Question about getting child in correct system


Although I don’t have a kid right now, I wanted to get some ideas on this. As a child in high school I had great potential to getting a scholarship for T&F (and not just saying that either). However, I later transferred to a second high school, which had a T&F program run by an authoritarian football coach who only cared about “teamwork”, stealing other teams batons, and beating on kids.

Long, of the short, I would like to give my kid opportunities I didn’t have when I have one. I would like to have a place where my kid could be free to train under his own better system if the high schools T&F program sucked and be able to compete independently in T&F meets.

Does anyone know a place where that would be possible in the USA (or what country is fond to doing that)? Unfortunetly, much of the USATF programs are only for younger kids under high school age and also aren’t always active in all states.

It sounds like a strange question, but I have really bitter feelings to what I had to put up with in high school and the lost opportunity I had due to the ignorance of a coach. I want to make sure my kid is free to pursue his or her dreams if they desire to compete in T&F.

Thanks for any information.

Didn’t you ask this question years ago under another name?

Ummm, no? Thanks for any help though.

In my experience, T&F programs vary quite widely from state-to-state, county-to-county and even school-to-school. As you noted, a lot depends on the coach. Talk with the coach and see what you think. I find that in high school athletics, it is best to get your kids good coaching and training outside of school and try to find a coach that won’t mess them up.

HS outdoor track season is really only a few months of the year, so you make the best of it, post some good results and hope that some good colleges notice.

In my local area (DC/MD/VA), there are a good number of open meets that athletes of all ages can compete in - both outdoors and indoors. So there is plenty of opportunity to compete outside of the typical HS structure. The problem is that it may be more difficult to get college scouts to notice these performances.

There aren’t that many “great” coaches in the sense they may not do the training you may like or prefer. Your best bet, at first, would probably be to look at the better clubs and get them involved in a wide variety of sports (not just track and field) to develop a lot of skills and interests. There are a fairly high number of successful high school athletes who are/were coached by their parents, so if you cannot find a fit, that is always an option. Not competing for a high school has disadvantages, but could be squashed with high level club and summer track performances.

keep your kids away from track and field until they are in HS. Unless you coach them yourself or have a really good coach that will not overtrain them. I find that europeans have a better understanding about how to train young children in athletics. If you look at some of the the track meets outdoors in europe they have shorter distances and more progressive training for kids. Here in the US the a-hole youth coaches train the kids like adults get them fast in the first year then they run no better as HS Seniors than when they were 12 or 13 years old. I wish my girls liked tennis they would kick ass with all the CF style training I have them do.

Nice to see people remember things.

The main issue I have is just how crappy the public school system has gotten in the USA. I want my kid to have no part of it (that is another story with and outside T&F).

I would personally like to be involved with my kids training. Although I don’t know how possible that would be in the future with a full time job and such (but maybe it is).

I guess the best thing to do is throw them into many different sports at a young age (probably individual ones). Gymnastics, swimming, T&F. Maybe soccer for a team sport, who knows. I’m wary of football due to the fact my experience (personal and observed) is that football coaches have no idea about sports and are usually hot heads.

But around 7 or 8th grade (if there interested), get them more focused on T&F with maybe one other sport of interest. And then make sure that they have a good coach or are following a good system.

Question about the independent training. Unfortunately my situation was one which required me to do independent races, but I had none available.

Does anyone know which state(s) have a high amount of USATF involvement and/or a lot of independent meets outside high school meets? Its wouldn’t be my first option, but some states are just really poorly run and sometimes getting out of the high school system of T&F is the only option. Also, switching schools may cause problems as well do to sports laws in the state, etc…

I read VA/DC/MD area in a post above has a fair amount. Do you know about how many XLR8?

FWIW you seem to be very interested in this, and I think you said you don;t have a child right now, so why don’t you start learning everything about training athletes (yes athletes in general, maybe your kid doesn’t like t&f) and then train your child yourself for the majority of the time so you won’t have to worry about the coach at school?

If you don’t want to take this path, find out about knowledgeable coaches and trainers in your area or who do online consulting.

That is the path I would like to take (obviously for individual sports).

However, I had a bad experience with high school coaches personally. You would think simply asking a coach if I could be personally involved and coach my kid, but I know coaches who would fight that for whatever illogical reason (power hunger, etc.).

I’m more looking for alternatives outside the high school T&F deal. Not because that would be my first aim (if I can just coach my kids through high school while there in high school that would be fine). But if it needs to be done, I would have the option to have my kids pursue independent competitions.

And yes, I’m just using T&F to make this conversation simple and since it is what I know about.

Realize that your experience is not the same as everyone’s. I have had a fair share of crappy experiences with coaches in all sports, but have had the opposite as well. Two of the most influential people in my life (positively) were coaches, one football and one track. Completely different perspectives and they taught me a lot AND had a lot of success (with me and many others).

Your concerns are quite excessive to the point of scary, IMO. I would worry about letting the kid find out what he/she enjoys doing before deciding what is appropriate for their training later on.

QFT. Agree.

I had experiences with good and bad coaches as well, but I can say one thing for every coach I ever had: The better you are, the more personal freedom every coach will give you. It doesn’t matter whether this freedom is to shoot more in a game (often more lousy shots) or if it is to half ass a mandatory team training and go home to do your own.

So if you kid comes in and is already better than everyone else in 8th grade, you won’t have to worry. If this isn’t the case, you will have to let him do whatever the coaches want and either work with him afterwards or during the off-season.

do what i did… skip most school practices to do my own workouts and like wise do my own workouts instead of half club practices. Still compete for top high school and pretty decent club and dont have to pay as much for meets, etc. + times constantly dropping :smiley:

Yeah, the problem was I was the fastest guy on the team. I had a coach like the one you describe fogelson.

Then i transferred to my new school and was treated like crap, just due to the fact that the guy was so authoritarian and more interested in getting paid the extra money than actually helping anyone out.

I would just like to prevent that stuff from happening again if my kid has that same experience I had. That is all.

my high school coach has been coaching for sooo many years and has won enough times on talented guys alone, that makes him think his training is beyond miraculous.

  1. reality of high school athletes… they aint showing up every single day… so no matter what you can do… they have to be consistent

  2. 2x6x60m sprints with 1-2 mins rest and 10x200m tempo right after in one workout… isnt the best way to get someone fast…

I agree with fogelson on this. My highschool track & field coach was very good (though he didn’t spot or didn’t train what I was best at - javelin); my judo coach was a tremendous role model for me (despite not being that good of a coach); my basketball coach wasn’t very good, but he was still a good influence on me too.

You are concerned about the quality of your offspring’s highschool track coaches, before they are even born, before you find out if they want to or are good at track…

At least you’re not jogging! I’ve seen a hs coach prescribe lots of jogging for sprinters.

i would really argue with those coaches. Perhaps you should? :stuck_out_tongue: