year that I should have recognized as a problem.”
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Coaching Management 7
To Boost Enrollment For small colleges trying to beat the recession, increasing enrollment by adding athletic opportunities has become a hot trend. And that has meant the addition of track and field programs at many NCAA Division II and NAIA schools. Carroll College, an NAIA institution in Helena, Mont., with 1,500 students, is one of those schools. When Matt Morris accepted the position of Head Coach for the indoor and outdoor track and field program, he was charged with two main goals: start a successful men’s and women’s team, and build a big one, too. “If a school the size of Carroll is looking to grow, one of the best ways to bring in new students is to add sports,” Morris says. “Track and field is probably the easiest, most cost-efficient sport to add. It’s relatively inexpensive and there’s no roster limit. The school was very upfront with me that it’s my job to bring in a certain number of student-athletes.” While the exact number of studentathletes is still to be determined, Morris
says having that mandate doesn’t alter his approach greatly. “I don’t think it really changes anything as far as the way I run this program,” he says. “My goal is always to provide a great student-athlete experience and make sure kids really enjoy their time on campus. If I can do that, I’ll have kids flocking to join the program.” The Carroll squad has approximately 60 athletes for its inaugural 2010-11 season, which includes 27 new track and field recruits. Other members come from the existing cross country team, some students already on campus who decided to join the squad, and athletes playing another sport who will also run track. For Morris, building a roster has been just one of many challenges that come with starting a program. “There are no veterans on the team, so I can’t turn to
Following a national trend, Carroll College has added track and field to its athletic offerings in order to boost overall student enrollment. Freshman Troy Solly, at right, was a high school state qualifier in Washington in the 300-meter hurdles.
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Circle No. 104 8 Coaching Management
BULLETIN BOARD someone and say, ‘Get these guys going on drills,’” he says. “But on the flip side, there aren’t any bad habits to break or philosophical changes to implement. If I had juniors and seniors who were used to a different coach or a certain structure, then I’d be changing gears on them in the middle of their career, which can be tough.” When recruiting prospective members of the team, Morris, who previously coached at Western Illinois University, was forced to think hard about how to sell Carroll to high school athletes, since the track program doesn’t have a history of success and tradition. “Program prestige is a big deal, but it can also be a detriment,” he says. “I loved Western Illinois, but because the team had struggled for so long, I was starting in a hole. It can be harder to build your way back to ground level than to start from scratch.” With that in mind, Morris is focused on selling recruits on the potential of what’s to come if they enroll at Carroll. “As coaches, we are constantly trying to get athletes to do something we think they’re capable of before they know they can do it,” he says. “It’s no different when you’re recruiting. I tell prospective student-athletes, ‘I know we don’t have this
facility yet, but here’s what we do have, and here’s what we’re going to look like in three years. You can be part of that.’ I’m selling them on what they could become.” It also helps that the Carroll athletic department has proven itself, even if the track program hasn’t. The football team has won six national championships since 2002 and other Carroll programs are consistently among the NAIA’s best. “Carroll and its community are excited about athletics,” Morris says. “When people think of Carroll, they’re thinking good things. The school already has a tremendous product—it just didn’t have track and field until now.” NEW TRADITIONS
More Than a Meet
How do you inspire your high school athletes to new heights and promote the sport of cross country at the same time? For Ephrata (Wash.) High School, the answer was to host a preseason meet for the two biggest universities in the state. Ephrata is a school of 680 students in a town that’s better known for the Grand Coulee Dam than for the school’s cross
country program. But it is the hometown of University of Washington Head Track and Field and Cross Country Coach Greg Metcalf, which is how the event came to be. Metcalf was hoping to create a new tradition against archrival Washington State University and was looking for a neutral site. He contacted his former youth coach, Joe McManus, currently the USATF Inland Northwest Cross Country Chair, who put the wheels in motion. “He wanted an early season warmup at a location midway between the two schools—something to help them ease into their seasons,” says McManus. “So I spoke to the high school, acted as meet director, and helped make it all happen.” Ephrata Athletic Director Michele Webb and Head Cross Country Coach Shelley Yenney both loved the idea and started to brainstorm how it could be a boon for the high school. Their ideas included scheduling other athletic events around the meet, getting parents involved, and working with the media to publicize everything. They set a date for Sept. 3. Yenney organized a cross country jamboree against Quincy High School, Ellensburg High School, and Othello High School early in the afternoon. The Washington vs.
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Coaching Management 9
BULLETIN BOARD Washington State meet took place at 5 p.m. And Webb scheduled a football game against Quincy that evening. McManus developed a course for all the runners, a two-kilometer loop around Ephrata’s practice fields, which the collegiate women ran twice and the men ran three times. (Washington outpaced WSU in both races.) He also enlisted the help of friends, including Metcalf’s former high school coach, to help out on the day of the meet. The local press encouraged fans to wear their colors—purple for UW, crimson for WSU, and orange and black for Ephrata—and make the races into an event for the whole community. “We’re a small town, and we don’t usually get the chance to see nationallyranked runners competing here,” says Yenney. “There was a lot of community support, and you could definitely see the Husky-Cougar rivalry in the crowd.”
The high schoolers ran 3,000 meters along the new course, and though the scores didn’t count toward the season’s results, Yenney was pleased to see the Tigers place seven boys and seven girls in the top 20 finishers. In the weeks since then, she’s used the experience to challenge her team to work harder and motivate them to reach the next level. But the best part of the day happened that evening, when team parents hosted a supper for the U of Washington and Ephrata runners. “At the dinner, our student-athletes were able to spend time with the runners from UW, asking them
questions about where they came from and how they were selected to the team,” says Yenney. “You could see the conversations having a clear impression on our athletes. That was what I hoped they’d get out of the experience—and why I’d like to turn it into an annual event.” Yenney says her runners also learned a lot. “My student-athletes now better understand how collegiate runners train and prepare for a race,” she says. “They saw the dedication and commitment they would need to compete at the collegiate level, and it inspired them to raise the bar for themselves.” CM
I had to correct a mistake I made on the half page spread previous so three lines are now over.
After the day of races, the Ephrata High School and University of Washington squads got together for a parent-sponsored dinner.
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MaXIMIZing INDIVIDUAL PERFORMAnce
The Columbia girls’ outdoor team, including Brianna Thomas on left and Kayann Richards on right, set a record in points earned in winning the 2010 New Jersey Group 4 high school state championships.
Q&A with lisa morgan | columbia High School, maplewood, N.J. At the time it seemed like the worst fate, but Lisa Morgan now looks back on her injury in college as a blessing in disguise. When Morgan, now Head Boys’ and Girls’ Coach at Columbia High School in Maplewood, N.J., was sidelined with a hip flexor injury at the University of Kentucky, her coach put her in charge of showing recruits around campus and helping firstyear runners settle in. The coaching bug bit, and Morgan’s been at it ever since. After graduating from Kentucky, Morgan accepted an assistant coaching job at Columbia, her alma mater, then was offered an assistant coaching position at Seton Hall University, where she remained for 10 years. In 2004, she became a stay-at-home mom for her newCoachesNetwork.com
born son, Duke, but soon began volunteering at Columbia. She took a year off when a new head coach came aboard, and in 2007 Morgan was asked to take the reins herself. Last year, Morgan led the girls’ indoor and outdoor squads to New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Group 4 state championships. The outdoor team set state records in points earned at both the sectional and state championship meets. Also last season, the boys’ team placed fifth at the Nike Indoor Nationals in the 4x400meter relay, setting a school record in the process. And at the New Balance Nationals last summer, the girls’ team won the overall title while the boys’ squad finished sixth. In this interview, Morgan talks about how to get the most out of her student-athletes, working with parents, and national competition. She also recounts a tough end to her first year as head coach at Columbia when she dismissed a top runner from the team.
CM: What is your coaching philosophy?
Morgan: In general, my coaching philosophy is to maximize the individual potential of each athlete. I believe that athletics is a direct reflection of life, so if I can get all of my athletes to maximize their performance, I set them up to perform well in everything they do. How do you maximize performance?
A big part of it is effective communication. I let my athletes know from day one that I’m approachable. They have to feel comfortable bringing me any and every problem they’re having. I can’t coach an athlete to perform their best if I don’t know about certain things that may be affecting their performance. For example, maybe an athlete isn’t getting the proper meals at home. Or maybe they’re not getting enough rest because they have a large class load and they’re staying up until 2 a.m. every night doing homework. Whatever the issue is, I need to know about it. Coaching Management 11
I also have goals analysis meetings with each of my athletes at the beginning of the year. This helps them feel comfortable with me and allows me to get into their minds to see what they believe they can do. That discussion plays a big part in how I work with each of them to maximize performance. Opening up that dialogue has also led to some fantastic relationships with athletes. I was recently invited to the baby shower of an athlete I coached 11 years ago, for example. Those relationships trump any award or win for me. Do you get parents involved or prefer they stay out of the way?
