Does my child have to be a well-trained athlete to join the program? What if he/she has never participated in track?
No, the program is great for new-comers to the most accomplished youth! Our goal is to have fun while developing skills and a love for running. Participants work to their own level while receiving coaching from our dedicated staff.
Does my child need any special equipment to participate?
We do recommend wearing a good pair of running shoes like those found at local running stores or retailers like Dick’s or Modell’s Sporting Goods. Beyond shoes, wear comfortable clothing that is appropriate for both the weather and physical activity. We also recommend bringing a filled water bottle to practice. Please see each season’s description for more specific details.
Where do you practice and how long are, they?
The Spring and Summer seasons are at local Huntington Township schools, typically Northport High School. Winter Track is held at St. Anthony’s High Schools indoor track facility. Cross County visits several local parks including Sunken Meadow, Blydenburgh, and Meadowlark parks. Each season’s starting and finishing times are posted in the season’s description section.
Should my child skip a meal to be ready for practice?
A light meal could be consumed 2-3 hours prior to practice. Avoid any heavy foods or excessive fluid intake within an hour of practice.
Do parents stay for practice or drop-off/pick-up?
Both! Some parents like to stay and watch practice, some take the time do attend to other needs. There are times where a few parents are asked to help out the coaches during practice; we usually ask at the start of practice that day. Parents may also use the time to do some running on their own. We typically leave the outside lanes of the track open for parent workouts (Summer & Spring only). During the Cross-Country season, parents can hit the trails.
How do I know if a practice is cancelled due to weather or other issues?
The Youth Program has a private Facebook page that you can join once registered for a season where we make any last-minute announcements. We also use an app, Heja, for those not on Facebook.
Should my child practice between regular scheduled workouts?
Yes, we encourage all our athletes to practice the skills learned from each workout to improve their overall conditioning as well as instilling positive health habits.
Is there a requirement for my child to compete or join a running club?
No, but we do provide information and guidance for local competitions for those athletes who would like to try competing or join a running club. We also have end of season intra-club track & field and XC meets as part of our program to provide our athletes with the experience they will encounter should they continue in the sport.
Are only 9-13-year olds allowed to join the program?
Yes, the age restrictions for each season are strictly followed. Your child must be 9-13 years old at the start of any season. However, a 13-year-old turning 14 within a season is eligible to participate.