ST. CHARLES TRACK TEAM STUDENT/PARENT HANDBOOK
1. Our season runs from March 24 through May 14. It culminates in our competing against 30 other Catholic schools in the archdiocese CYO championships in Indianapolis, May 9, 10, and 14.
2 All practices are at the Bloomington High School North track, 5:30-7:00, unless the calendar says differently. There will be several days we cannot practice because other schools are using the track. See calendar.
3. The track team will be divided into two age groups: elementary school (4th/5th grades) and middle school (6th/7th/8th grades).
4. 4th/5th grade schedule
a. Practices: Students will get instruction in and practice all track and field events. They will practice most Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
1. Sunday April 13, Roncalli High School Indianapolis at 1:00
2. Sunday April 27, Bloomington North (we are the hosts), 1:00.
3. Sunday, May 4, Franklin Central High School, Indianapolis, 12:00
4. May 10, 12,14. CYO championships. IUPUI.
5. 6th/7th/8th grade schedule.
a. Practices: Athletes will concentrate on their specific events.
1. Distance runners: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
2. Sprinters: Monday, Wednesday, Friday
3. Hurdlers: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday.
4. Long jumpers: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday
5. High jumpers: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday.
6. Throwers: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.
b. Meets are:
1. Wednesday, April 9. Brown County, 5:30.
2. Sunday, April 13. CYO meet. Roncalli High School Indianapolis at 1:00
3. Tuesday, April 15. Bloomington North (we are the hosts). 5;30
4. Thursday, April 17. Bloomington North (we are the hosts). 5;30
5. Thursday, April 24. Bloomington South. 5;30
6. Sunday, April 27. CYO meet. Bloomington North (we are the hosts). 1:00
7. Wednesday, April 30. Martinsville High School. 5:15
8. Sunday, May 4. CYO meet. Franklin Central High Sch, Indianapolis, 12:00
9. Thursday, May 8. City meet, Bloomington North. 5:30
10. May 10, 12, 14. CYO championships. IUPUI.
6. Awards ceremony: Sunday May 18 at 1:30, school gym.
BEFORE A STUDENT MAY PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE
1. The school requires:
a. Every student must have an athletics physical on file dated after May 1, 2013.
b. Every student must pay the track and field fee of $30.00 per child by March 29.
c. Every family must have submitted an athletics registration form and $50 fee. This is done once a year and once per family.
Fees are paid at the school office, not to the coach. School forms and information is on the St. Charles Athletics website.
2. We ask that each family fill out a Track Information form, available at this link. It must be signed by both the athlete and a parent, acknowledging that they understand the rules of the track program. Turn in the signed form to Coach Tanford the first week of practice.
Before the first meet (April 9), every athlete must have a uniform, which consists of a red St. Charles singlet and black running shorts. You purchase the singlet from Coach Tanford ($15), and supply your own running shorts. Soccer shorts may be used, but not basketball shorts. If a student prefers to wear a T-shirt under the singlet, it should be red or white. Track uniforms are the same as cross-country uniforms and the same as last year's, so you do not have to get a new one if you already have one. If the old one no longer fits, bring it to Coach Tanford and he will trade it for a larger size.
1. Good running shoes are important. Lousy shoes cause most running injuries. We recommend the Indiana Running Company for older athletes who wear adult sizes, and Smith's Shoes for those wearing children's sizes. Get a shoe designed for running, not basketball or skateboarding. It must lace tightly -- no velcro closings even for 4th graders.
2. “Spikes” are special lightweight running shoes with a plastic soleplate into which one can screw small metal spikes for extra traction. At the high school level, all athletes run and jump in spikes. For middle school, spikes are not useful for distance runners, but may help 7th and 8th grade sprinters and jumpers. They should not be worn by most 4th-6th graders. The best shoe to start with is a multi-event shoe, also called a middle distance shoe. It is halfway between the arched sole of a sprint spike and the flat sole of a jump spike. You can usually find a few middle distance spikes at Indiana Running Company, or order them online. Coach Tanford has 12 pairs of all-purpose spikes in various sizes for students to try.
Each athlete needs a water bottle, sweatshirt, sweat pants, stocking cap and gloves (there will be some cold days in March and April), plus a gym bag with his or her name on it. Bring it to every practice and meet.