I actually involve parents in our goals meetings because they are a big part of us having success. Parents are that link between a coach and the athletes. They have to understand my goals and philosophy so they can help their child do what needs to be done at home. That includes proper nutrition and rest, first of all. But a coach also needs parents to champion for them. I need to know that our parents will stand behind what I’m telling their child at practices and meets. The last
thing a coach wants is noise. I want one voice talking to my athletes, and that’s my voice. Have you ever had a problem with a parent?
Absolutely. There’s no utopia in coaching. Every coach has had a parent who thinks they know more about coaching than they do. When that happens, you need to immediately talk with them. You don’t have to be confrontational, but you do have to recognize there is a conflict that needs to be handled. I’ll sit down with that parent and say, “Here’s my philosophy. This is where I see your son or daughter. This is my plan. What’s your philosophy?” And then I listen to them. They want to be heard, too. Our parents have my phone number and my e-mail address and any time there’s a problem, they discuss it with me first. Not my assistant and not the athlete, because at the end of the day I’m the one with the master plan who’s making the decisions. You’ve made your team welcoming, with a roster of 120. How do you handle coaching such a large team?
BEFORE SUCCESS, CHAMPIONSHIP COACHES HAVE A BREAKTHROUGH
I can’t write 120 different workouts, so I have to figure out how to group my athletes. In the beginning of the year, we’re all out there together until I begin to see strengths and weaknesses. Then I group them. I don’t separate the boys and girls from each other, I separate by event. From there, knowing my athletes on a personal level helps me figure out who needs stroking and who needs more of an iron fist. Do you help your athletes get recruited to colleges?
I have helped every single one of my athletes get an education at the next level, whether that’s at an NCAA Division I, II, or III university or a junior college. I don’t look at my job as using athletes to win championships for Columbia High School. It’s about what happens next in their lives. I’m a big advocate of getting a higher education and I play a big part in the recruiting process with them for that reason. Do you think national competition is important for getting recruited?
Absolutely. That’s been proven with one
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Q&A of my athletes, Kayann Richards. Her recruitment shot through the roof after we attended the New Balance Nationals and Nike Team Nationals last summer. The college coaches who go to these competitions get to look at an athlete in person, rather than only see their times on paper. They can get a sense of whether an athlete is maxed out, or if they have more potential for growth. How do you handle it when an athlete doesn’t perform to expectations?
I don’t settle for mediocrity. The girls’ team won the New Balance competition, and I’m ecstatic about that, but I was disappointed that we did not perform to our ability. We did not win the sprint medley and we should have. In fact, we should have set a national record. My anchor leg heard too many voices that day. I blame it on myself—a coach has to know when to take responsibility. I should have done a better job of preparing her for that moment. What did you say to her after the race?
I hugged her and told her I loved her and that it was okay. You can’t change anything
after the fact. That was a moment and we couldn’t get it back. We discussed it afterward and we both learned valuable lessons. That competition was still a great experience. In your first year as Head Coach at Columbia, you dismissed an athlete from the team. What happened?
At the Penn Relays, we were in the 4x100meter relay tri-state final. We had the fastest time going in and we should have won. I had three seniors on the first three legs and used a freshman as the anchor. Not everybody agreed with my decision to put a freshman in that position, but it was my choice and I believed that was the way we could win. Well, the exchange from the third leg to the anchor was bad and we lost. The first attempt to get her the stick failed, and even though all our third leg had to do was try again because they weren’t yet out of the zone, she stopped trying. She was so caught up in the fact that my decision to anchor a freshman wasn’t going to work that she just stopped. It was a sad day. I hugged them, I cried for them, but we let it go for the rest of
the weekend. On Monday back at school, I called the four girls into a classroom to talk about it. As I started my spiel about what happened, that third leg senior just went off. She told me it was my fault and swore at me and walked out of the classroom. I gave her one chance to come back in the room and she kept walking, so I removed her from the team. I immediately went to my athletic director and told him what happened, and I stuck to my guns even when the athlete and her parents gave me a very hard time. It was a rough patch, and I took a hit. I lost another great senior runner because her mother didn’t agree with what I did. And we lost competitions after that because two of my best runners weren’t competing. The story comes full circle, though. That freshman anchor was Kayann Richards, now a senior and our top runner. After the incident, my team transformed. The young athletes saw that I was going to give them a chance and that they matter just as much as the older athletes. So we had a tough end of our season, but when I look at where we are now, I wouldn’t have done anything differently. CM
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Coaching Management 13
Runners take off at the start of the first heat of the womenâ€™s 800 meters at the 2010 NCAA Division III outdoor championships, hosted by BaldwinWallace College. Lane five holds eventual national champion Marie Borner from Bethel (Minn.) University.
A HOST OF DUTIES Everyone wants to win a championship, but not everyone wants to host one. Here’s a look at how to run an organized, memorable, end-of-year event— and why you might want to. By Patrick Bohn Bill Taraschke says a school would have to be “totally insane” to take on the workload associated with hosting a major meet. So why did the longtime Baldwin-Wallace College Head Men’s and Women’s Coach agree to host the 2010 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships, along with the 2009 Cross Country Championships? “If you have the expertise and facilities needed to run a championship event, you have an obligation to give back to the sport,” Taraschke says. “Hosting a meet is one way to do it.” The city of Cleveland was selected to be one of the NCAA’s six “Championship Cities” for 2010, and Case Western Reserve University was originally slated to hold the outdoor track championships. When Case Western was unable to host the meet, Cleveland was left scrambling for a host, and Baldwin-Wallace stepped up. CoachesNetwork.com
“My thought was ‘Do we let Cleveland get a black eye for saying it can host something and then backing out, or do we support it?’” says Taraschke. “I’ve got the experience, and with our facilities, I could host a meet tomorrow, so I agreed to do it.” No one would deny that hosting a championship meet is an intense process involving long hours and the coordination of hundreds of people. But if executed properly, it can be a major boost to your program, school, and surrounding community. Coaching Management 15
While Taraschke’s initial reason for hosting the D-III meet was to help his city, another reason was to publicize his program. “It allows possible recruits to see what Division III track and field and Baldwin-Wallace are all about,” he says. “When people come to our facilities and leave with a positive feeling, they’ll remember the school.” University of Arkansas Head Men’s Coach Chris Bucknam, whose school hosted the 2009 NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships as well as the 2010 indoor title meet, says all the hard work can help ensure your track program is seen as top-notch. “Holding this type of event brings exposure to your program, while at the same time justifying
Head Boys’ and Girls’ Coach at Buchanan High School in Clovis, Calif., says hosting the 2009 and 2010 California Interscholastic Federation State Championships on the school’s campus was a boon for the area (and Buchanan will host again in 2011). “The community has given a lot of financial support to the Clovis Unified School District, and hosting the state meets was a way to give back,” he says. “There were a couple million dollars spent in the Clovis-Fresno area over the course of each meet, which was a great way to stimulate the local economy.” Winter Park (Fla.) High School Head Boys’ Coach Dennis Kozub found that hosting the 2009 and 2010 Florida High School Athletic Association championships allowed
istrative support, facilities, and finding a meet director. Indiana Wesleyan University hosted the 2010 NAIA Outdoor Championships, and Head Men’s and Women’s Coach John Foss began the process by selling the idea to his school administration. “It’s one thing to say, ‘This is going to be a great event for the school,’ but it’s another to prove it,” he says. “When administrators look at hosting a big meet, their responsibility is to more than the track and field program. They need to know the pros and cons for the entire school.” Foss made sure to fully assess the costs and expected revenue to give administrators a solid idea of meet finances. Then he started gathering support on campus. “After submit-
MAKING IT MEMORABLE A big part of hosting a championship meet is organizing all the details to perfection. But another aspect is
making the event memorable for the student-athletes participating. At the University of Arkansas, Head Men’s Coach Chris Bucknam starts by ensuring a great atmosphere. “We always want to provide a welcoming attitude and make sure people get treated right,” says Bucknam. “There’s enough pressure on the athletes at an event this size, so we want them to feel comfortable. When they leave the meet, we hope they are thinking, ‘I want to go back there again.’” At Baldwin-Wallace College, coaches and administrators provide comfortable spaces for athletes to relax during down times. “We set up an athlete lounge in our indoor facility,” says Head Men’s and Women’s Coach Bill Taraschke. “We provided 16 computers and free wireless access. We set up a big screen TV and had video
the money you spend on your facilities and putting them to great use,” he explains. “We built our facilities with the intention of hosting major events and it doesn’t get much bigger than an NCAA Championship.” Texas A&M University hosted the 2009 NCAA Division I Indoor Championships and Head Men’s and Women’s Coach Pat Henry believes doing so is a great way to relay to recruits that track and field won’t get lost among a school’s revenue-generating sports. “As an institution, it allows us to show that the sport is important to the school and that it represents the quality of competition and team that we’re trying to have,” he says. “When young athletes see us hosting a meet on television, we hope it helps them make a decision to come here.” At the high school level, the benefits tend to be community-based. Brian Weaver, 16 Coaching Management
games so the athletes could relax and enjoy themselves if they came in a few hours before their event.” Taraschke adds that adequate seating is also critical when it comes to atmosphere. “We have seating for about 8,000 fans in our facility,” he says. “But we’ve gone to venues that weren’t as big, and they just didn’t feel like championship meets. At our facility, there was a ‘wow’ factor.” At Indiana Wesleyan University, Head Men’s and Women’s Coach John Foss asked his athletes what amenities they’d want if they went to a meet. The results? “We had a big concert and made sure there were lots of food options available to the participants at all hours of the day,” he says. “We even had retired members of the community shuttle athletes around in golf carts. The community members were having so much fun it was contagious.”
ting our proposal, we raised enthusiasm by talking to administrators and faculty about what hosting the meet would mean for Indiana Wesleyan,” he says. “Such an undertaking is great for my program, but I had to be able to look at it from other perspectives.” In bringing the proposal to administrators, Foss also had to determine whether the track facility could handle a championship meet. Host schools need a facility that is large enough and equipped with the right amenities. In the end, Foss convinced administrators to spend $300,000 to upgrade the track and field facility. “We have a beautiful outdoor track, but not much in the way of seating,” Foss says.
If those arguments sound persuasive, the first step in hosting a meet is figuring out whether it’s feasible for your school. The three major areas of concern are admin-
PATRICK BOhN is an Assistant Editor at Coaching Management. He can be reached at: pb@MomentumMedia.com.
his school to strengthen its community ties. “When we host a big meet, the parents come down and they want to get involved, so it grows a community feeling,” he says. Weaver also feels it’s important for high schools to take ownership of state championship meets. “In the past, the California Interscholastic Federation rented venues from local junior colleges for the state meet,” he says. “But a lot of people like high school events to be hosted by a high school community. When that happens, the money from the event isn’t going to someone else, it’s going back to the high school.”
“You need to have 3,000 seats minimum to host an NAIA national meet and we had 600, all in our bleachers. It was too expensive to increase bleacher seating to 3,000, so we increased it to 1,500 and built earth berms on three sides of the track, elevated eight to 10 feet. We tented those, and people brought lawn chairs and sat there.” Other features also had to be improved. “We needed to upgrade our scoreboard because it could only show the order of finishers and not times or scores,” Foss says. “Our press box was only 10x10 feet, which wasn’t enough room for all the media and the games committee, so we enlarged it into a 10x30 foot space.” Foss also analyzed whether the facility could accommodate the increased level of competition. “For every field event, you have to make sure your facility can handle a national-caliber athlete,” he says. “We dealt with that in the hammer throw. Our facilities were equipped to handle throws up to 180 feet, but we had to be prepared for athletes throwing more than 200. Previously, that throw would have landed in the street. We altered the space so a throw of 270 feet could land safely.” Another initial priority is finding one person to be in charge of the meet. In many cases, the head track and field coach, or an assistant coach, can serve as meet director. But if you can convince an administrator to take the reins, that’s even better. “Our event managers are the meet directors,” says Henry. “I want to be involved in meet management because it’s my facility and what happens will be a reflection on my staff. But I am still trying to win a track meet, so I need someone else to oversee the details.” Taraschke says the best person to put in charge of the meet depends on the institution, but it helps to have someone who has clout with the school’s administration. “Ideally, the athletic director or even someone higher up will be in charge, because of the sway they have,” he says. “If you’re a Pepsi institution and Coke is sponsoring the event, for example, someone is going to have to tell food service to cover up the Pepsi signs, and it’s better if that comes from an athletic director or vice president.” “From a political standpoint, an athletic director is positioned so much better than a coach,” Foss says. “Our athletic director reports to the executive vice president, so he has a direct link to someone at the top levels of the university administration. With him in charge, we’re one step closer to a decision maker.” At the high school level, coaches sometimes have no choice but to direct the meet themselves. Weaver served as the co-director of the California state meets, and he admits it CoachesNetwork.com
can be a tough situation. “Ideally, someone else would be in charge,” he says. “I love coaching and watching my kids compete and it tugs at my heartstrings if I miss them. But my college coach taught me that if you’re involved with something, you have to give back.” DIVIDING UP DUTIES
Regardless of who serves as meet director, the next job is delegating tasks. Taraschke says the sooner you start dividing up duties and reviewing the details, the better. “You don’t
pull off a meet this size on the spur of the moment,” he says. “You have to make a list of everything you’ll need to get done, sit down with your campus people well ahead of time, and decide who’s going to do what. “We had two major meetings that summer before the outdoor championships, one at the beginning to assign responsibilities and another at the end to see how they were going,” Taraschke continues. “In between, there was a lot of individual interaction. I am a big, ‘Let’s go get a cup of coffee and talk,’
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Circle No. 111 Coaching Management 17
kind of person. That will get you a lot of cooperation.” Foss says the key is dividing responsibilities into smaller subgroups. “We established committees for everything,” he says. “We had a housing and hospitality committee, a spon-
the head of the district custodians, the food service people, and the head of the technology group,” Weaver says. “All told, there were about 30 of us who met and discussed things like how to set up concessions and handling crowd control and parking. This
But there’s more to getting people involved than just assigning tasks: You have to motivate them as well. “Make sure that people who are going to be involved with service work take ownership of what they do,” Foss says. “We told the facilities people that the
“If there’s a problem, you need to stay calm and use your resources. You have to solve the problem and make sure the athletes aren’t negatively affected by your decisions.” Brian Weaver, Buchanan High School, Clovis, Calif. sorship committee, and many others. We tried to involve as many people as possible.” Weaver started by splitting the meet in half. He put his co-director in charge of everything outside the stadium, including ticket takers, parking, community sponsorship, and security personnel. Weaver handled everything inside the facility, from officials, concessions, and announcers to the volunteers who raked pits, moved blocks, and set up hurdles. “Every month, myself, the other meet director, and the district coordinator would get together with people who were assigned to oversee different areas of the meet, like
way, we were able to see how things were coming along and determine whether any improvements needed to be made.” Taraschke says a crucial part of delegating responsibility is making sure everyone is in an area where they can succeed. “Our head athletic trainer took care of medical services and making sure there were athletic trainers, doctors, and ambulances on hand,” he says. “Our sports information director handled all the media-related issues, such as advertising and credentialing the press. Our safety people oversaw the security plan. You have to put people in their areas of strength and not micromanage.”
track was their responsibility and they were going to get the credit if it looked good. That helped them become passionate about helping us, rather than just doing it because we asked them to.” On the day of the meet, there is more delegating to do. Weaver divided his “inside” crew of about 400 volunteers into roughly 10 groups responsible for specific tasks. Each group had one person in charge who reported to Weaver. “Those 10 people were like my department heads,” he says. “They were coaches, teachers, or former athletes. I went over my expectations with each group, then after I
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COVER STORY left, the heads of the groups went over them again. I trusted them to put out any small fires, but I wanted them to come to me if they had any problems. “I’ve found it’s best to give everyone their assignments and let them work,” Weaver continues. “You need people around you who you can trust to get the job done. If you don’t, you’ll go crazy trying to do it all yourself.” READY FOR ANYTHING
No matter how much preparation and organizing you have done, the day of the meet requires another level of readiness. The main focus is keeping everything on schedule. “Track is the worst event in athletics if it’s not organized properly,” Henry says. “If you run it well, it’s tremendous. But if you have delays because of poor organization, it’s bad. Athletes appreciate that if the 200 meters is scheduled to start at 2:22, it starts at 2:22, because everything they do, from the time they go to sleep the night before to when they go through warm-ups, is dependant on their event starting on time.” The trick to not getting behind is to be thinking at least two to three events ahead.
