Your First Track Meet?
Is your young athlete anxious about his or her first track meet?
Here are a few things that you can tell them.
"First of all, if this is your first track meet, you have nothing to lose! This whole season should just be trial and error for you--trying different events, discovering what events that you LIKE, what you don't like, and what you're best at. Therefore, there is no need to put any pressure on yourself. But it is good to be a little anxious, because it helps you to get excited for your race :)
Secondly, setting goals is a crucial part to success in track. If you don't set goals (i.e. have a certain time to hit, place in the top 5 or 10, beat a certain competitor, etc.), then you not only have nothing to strive for, you have nothing to look forward to. Reaching goals is one of the best feelings in the world; not reaching goals makes you work harder. So definitely set some goals very soon and keep them in mind all week. Even write them down and tape them to your wall so you can look at them ALL of the time.
Thirdly, another favorite strategy to prepare for a race is to visualize what you are going to do by "Making a movie in your mind." Before your race, actually envision yourself running in the race and achieving whatever goal you have set, whether it'd be winning the race, beating a certain person, or running a certain time. Actually SEE yourself doing it in your head, which will really help your body to physically carry out the task you imagine for yourself.
Finally, one of the best pieces of advice for during the race is not to start out too fast and slow down in the end of the race. Not being able to finish strong is quite demoralizing; on the other hand, being able to feel better towards the end of the race then when you started is the ultimate feeling. What you remember most is your finishing kick, not your first lap! So start out comfortably and work your way up so that you can finish stronger in your last lap."
Here are a few other things that you need to know:
Registration fees are paid by Club members per meet/event but processed by the club . Information on upcoming meets will be provided by the Club Manager and will be posted to the Club web site. Parents/athletes are responsible for ensuring they have completed their registration materials and submitted them to the Club Manager on time and with the required fees included.
Check your event time on the Meet Flyer (distributed with the meet information materials) . You need to be there one hour before the scheduled time. Check in with your coach 45 minutes before your event. Events may run up to 30 minutes early and you need time to warm-up, check- in, and get to the starting line.
Bring food . Concession food is available at most meets, but the selection is limited and not as healthy as we'd like for our athletes. See the Nutrition Section of this handbook for ideas on what to bring.
Bring a stopwatch and notebook . You will want to record your athlete’s performances over the course of the season, so bring a notebook and stopwatch.
Wear your Golden Ears singlet and bring appropriate warm-up clothes and, if prudent, a change of clothes. Often we will have cold, wet, and windy weather. You need to stay warm.
Look for the Golden Ears banner or teammates wearing their colours . Sit next to the other Eagles. It helps the team spirit.
Check in with your coach, Club Manager or parent volunteer coordinator (a schedule of meet support coaches/parents will be made available) . We need to know who will be competing in what events so we can get you warmed up and ready to go.
Don't eat 1 to 2 hours before your event . Running on a full stomach can cause problems. You need to eat, but plan it according to your event schedule. (See the Nutrition section of this Handbook for suggestions).
Bring a water bottle . You need to stay well hydrated to enable your body to work at its highest potential.
Pay attention to the meet announcer . The announcer will generally announce first, second, and last call for each event. You need to check in at the staging area by the second call. EACH ATHLETE IS RESPONSIBLEFOR GETTING TO HIS/HER EVENT.
Be patient with the officials and meet organizers . They are parent volunteers and are trying to do their best. (You'll be in the their position at our meet) If you have a major problem with the officials, contact one of the Golden Ears coaches for help.
Most Important thing to remember - Have Fun!