There is a strong link between good nutrition and athletic performance. We have developed some nutrition guidelines which we encourage you to follow during the season. Here are the basics:
1. Drink lots of water throughout the week.
2. Limit consumption of fast food and processed food
3. Do not eat snacks within an hour before a practice or a meet.
4. Avoid soda, energy drinks and sports drinks. Lebron James doesn't actually drink Gatorade during games, he drinks water in Gatorade cups.
5. Athletes need to eat and drink something as soon as possible following every workout and competition to aid with recovery. Low-fat chocolate milk is good.
We are always looking for parents and/or older siblings to help the track program at practice and meets. If you would like to be more involved, email Coach Tanford.
WHAT WE DO
1. Track and field is the oldest form of athletic competition. It involves running, jumping, and throwing. It is unique among sports because everyone can find an event in which they can compete regardless of height, weight, speed, or gender, and can get better with practice and effort. At meets, everyone competes; no one sits on the bench.
2. The running events consist of sprints, distance events and relays. The sprints are all-out races over short distances -- 50 meters (4th-6th grades only), 100 meters, and 200 meters. The distance events require endurance and careful pacing over 400, 800, and 1600 meters. Relays require teamwork, as four athletes run in sequence, passing a baton from one to the other. There is a sprint relay (4x100meters), a 1600 relay (4x400 meters) and a medley relay (100, 100, 200 and 400 meters). 6th, 7th and 8th graders may also compete in hurdles, which combines a 100 or 200m sprint with jumping over 8-10 hurdles.
3. The field events are high jump, long jump, shot put, discus throw, and ball throws. In High Jump, competitors attempt to clear a crossbar, which is raised one inch at a time until only one competitor remains. In Long Jump, contestants run at full speed down a runway and then jump from a take-off board into a sand pit. The best distance wins. In Shot Put, competitors throw a 6- or 8-lb metal ball as far as they can from a circle into a field. The Discus Throw is similar, except competitors throw a 1 kg. disc, giving it a spinning motion so it stays flat. In CYO meets, 4th grade boys also throw a baseball, 4th-6th grade girls throw a softball, and all girls throw a kickball.
4. Three common track events are not done in middle school: javelin throw, triple jump, and pole vault.
WHAT HAPPENS AT MEETS?
1. The meet schedule is set out at the top of this page. Times will be posted as soon as we know. I will provide directions to away locations.
2. All athletes are expected to have transportation to and from the meets, to arrive on time and to stay until the end of the meet.
3. Specific rules for meets are as follows:
● Arrive at the meet 45 minutes before the start time.
● No gum or jewelry (except a sports watch).
● Pull long hair back and out of your face so you can see.
● Bring a water bottle
● Use the restroom and check shoelaces before the meet starts!
4. Everyone competes in 3-4 events in most meets regardless of age or ability, although there will be occasional meets where participation is more limited because of rules set down by the host school.
5. The best place to watch a meet is from down on the track. You get there by being a volunteer. If your child is a 7th grade high jumper, volunteer to be the adult who accompanies the high jumpers to their event, and you're right there at the action!
6. The second-best place to watch the meet is from the bleachers near the start/finish line.
THE BIG MEET: CYO CHAMPIONSHIP - MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW!!
Our most important meet of the year is the all-diocese CYO championship meet. It takes place at the IUPUI track in Indianapolis. More than 30 Catholic schools and 1200 kids participate. For the kids, it's like being in the olympics. For the parents, it's like having a slow root canal. The meet takes place over three days.
● Friday, May 9, 5:00-9:00. Field events (long jump, high jump, and throws).
● Saturday, May 10, 9:00-5:00. Running events preliminaries
● Wednesday, May 14, 5:00-9:00. Running events finals and relays.
We build toward this event all season. It is very hard on a kid (and their teammates) if they cannot compete, especially in the Wednesday relays. We expect every athlete to participate, despite the inconvenience to parents. You can move Aunt Hilda's 80th birthday bash to the next weekend; we cannot change the dates of the meet.
RESOLVING CONFLICTS BETWEEN TRACK AND OTHER ACTIVITIES
When conflicts arise between track and another sport or activity, we follow these priorities:
1. Championships and other end-of-season finales like recitals always have priority. Our championship is the CYO meet May 9, 10 and 14.