“If you’ve got the 400-meter hurdles following your 1,500-meter run, and the 1,500 is only using one or two lanes, you should be setting up hurdles in the other lanes in order to be ready,” Kozub says. “The main thing I look for on the day of the meet is the flow of the event,” says Bucknam. “There needs to be a way for coaches and athletes to get from one place to another easily. If someone needs to get to the shot put area in five minutes, I make sure they can.” Additionally, Kozub says if you’re the one responsible for making sure the meet runs smoothly, you may need to roll up your sleeves and get to work. “You can’t be the coach who doesn’t want to run around,” he says. “If you don’t understand your responsibility and how to get things done, your meet is going to be a disaster.” It’s also important to be prepared for glitches. “You’re going to have some problems, so the key is to be ready,” says Henry. “Have backup plans in place. The more organized you are, the better prepared you’ll be for anything unexpected.” Weaver cautions against getting flustered. “If there’s a problem, you need to stay calm
and use your resources,” he says. “You have to solve the problem and make sure the athletes aren’t negatively affected by your decisions. For example, we had an official make an error during the pole vault—some coaches didn’t think their kids had a fair amount of rest between jumps. We had to recognize it was our fault and change it.” Another key is to listen carefully to anyone with a complaint, no matter how busy you are. “During one event, we had a small stone in one lane on the track, and the runner in that lane didn’t win his heat and his parent was irate,” Kozub says. “I listened to them, and after they were done I told them I’d talk to the officials. Even though the officials told us there was nothing to do, the parent and athlete appreciated that we listened to them. If you just blow off their concerns, they won’t be happy.” Finally, remember that your attitude goes a long way toward making everything go smoothly. “If you want to run a major event, you need to have a passion not just for the benefits, but for being a good host,” Foss says. “It helps to want things to be perfect, because even though you won’t get there, you can come close.” CM
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READY TO RECEIVE Many high school athletes today are eager to receive advice on how to get recruited to colleges. That’s why every coach must be prepared to offer meaningful guidance on the topic. By Dr. Karen Weaver kirby lee/us presswire
Molly Cassidy smiles at the question. An interviewer has just asked the 19-year-old field hockey player why she spent the summer before her senior year of high school in the Netherlands. “I realized if I wanted to learn from the best, I had to go overseas, where my sport is more popular,” she says. “It CoachesNetwork.com
was tough with the language barrier, but it prepared me for my college career.” Like elite athletes in other sports, Molly decided at an early age she wanted to play field hockey at a high level. While she was recognized as one of the top high school players in California, leading La Costa Canyon High School to three state titles, she worried that wouldn’t be enough to land an athletic scholarship at an NCAA Division I school. So she looked for chances to play against better competition and receive elite coaching. When field hockey teams from the Netherlands came to train at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., she not only watched the practices, but spoke with players in hopes of finding better coaching. Through those conversations, she found opportunities to attend high-level summer field hockey camps in Europe. Both Molly and her family knew the road to an NCAA Division I scholarship would Coaching Management 21
be easier if she was mentored by some of the top coaches in the world. And all the work paid off. Michigan State University offered her a field hockey grant in aid in 2009, and as a redshirt freshman goalkeeper, Molly was named Big Ten Conference Defensive or Freshman Player of the Week five times in 2010. She was also chosen for the Division I All-Region First Team. The world of recruiting is changing before our eyes. High school athletes are eschewing their high school coaches and
is good enough to get an athletic scholarship. If she doesn’t get a scholarship it’s the coach’s fault, right? When parents don’t feel the coach is doing enough, they will turn elsewhere for help. From signing up for “expert” recruiting advice to seeking costly club or international experience, every avenue is considered. We could spend hours thinking about where we went wrong in the process of preparing our student-athletes for college athletics—AAU tournaments, summer camps,
is one very strong point. Coaches usually have the resources to provide top strength and conditioning, sport-specific mental and physical training, and nutritional advice. Athletes competing at the Division I level are also pushed by similar caliber athletes everyday in practice. If you’re like Molly Cassidy, whose dream is to play on the U.S. national team, Division I is where you need to go. If you truly have the ability to play at the highest level and you relish the idea of challenging yourself
There are a myriad of opportunities to compete collegiately, but most parents only recognize the Division I dream—Division II and III schools rarely enter the equation … That’s why, to start, it’s important to illustrate the realities of competing at the Division I level. traditional training methods and using an entirely different process to get noticed by college coaches. And unless a major shift in our thinking occurs, high school coaches may soon become inconsequential in the recruiting process. TODAY’S REALITY
More than ever before, club sport coaches and personal trainers hold significant influence over top high school athletes. IMG Academies in Florida, Texas, and Arizona are examples of this trend. Built 30 years ago for tennis players to train year round, they have since expanded to include athletes in all sports who can come for a day, week, or month and compete with others from around the world. IMG will post your information and stats on its Web site and promote you when you commit to a college. Just as significant, online recruiting companies have exploded, offering targeted eligibility seminars to those who want to play NCAA Division I or II sports. You can even self-promote using the Internet. YouTube has become the premier place to post highlight videos. The value system of some high school coaches has also changed. Because the media emphasizes Division I as the ultimate collegiate athletic experience, coaches have come to believe that a measure of their success is how many athletes they send to Division I institutions. And parents are contributing to this by putting pressure on coaches to deliver a scholarship opportunity for their child. In their world, if Sally is the leading runner on her high school team, that must mean she 22 Coaching Management
combines, and invitationals are just some of the ways we have conditioned studentathletes to believe that their athletic skill is a ticket to financial reward. While hindsight is 20/20, it doesn’t change where we’re at. Instead, as coaches, we have to help our students and their families see the bigger picture. Somehow, we have to help them understand that a college coach’s opinion and their program’s needs are not more important than what a young person wants to get out of college. CHANGING MINDSETS
If you are frustrated by the “professionalism” that seems to have taken over the college athletic recruiting process, take a deep breath. There are solutions to how to give advice that resonates with parents and student-athletes. As coaches, we know that our potential to influence and guide our athletes lies in a complete understanding of the challenges they face. Therefore, the key is to be knowledgeable about the facts of recruiting and present them in a way that keeps the student-athlete’s best interests in mind. There are a myriad of opportunities to compete collegiately, but most parents only recognize the Division I dream—Division II and III schools rarely enter the equation. As a high school coach, you may be the only person able to truly guide them through the pros and cons of this path and help them make the best decision. That’s why, to start, it’s important to illustrate the realities of competing at the Division I level. There are many reasons to pursue this option. The commitment of the coaching staff to the athlete’s development
to the utmost potential, Division I can be a once in a lifetime experience. But beware that it does come with tradeoffs. Many students and their families buy into the dream of playing for a Division I program, only to find out when they arrive on campus that the time commitment is much greater than they realized. Along with a lack of playing time, this is one of the top reasons why student-athletes transfer to a lower-division school. As their mentor, ask them to really think about why they want to go to a Division I program. Is it because it validates their athletic talent? Or is it because they truly want to play at an elite level and are willing to endure the sacrifice it entails. In some cases, a student’s academic goals may simply not mesh with the commitment expected of a Division I athlete. If a student-athlete chooses a major that conflicts with practice times (biology labs are sometimes only offered in the afternoon), that can ignite problems between the athlete and the team. At the Division I level, more often than not, a coach will recommend to an athlete if they want to remain on the team, they will have to adjust their academic schedule. The same goes for student-athletes who want to pursue other interests, like studying abroad, writing for the student newspaper, or assisting a professor with a research project. KAREN WEAVER, EdD, is Director of Athletics at Penn State University-Abington and serves as a consultant on college athletics recruiting, speaking regularly to high school student-athletes and parents. She spent 16 years as a head coach at the NCAA Division I and III levels and posts about the college recruitment process at: twitter.com/collegeathlete. She can be reached through her Web site at: www.intelligentrecruiting.org.
So many high school athletes join a college team believing the workload will be just like it was for them in high school. Nothing could be further from the truth. Playing on a Division I team is a large commitment, both in time and emotion. Even on an official paid visit to a campus, you would be hard pressed to find a coach who would tell you the challenges—it’s one of those areas that never gets discussed until after you arrive on campus. One way to get some insight into a college coach’s commitment to the balance of academics and athletes is to ask for the team’s graduation rate. College coaches are required to provide you this data. Over the years, I have been amazed by the number of teams that boast how many top recruits they bring in, only to find out that less than one third remain on the team until their senior year. MONEY MATTERS
One of the areas most misunderstood by parents is scholarship money. Because the high-profile sports of football and basketball provide full scholarships, most people assume the same is true in all sports. But
Expand Your Knowledge Base
many NCAA Division I teams are termed “equivalency” sports, meaning there is very limited scholarship money to hand out. In track and field, which is an equivalency sport, NCAA rules mandate that schools can offer no more than 12.6 scholarships for men and 18 full scholarships for women. Those scholarships, which also cover the crosscountry team, can be divided up among a number of athletes. For example, a women’s track and field team may decide to offer full scholarships to six of its athletes, half scholarships to 12 of its athletes, and one-quarter the amount of a full scholarship to 24 of its athletes. Sometimes, athletes are told their scholarship money will increase based on how they perform as freshmen. It can be difficult for 18- and 19-year olds to shoulder the pressure to perform well enough their freshman year to increase their scholarship money, especially when they know their parents can’t afford the tuition. And not all schools offer all 12.6 and 18 scholarships. Those numbers are the maximum allowed by the NCAA, but there is no minimum in track and field.
If an athlete has concerns about the amount of money he or she may receive, it is appropriate to ask how much scholarship money the team has. While it is not okay to ask how much another athlete is receiving, asking the total amount of scholarships available to one team helps families understand the realities of the scholarship situation. Athletes should be sure to do this for every school they speak with and not assume that schools in the same conference have the same amount of scholarship dollars. It’s also important to know that NCAA scholarships are only binding for one year. Although it is not a common practice, a coach does not have to renew an athlete’s scholarship every year. This rule has recently been challenged in court by a former Rice University football player. Along with understanding scholarship money, it’s helpful to make sure students understand the bigger picture of how schools fund their sports in Division I. Many athletic departments create a tiered system of financing, which results in funding some programs more than others. This means that the money allocated for a non-revenue team will be less
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than some of the other teams, including the football or basketball team. This can affect many things. One example is medical expenses—if an athlete is injured seriously enough to require surgery, and is in a lower-tier sport, some programs will cap the amount of reimbursement picked up by the school. Or, a lower-tiered sport might not subsidize spring break travel to play games in warmer climates, thus requiring each athlete to come up with $300 to $1,000 to cover their expenses. It may also mean traveling in vans instead of chartered buses—a tough environment to study or sleep in. OTHER OPTIONS
If discussing these realities dampens a student-athlete’s desire to play Division I, the next step is to be well-versed on the other options. They include NCAA Divisions II and III, NAIA, and junior colleges. “I chose Division II” is the NCAA slogan for Division II institutions, and the group has worked hard at differentiating its members from Divisions I and III in recent years. Most Division II programs offer a wide range of teams and focus on integrat-
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ing their student-athletes into the campus and local communities. They also focus on ensuring student-athletes have a balanced college experience, meaning there is time for pursuits beyond athletics. NCAA Division II does offer scholarships, but, depending on the sport, will usually have fewer than Division I. In both men’s and women’s track and field, 12.6 scholarships are allowed. Like in Division I, some schools may not have the resources to offer the maximum number of scholarships. “Discover-Develop-Dedicate” is the new tagline for NCAA Division III schools. While traditionally known as the “non-scholarship” division, member institutions sell their well-rounded educational and athletic experiences to prospective student-athletes. Non-scholarship hardly means uncompetitive—many of the top Division III programs compete with and beat higher-division programs during the course of a season. NAIA schools award scholarships and are launching an eligibility clearinghouse this year similar to the NCAA model. Many NAIA schools are currently increasing their
athletic offerings as part of an institutional goal of sustaining enrollment. They can be a great option for student-athletes wanting a small school experience, especially if they don’t have a long list of athletic accomplishments. At the community college level, studentathletes can also receive partial and full athletic scholarships. This can be an inexpensive way to fund the first two years of an athlete’s education, especially if a student is not sure of what they want to do both academically and athletically. It’s important to help a young person realize that their athletic abilities can be used to advance their educational aspirations, not just to impress a coach. If an athlete is able to attend a quality academic school that he or she otherwise couldn’t get in to thanks to athletic talents, in the long run, that could greatly serve one’s career prospects. It is also important to consider the network of college career counselors and alumni who can help in the job market. I often hear high school athletics directors say about college, “It’s not just a four-year commitment—it’s a 40-year relationship.”
Av a i l a b l e t h ro u g h Coaching Management! The Nutrition Edge Learn how proper nutrition can help your players reach their true potential through the valuable information presented in this collection prepared by Susan Kundrat, Sports Dietitian for the University of Illinois. Topics include recovery nutrition, nutrient timing, pregame meals, losing weight, caffeine, and hydration. It also includes case studies and a look at special situations including celiac disease and vegetarian athletes.
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GUIDING THE ATHLETE
You’ve probably heard some top high school coaches boast that, “Every athlete on my team who is interested goes on to play in college.” This is actually possible for almost any high school coach to say. If the athlete is not focused only on Division I, there any many opportunities. In guiding athletes and their parents, my best advice is to offer them many questions. It’s all about the experience the athlete wants to get from their time in college. And, by answering probing questions, they can better understand what is right for them. Here are some questions your athletes should consider: What do you want academically? Unless you have Olympic aspirations, your academic dreams should come first. You only have four years to hone your skills for the working world and you want to find a school that matches your choice of study. Even if you love the head coach at the school with “technology” in its name, if you’re not really sure that math is your thing, this is probably a poor choice. What do you want competitively? Are
you excited about joining a team where you are going to have to push yourself to a new level to get playing time? Or do you want a continuation of your high school experience, with time for other pursuits? And don’t define competitive by the NCAA division the school is in. There are many Division III schools, for example, that are highly competitive, and may not leave time for outside interests. What type of coach do you want? In most cases, your college coach will be an important person in your life. During communication with college coaches recruiting you, carefully judge their character and style of coaching. Ask others about them. Think about the coaches you have enjoyed most during your high school career and why. How much money is available? It’s really important to compare dollars to dollars and not scholarships to scholarships. Let’s say an NAIA coach at a state school offers you a partial scholarship totaling $4,000 and tuition at that school is $8,000. Compare that to a $20,000 partial scholarship at an NCAA Division I school, where tuition is $40,000. You are being offered a lot more money at the
Division I school, but you still need to come up with $20,000 every year vs. $4,000 at the NAIA school. What factors are important to your family? Take the time to talk about how choices will affect your entire family. This can be anything from attending a parent’s alma mater to how far away the school is from home. What if you don’t compete? One of the best questions you can ask yourself is this: Will I be happy at this school if—for whatever reason—I don’t remain on the team? This can be a great way to really examine if the school is a good fit. By having more substantive discussions with your student-athletes about the recruiting process, you are developing their critical thinking skills about an important decision in their lives. A personal trainer or a club coach may think they know everything about the college recruiting process, but they may not understand all the factors at play. As an educator, you have the ability to help your athletes make a choice that puts them in the best possible position to get the most out of college. CM
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NEXT UP: RECOVERY
AP Photo/David Zalubowski
After a competition or practice, an athlete’s body is working hard to adapt to the stresses it just encountered. In order to aid that recovery process, the right nutrients are essential. By Michelle Rockwell It’s Monday evening and your athletes are leaving the locker room after a tough practice. Some are heading to the library, others to their dorms or homes, and a few are going to a captains meeting. They all have water bottles and are doing a good job rehydrating their bodies. CoachesNetwork.com
But are they focused on refueling? How many of them will wait hours before their next meal or snack? And when hunger kicks in, will they grab whatever is within reach? Most track and field athletes know the value of hydration and nutrition, and many look for healthy foods at mealtimes. But all too often, they don’t know about arguably the most important time to provide their bodies with fuel to replenish and reload: immediately following a workout or competition. Post-activity eating and drinking is an essential component of athletic success. And improving recovery nutrition is one of the Coaching Management 27
easiest ways athletes can measurably boost their performance. MUST-HAVES
Recovery nutrition is best thought of as a window of opportunity. Research has found that in the approximately 30 minutes after intense exercise, the body optimizes its ability to replenish energy stores—particularly muscle and liver glycogen. This is also a critical time because the body instigates muscle protein synthesis for muscle tissue recovery and repair, replenishes fluids and electrolytes lost through sweat, and adapts to the stresses encountered in the workout. In other words, while an athlete’s body is starting to recover from a workout, it needs nutrients to aid that recovery. For muscles to adapt and become stronger, they need rest and fuel. Research has found that the food consumed immediately after the workout will aid recovery. In addition, the longer and more intense a workout, the more important it is to kick-start the body’s recovery and replenishment mechanisms with adequate fueling. Since track and field athletes often complete extremely tough workouts, recovery nutrition becomes very important for them. But simply consuming a healthy snack or meal is not good enough. Having the right balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fluids/electrolytes is key. Carbohydrates: Hard exercise dramatically decreases the body’s carbohydrate stores. One recent estimate suggests that a 150-pound athlete may utilize 200 grams
of muscle glycogen and 50 grams of liver glycogen in a typical rigorous training session or competition—that’s a total of 1,000 calories worth of carbs! Athletes should consume .5 to .7 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight within the first 30 minutes after exercise. For someone weighing 150 pounds, that means roughly 75 to 100 grams. The foods and beverages in the “Good Choices” box (below), each contain about 50 grams of carbohydrates—but you should encourage athletes to read product labels and broaden their horizons with a wide selection of carbcontaining foods and drinks. Beyond the 30-minute “immediate” recovery window, it’s also important for athletes to consume more carbs—at least another 50 grams—about two hours after exercise. This helps complete the restoration of glycogen levels and ensure that muscle tissue will be ready to perform at the next workout, practice, or competition. To make matters slightly more complicated, some carbohydrates are better for recovery than others. High-glycemic carb sources are absorbed more quickly by the body, helping restore glycogen levels more efficiently after workouts than low-glycemic sources. High-glycemic foods are generally those with refined flours and added sugars, such as bagels, low-fiber/high-sugar cereals, granola bars or sports bars, pretzels, and flavored milks. Protein: Protein consumed within the recovery window provides amino acid building blocks for muscle tissue synthesis and repair. It also helps ensure a net positive pro-
GOOD CHOICES Each item listed in the left hand column contains roughly 50 grams of carbohydrates, while those in the right hand column contain roughly 10 grams of protein. Athletes should consume .5 to .7 grams of carbs per pound of body weight and 10 to 20 grams of protein within 30 minutes after exercise to promote optimal recovery.