2. Tournaments have second-highest priority. A track team member is always excused from track if another sport has a tournament.
3. Track meets, games and competitions have priority over practices -- even "im,portant" practices.
4. Practices have lowest priority, so no athlete is excused from a meet to attend a practice in another sport.
1. Bad weather: March and April bring thunderstorms, tornado warnings, rain and sometimes sleet. We are trained in (and follow) IHSAA guidelines for student safety. We generally practice in light rain (if it is warm enough), but not if the weather gets bad.
● If bad weather arises before practice, please check this website around 4:30 pm to see if practice is canceled. The notice will be posted at the top of the page and also sent to the parent email list. Do not call the coaches.
● If bad weather arises during practice, we will seek shelter in the main hallway of North High School and you may pick your kids up there. Make sure your kids know how to contact you.
2. First aid: I am trained in simple first aid and have a first aid kit with me at all times. If your child has a more serious medical problem that arises during practice, I am not trained to handle it and will call 911 if no parent is present.
3. Younger siblings are not allowed on the track during practice except under direct supervision of a parent.
TRANSPORTATION & PICKING UP YOUR CHILD AFTER PRACTICE
1. The school does not provide transportation to practices or meets. That is your responsibility.
2. We encourage carpooling but the coaches do not have time to arrange transportation. That is your responsibility. The contact information for most other parents whose children run track is in the Hawk Book.
3. Practices end at 7:00. You must be there by 7:00 to pick up your child. If you are late, a coach must remain with your child until you arrive, which is an imposition on their time. If you are repeatedly late, your child will not be able to continue on the team.
WHAT WE EXPECT FROM A ST. CHARLES ATHLETE
You represent St Charles Catholic School. We expect good sportsmanship, respectful behavior, and the display of Christian values.
1. Be responsible. Attend practices and meets regularly and on time.
2. Respect your coaches. Be quiet when they are speaking. Try hard at every event they ask you to do.
3. Respect your teammates and opponents. No trash talk. Wish opponents good luck, shake the hand of the person who beats you, and cheer for the person who comes in last.
4. Respect the officials at meets. Thank them for the time they put in as volunteers.
5. Respect the field and equipment and cause no damage. Clean up the track when done. We are guests.
6. Do not use profanity or coarse language or make fun of others.
7. No whining.
WHAT WE EXPECT FROM THE PARENT OF A ST. CHARLES ATHLETE
Parents are central to the success of their young athletes. I ask for your cooperation in the following areas:
1. Be responsible. Get your child to practices and meets on time. Make sure they are dressed for the weather. Know the schedule.
2. You have the schedule. Read it and give us plenty of advance warning if your child will be unable to compete in a scheduled meet. Creating a lineup is like a house of cards, and if someone does not show up, a dozen other kids' lineups of events have to be adjusted.
3. Share my emails and announcements with your children. I do not send emails directly to them.
4. Help your child choose which events they want to compete in and relay that information to me. I'd rather they enjoy what they're doing than be good at it.
5. Display good sportsmanship at meets.
● Cheer for our team’s efforts, not just successes. Cheer for the kid who comes in last.
● Try to keep all comments positive. Do not criticize your child’s teammates or children from the other team, and do not compare the abilities of your child with other athletes.
● Stay till the end of a meet, even if your child is finished. This is a team sport.
6. Help when called upon. We always need adult volunteers at meets, and helping is far less boring than sitting in the stands for two hours waiting for your child to run for 30 seconds.
7. Respect and support the coaches. We know what we are doing.
● Let us be the coaches. Don't tell your child to run faster, or move their arms differently, or keep their heads down. Don't decide to take them on a 5k run two days before a meet because you think it will help get them in good condition.
● Help us coach. These are not inconsistent. If you have any experience with track, even back in high school, come out to practices and help share that experience with the kids.
● If you have an issue with a coach that involves your child, encourage the child to talk directly to the coach. Learning to deal with coaches and other authority figures is one of the benefits of participating in organized sports.
8. Support your child in developing good nutrition practices (I'm sure you already do this). Skip McDonald's and go to Subway, at least on the day of a meet.