Bagel 3 slices of white bread 2 pancakes or 2 pieces of French toast Large muffin 2 pieces of fresh fruit 1 cup of cold cereal (check labels) 1 sports bar or 2 small granola bars (check labels) 10 ounces of fruit juice 16 ounces of chocolate or strawberry milk
1 ounce of meat/poultry/fish/seafood 2 eggs or 2 egg whites 8 ounces of milk (dairy or soy) 1 cup of yogurt 1/2 cup of beans 1/2 cup of hummus 1 sports bar (check labels) 1/3 cup of nuts or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
28 Coaching Management
tein balance, which means protein synthesis exceeds protein degradation (breakdown) in muscle tissue. Protein degradation is elevated after exercise, so failing to consume protein can actually result in muscle loss. Rearchers generally suggest that athletes need 10 to 20 grams of protein in the 30-minute recovery window. The foods in “Good Choices” (below) each contain roughly 10 grams, but athletes should be encouraged to read nutrition labels and make their own choices. There is limited evidence to suggest that one protein source is superior to another for promoting muscle recovery. Some researchers have reported that whey protein is most favorable because of its unique amino acid composition and absorption rate, but most recommendations do not distinguish between protein sources. With so many protein-rich options, from meat, dairy, and eggs to nuts, seeds, and legumes, athletes should choose the ones they like best, and perhaps even experiment with different combinations to see if they notice a difference in recovery with certain foods as compared to others. Fluids/electrolytes: The total amount of fluid and electrolytes needed after physical activity varies by individual based on body chemistry, sweat rate and salt content in sweat, and other factors. The simplest guide for replenishment is weight loss during workouts: Athletes should weigh themselves before and after activity, and consume 16 to 24 fluid ounces for every pound lost. For example, someone who drops three pounds during practice needs 48 to 72 ounces of fluid during the recovery window. Of course, athletes must also be encouraged to focus on hydration during activity, so ideally, their pre- and post-workout weight shouldn’t be much different. Because sweat contains electrolytes like sodium and potassium, the best recovery hydration options are sports drinks, fruit juice, and flavored milk as opposed to plain water. Chocolate milk in particular is an excellent choice, because it rehydrates and provides electrolytes while also supplying the body with carbs and protein. Beyond those three key areas, fat is another component that athletes sometimes ask about regarding recovery nutrition. Conventional wisdom is that low-fat foods and beverages are the best options because a high fat content slows digestion and thus delays nutrient Michelle Rockwell is a Sports Dietitian based in Raleigh-Durham, N.C. She works with athletes at North Carolina State University and serves as a consultant to teams and individual athletes nationwide. She is also co-founder of RK Team Nutrition and can be reached at: www.rkteamnutrition.com.
absorption. However, some researchers note that significant depletion of fat stores within muscles (intramuscular triglycerides) occurs during training. As much as 900 calories of fat may be oxidized during a hard workout
because they have so little appetite after hard work that a snack is all they can stomach. In most cases, my answer is that athletes should do both—eat a snack and then a meal. It’s fine if they only consume a snack in the
amino acids that the snack didn’t provide. For those who can eat a full meal within the 30-minute window, the advice basically flip-flops. They should consume a snack about two hours after their meal, with at least
If athletes eat a snack during the 30-minute window, they should plan on consuming a full meal about two hours later, complete with at least 50 grams of carbs and 15 grams of protein. or competition. Some recent studies have also found that “healthy fats,” such as the omega-3 fatty acids found in avocados, nuts, and olive oil help regulate the inflammatory response after workouts. For those reasons, athletes shouldn’t be afraid to consume moderate amounts of fat in post-workout meals. MEAL OR SNACK?
Athletes crave simplicity in nutrition advice. One of their most frequently asked questions is whether they are better off consuming a meal or simply a snack after workouts and games. Some ask this question
30-minute window, as long as it meets the criteria outlined above. A large glass of chocolate milk and a few handfuls of pretzels may be all they need to get enough carbs, protein, and electrolytes to begin optimal recovery. If they go that route, they should plan on consuming a full meal about two hours later, complete with at least 50 grams of carbs and 15 grams of protein, and a larger quantity of food overall. This will ensure that muscle glycogen replacement continues and the body’s longer-term recovery processes receive adequate fuel. It will also allow replacement of the broader spectrum of micronutrients and
50 grams of carbs and 15 grams of protein. The overall goal is to kick-start recovery with immediate refueling, and then to follow up with further nutritional support after a couple of hours. MAKING IT HAPPEN
In my work with athletes, I develop specific nutrition plans that cover daily intake before, during, and after exercise. In terms of recovery nutrition, we work on realistic strategies to make sure the plans are followed. For example, with one high school team, a parent provided individual servings of
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Coaching Management 29
chocolate milk to all team members after workouts. On a collegiate team, the athletic trainer brought bananas, sports bars, and a cooler of sports drinks to practices. Simple steps like those meant that players had easy access to quality protein, carbohydrates, fluids, and electrolytes during the critical 30minute recovery window. Once these types of changes are implemented, I have consistently seen practice and competition performance improve. In addition, the incidence of muscle cramping decreased, and athletes had an easier time maintaining their body weight throughout the season.
making them a great choice for our athletes.” At St. John’s University, former Sports Dietitian Mary Ellen Bingham noticed that the team traveled 45 minutes each way to run in Central Park or the New York Armory, so she recommended bringing fuel and fluids for the ride back to campus. Low-fat chocolate milk and trail mix are some of the athletes’ favorites, and they’ve carried the lessons from these practices to meet days. Account for low appetites: Since exercise can suppress appetite, many athletes struggle with a lack of hunger after working out. As Leslie Bonci, Director of Sports Nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center,
Don’t ignore weight goals: Athletes trying to lose weight often resist recovery nutrition because they feel it is a source of unnecessary calories. Some even feel that eating a meal after physical activity “cancels out” the benefits of their hard work by replacing calories they just burned. Athletes looking to change their body weight require special attention, as they often don’t make wise choices from a recovery standpoint. Recently, Bonci worked with a University of Pittsburgh swimmer who had altered her diet to lose weight. The athlete had lost 16 pounds in a short time, but her performance had dropped off significantly. When Bonci
Athletes who don’t feel hungry after workouts often do better with recovery beverages. Flavored milk, drinkable yogurts, and fruit smoothies can provide everything they need without requiring an appetite. Ice-cold drinks can be especially appealing. Of course, there are many ways to improve players’ recovery nutrition habits. I asked professionals at several athletic programs for their tips, and here’s what they shared: Change the culture: Some teams have a well-defined routine they follow after practices and competitions. Athletes might get treatment in the athletic training room, meet with coaches, hit the showers, or hang out with friends, and before they know it, an hour or two has passed and the immediate recovery window has closed. For these teams, you need to find ways to build recovery nutrition into their post-game culture. This can happen through simple steps, such as passing out recovery shakes as athletes wait for treatment, or making sure they have a sports drink in hand before they meet with family and friends after a meet. At Texas Christian University, Sport Dietitian Amy Goodson has made the “box meal” a post-competition staple. She typically proTo download this author’s handout for athletes on recovery fueling, go to:
vides a turkey or ham and cheese sub sandwich along with baked chips and fruit or a cookie. Because the athletes know a box will be waiting for them, they’ve made it part of their routine. “It’s a great mix of carbohydrate and protein, and almost everyone loves sandwiches,” Goodson says. “The box meals are easy to eat on a bus and very affordable to put together, 30 Coaching Management
tells her athletes, “You need it the most when you want it the least.” Athletes who don’t feel hungry after workouts often do better with recovery beverages. Flavored milk, drinkable yogurts, and fruit smoothies can provide everything they need without requiring an appetite. Ice-cold sports drinks, fruit juice, and lowfat milkshakes can be especially appealing because of their cooling effect. Once athletes get in the habit of consuming something after workouts, even if it’s just liquid, they’ll usually end up looking forward to it. Talk about the impact: Rob Skinner, Director of Sports Nutrition at the University of Virginia, has found it important to explain how recovery nutrition works. He recently helped a cross country runner improve his race performances. The athlete was running daily, progressing from harder to easier runs throughout the week. He also did strength and medicine ball workouts on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. When Skinner started him on recovery meals with the right mix of carbohydrates and protein, his race times got better and better. Because of the athlete’s intense training regimen, he might have attributed his improvement to tweaks in his running schedule or strength workouts. But when Skinner explained the mechanisms of muscle recovery and pointed out that the performance gains coincided with a new emphasis on postexercise nutrition, the runner was sold on the value of recovery meals following each workout. As a result, he understood that sticking with his new nutrition strategy was a vital part of optimizing his race performance.
asked about her recovery fueling habits, she learned the swimmer was eating lunch or dinner within 30 minutes of finishing practices and meets, but the meal usually consisted of a grilled chicken salad—in other words, almost no carbohydrates. Bonci recommended adding pasta, a roll, and some fruit juice, or switching to a grilled chicken wrap to provide enough carbohydrates for optimal recovery. She explained why carbs are so important and thus why an entrée salad didn’t cut it. The athlete took this advice, and was pleased to see her performance improve. She was also happy to notice that she didn’t gain any weight in the process. Many athletes who restrict calories for weight loss find that a post-competition or post-workout recovery snack or small meal takes the edge off their appetite, allowing them to better control their portions at subsequent meals. It’s essential to stress that the critical recovery window post-exercise is the worst time to shortchange the body’s fueling needs. Every athlete interested in optimizing performance should understand the importance of recovery nutrition. If you can get them to change their habits, you won’t need to spend hours coaxing them to stick with it. They’ll soon notice the difference for themselves, and wonder why they didn’t pay attention to recovery nutrition a lot sooner. CM A version of this article was previously published in Coaching Management’s sister publication, Training & Conditioning. More articles from T&C can be found at: www.Training-Conditioning.com.
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Maximum Energy Return
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Blazing a Trail
Since 1974, Blazer has provided its customers with the same quality, service, and fair prices that have always defined the company. These will remain Blazer’s everlasting goals. Blazer produces top quality hurdles—choose your school color for the gate tubes at no additional charge. Enjoy free freight and free placement of your school name and logo on a full flight of 80 hurdles.
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Circle No. 500
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Track Surfaces and Facility Equipment Automatic and Durable
Combining the durability of the UCS International Series Hurdles with the proven functionality of the UCS Ultimate Automatic Series, UCS has introduced the International Series Automatic Hurdle. As the height is changed, weights automatically adjust to the legal tip-over position. This IAAF Certified hurdle meets NCAA rules for all levels of competition. At an additional charge, you can customize your polycarbonate boards with your school name and logo. UCS, Inc. • (800) 526-4856 www.ucsspirit.com
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Mondo is a leader in rubber floor covering with over 75 years of experience. Mondo’s high-performance, durable flooring surfaces have been installed in schools and universities worldwide. Mondo flooring is designed to meet the specific needs of gymnasiums, weight and cardio rooms, indoor and outdoor tracks, multipurpose rooms, classrooms, lobby areas and locker rooms. Mondo’s vulcanized rubber surfaces are resilient, highly durable, easy to maintain, and environmentally friendly. Mondo • 800-441-6645 www.mondoworldwide.com
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School budget tight? Blazer Manufacturing has an alternative way to make your old hurdles look like new. Blazer hurdle bases are built to last for decades. Contact the company for information on how to replace the tops (gate board and tubes), and your Blazer hurdles will look like new again. Extend your hurdles’ life another decade. This will only work for existing Blazer hurdles. Blazer Manufacturing Company • (800) 322-2731 www.blazerathletic.com Circle No. 523
Don’t Lose Equipment
AAE manufactures and sells numerous styles of BallStopper systems—high ones, low ones, offset posts, straight posts, small netting, large netting—but each serves the same function: to prevent balls from escaping the field of play. They’re perfect for fields that are surrounded by parking lots, residential areas, or steep embankments. BallStopper systems are especially useful for adjoining fields because they prevent ball interference when multiple practices or games are being held in close proximity to one another.
Aluminum Athletic Equipment • 800) 523-5471 www.myaaeworld.com Circle No. 518 32 Coaching Management
Resurfacing for your surface track and field system through Beynon Sports Surfaces can extend the life of your existing track by 10 to 15 years. Beynon Sports Surfaces has developed a formulated polyurethane primer that can be used in conjunction with the new polyurethane resurfacing system to achieve adhesion levels of 400 psi, well in excess of the minimum required adhesion levels of 300 psi. Beynon Sports Surfaces • 410-771-9473 www.beynonsports.com
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Against the Wind
The Tuffy ® Windscreen will last for years because it’s made of AerFlo’s exclusive Vipol® matrix mesh. This is the Official Windscreen of the U.S. Professional Tennis Association. Used by major colleges and world-class clubs, Tuffy Windscreens are available in 17 standard colors, including purple, brown, burnt orange, and Vegas gold, and come with a four-year factory warranty. Durable Chromabond™ imprinting technology produces sharp multi-color logos that can match any team’s exact PMS colors. Tuffy windscreens represent a great value — a premium product at a surprisingly reasonable price. Aer-Flo, Inc.• 800-823-7356 www.aerflo.com
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M-F Athletic suggests the heavyweight vinyl tarp with weights cleverly sewn into the hem to keep the cover in place. This is its heaviest cover—a thick, 18-ounce, vinyl-coated fabric to protect your long jump pit, baseball field’s pitcher’s mound, or home plate areas. Custom letters and logo imprints are offered in a wide range of colors, and tarps can be ordered by the foot in sizes as needed. M-F Athletic • 800-556-7464 www.mfathletic.com
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Get a Good Start
The UCS Grand Prix Starting Block is one of the best you can find. The rail is 0.5” thick extruded aluminum that is virtually indestructible. The surface is anodized to military specifications to prevent oxidation and corrosion. The pedals are cast aluminum with four fingertip control angle adjustments. The pedal face is 100% polyurethane track surface and is a full 5.5” wide to allow maximum variation in foot placement. The twelve spikes are of variable length for complete adhesion to the track. UCS, Inc. • (800) 526-4856 www.ucsspirit.com
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Team Equipment Help From Below
Omni-Lite’s ceramic spikes are one-third the weight of steel, and they’re designed to compress the track to allow for maximum performance. The Christmas Tree spikes are recommended for sprint events. The spikes are available in three lengths: 1/8”, 3/16”, and 1/4”, plus 1/4” with extended threads. They’re available in seven colors: black, silver, fast blue, Olympic green, violet, fast red, and Olympic gold. Omni-Lite Industries, Inc. • 800-577-6664 www.omni-lite.com
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On the Clock
Raceclock timing clocks are available with four-, six-, or nine-inch digits featuring super-bright LEDs or traditional “flip” digits. The single- and double-sided models are accurate to 1/100th of a second. Internal batteries provide more than 10 hours of operation with selectable timing modes set by a keypad. Accessories include a tripod stand, carrying case, remote control, and remote display operation compatible with Finish Lynx.
Electro-Numerics, Inc. • 800-227-9860 www.raceclock.com
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Varying the Weight
On Track knows that modern training theory calls for incremental weight variation under and over competition weight for strength, speed, and technique development. With this theory in mind, Gillett Over-/Under-Weight Training Implements were created in both a discus and a shot series. An adjustable shot model is also available. All dimensional measurements remain consistent with competition specs. These are the throwing trainers you’ve read about on coaching Web sites.
On Track • 800-697-2999 www.ontrackandfield.com
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Custom DESIGN Uniforms
You can make whatever design you want on VS Athletics sublimated uniforms, available in poly/mesh or poly/spandex fabrics. Show off your school, your mascot, your pride, your tradition. Create your identity. Get the whole set, top and bottom, or match a top with the company’s solid shorts. Call the company or go online for other ideas. VS Athletics • 800-676-7463 www.vsathletics.com
Lighting It Up
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AX 740BL Pro Memory Series stopwatches are professional timing devices with significantly increased functionality going beyond Accusplit’s tremendously CoachesNetwork.com
successful Classic X (WOS) series. The AX 740BL comes with Super (continuously on) backlighting that stays on for 10 minutes with each push of the backlight button. The watch uses a rechargeable battery and comes with a recharging kit, including attachments for wall outlet, car, and USB charging. Accusplit • 800-935-1996 www.accusplit.com
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The Challenger is one of the best values available in a high school/college discus. Very durable ABS plastic plates will take a beating and keep on flying. It features 75-percent rim weight and complies with IAAF rules. The Challenger is available in yellow, red, green, and blue. Visit the company’s Web site to see its complete line of throwing equipment. VS Athletics • 800-676-7463 www.vsathletics.com
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Save your feet
Looking to prevent ankle and foot injuries? Propriofoot ® Foot Plates are a set of four colored plates—green, blue, red, and yellow—each 10 cm long with a distinctive base to vary the type and level of exercise performed. Used in pairs, Propriofoot Foot Plates can be worn to perform as many as 20 exercise combinations while maintaining an established progression in the difficulty of the exercises. OPTP • (800) 367-7393 www.optp.com
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By the Numbers
Rainbow Racing System specializes in the production and sale of competitor numbers and supplies designed specifically for track, cross country, road races, and all types of competitive and non-competitive events. While most noted for its quality customprint race numbers, Rainbow produces and maintains a large inventory of generic numbers, tags, and related supplies, all available for immediate shipping. Rainbow Racing System • 800-962-1011 www.rainbowracing.com
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To New Heights
Omni-Lite’s lightweight jump spikes are designed to compress synthetic tracks, returning energy to the runner and minimizing damage to the track. The threads on these spikes are compatible with all major brands of track shoes. Omni-Lite’s spikes are made of ceramic composite, so they will never rust. The Jump spike and Pyramid spike are recommended for high jump and triple jump events. Omni-Lite Industries, Inc. • 800-577-6664 www.omni-lite.com
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Advertisers Directory Circle #. . . . Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page #
Circle #. . . . Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page #
115. . . AAE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
100. . . Mondo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IFC
103. . . Aer-Flo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
118. . . Omni-Lite Industries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
106. . . American Public University. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
119. . . On Track . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
108. . . Athlete Assessments. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
110. . . OPTP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
113. . . Austin Plastics & Supply. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
111. . . Power Systems. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
101. . . Beynon Sports Surfaces. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
109. . . Raceclock by Electro-Numerics. . . . . . . . . . 12
114. . . Blazer Athletic Equipment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
112. . . Rainbow Racing System. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
122. . . Cho-Pat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
117. . . TurfCordz/NZ Mfg.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
120. . . Coaches Network. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
104. . . UCS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
116. . . Coaches Network (Online Books/DVD Store). . . 23
107. . . VS Athletics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
124. . . M-F Athletic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BC
123. . . ZAMST. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IBC
102. . . MilkPEP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Product Directory Circle #. . . . Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page #
Circle #. . . . Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page #
518. . . AAE (Ballstopper systems) . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
504. . . Mondo (track surface for Beijing Olympics). . . . . 31
515. . . AAE (Portable Discus Cage/Throwing Platform). . . 31
520. . . Omni-Lite (Christmas Tree spikes). . . . . . . . 33
530. . . Accusplit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
524. . . Omni-Lite (Jump spike/Pyramic spike). . . . 33
500. . . Aer-Flo (Cross-Over Zone /Bench Zone ). . . . . . 31
528. . . On Track (Gillett Weight Training Implements) . . . 33
503. . . Aer-Flo (Tuffy® Windscreen) . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
527. . . On Track (high jump/pole vault standards) . . . . . 31
512. . . American Public University. . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
526. . . OPTP (Propriofoot® Foot Plates). . . . . . . . . . 33
513. . . Athlete Assessments. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
525. . . OPTP (The Knead). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
506. . . Austin Plastics & Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
510. . . Power Systems (Power-Stride Ladder™). . . . . . 35
501. . . Beynon Sports Surfaces (BSS 3000). . . . . . 31
508. . . Power Systems (Premium Speed Sled™). . . 35
505. . . Beynon Sports Surfaces (resurfacing). . . . . 32
522. . . Raceclock by Electro-Numerics. . . . . . . . . . 33
523. . . Blazer (hurdle bases) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
507. . . Rainbow Racing System. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
516. . . Blazer (hurdles). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
509. . . TurfCordz/NZ Mfg. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
511. . . Cho-Pat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
531. . . UCS, Inc. (Grand Prix Starting Block) . . . . . . . 32
519. . . M-F Athletic (heavyweight tarp) . . . . . . . . . 32
532. . . UCS, Inc. (International Seires Hurdles). . . . . . 32
517. . . M-F Athletic (Pole Vault Pit). . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
521. . . VS Athletics (Challenger discus) . . . . . . . . . 33
514. . . MilkPEP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
529. . . VS Athletics (uniforms). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
502. . . Mondo (flooring). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Circle No. 122 34 Coaching Management
Strength & Conditioning Improving Acceleration
Incorporate the Premium Speed Sled into sprint training drills to improve acceleration and increase stride length. The S-shaped design generates less friction between sled and surface, and the angled tray directs the weight downward, keeping the sled stable. It holds up to three 45-pound plates and includes two leads that connect to the sled. Made of welded steel, the Premium Speed Sled™ can be used on a track or other outdoor surfaces.
Power Systems, Inc. • 800-321-6975 www.power-systems.com
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Super Training Tools
The TurfCordz Super Bungie Kit features interchangeable elements to help enhance performance through resistance. Elements include the Super Bungie Belt for comfort and security and a Super Bungie Handle designed to maintain comfort during strength and stretching exercises. The kit also includes three 8-foot (2.4-meter) Super Bungie Cords with 75 pounds (34 kilograms), 150 pounds (68 kilograms), and 200 pounds (90 kilograms) of pull. NZ Manufacturing • 800-866-6621 www.turfcordz.com
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Need a massage?
The Knead is a multi-adaptable soft tissue mobilization tool that provides myofascial release. It can be held using one or both hands, or using a palm or pistol grip.
The Knead is ideal for all leg and arm soft tissue, and can be used over clothing or directly on the skin with a massage lubricant. It cleans easily with soap and water, is UV-protected, and is extremely durable. OPTP • (800) 367-7393 www.optp.com
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Up the Ladder
Improve speed and train your muscles for the optimum stride length and frequency pattern with the Power-Stride Ladder™. Space the eight moveable slats at specific intervals to reflect the desired stride pattern. High-impact plastic slats slide easily and lock into place for quick adjustments. Three color-coded pre-marked acceleration patterns accommodate different levels of athletes. A stacking pin makes it easy to transport and store. The Power-Stride Ladder™ can be used indoors or outdoors, and comes with a carry bag. Power Systems, Inc. • 800-321-6975 www.power-systems.com
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Nature’s Protein Drink
Research suggests that low-fat chocolate milk, with its unique mix of nutrients, is a naturally nutrient-rich protein drink that can help you refuel and rehydrate within the critical twohour recovery window after exercise. Drinking low-fat chocolate milk after exercise not only provides the carbohydrates and protein to refuel and repair muscles, it also helps replenish fluids and electrolytes that are lost in sweat such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Milk Processor Education Program • 202-737-0156 www.milkdelivers.org/refuel Circle No. 514
More Products Promoting Healing
The Cho-Pat Dynamic Knee Compression Sleeve utilizes a dynamic approach to help reduce knee pain and promote healing. Latex- and neoprenefree, the sleeve uses four-way stretch material over the kneecap to lessen inward pressure, and a silicone-padded insert fits around the kneecap to help prevent drifting. Anatomically contoured for maximum fit, comfort, and effectiveness, the sleeve features flexible stays that keep it from rolling down and special knitting at the rear to prevent bunching and pinching.
Cho-Pat • 800-221-1601 www.cho-pat.com
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American Public University is a regionally-accredited online university that is prepared to help coaches, educators, and working adults achieve their educational goals. All APU programs are delivered online, giving students the flexibility to pursue a degree while
simultaneously meeting the demands of family, career, and coaching. APU offers more than, including 140 degree and certificate programs, a BS in Sports and Health Sciences, an MS in Sports Management, and an MEd in Administration and Supervision. American Public University • 877-468-6268 www.StudyatAPU.com/sports
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For coaches who are serious about improving performance, Athlete Assessments provides the key tools to breakthrough performance. Identify your players’ individual strengths, limiting behaviors, and unique motivation strategies. Know how to push your players’ performance buttons, improve communication, and develop stronger team bonds. Coaches can be confident about how their team works and turn around performance issues before they result in a loss. Get your free Coach’s Pack today. Athlete Assessments • 760-742-5157 www.athleteassessments.com/cm
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Watch It Learn It Teach It
Teaching the right angles for the drive phase of sprinting.
Will Freeman offers two drills to help your high jumpers.
Coaches Network offers an array of educational resources, including instructional videos from some of the top coaches in the country. You can now comment on videos you like and share them with your coaching friends. We also have articles that can help with the off-track side of the job, including nutrition, working with parents, and developing leaders.
Sign up for your free account today at www.coachesnetwork.com
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Catalog is ready now.
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