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Ultimate Guide to Coaching Youth Track and Field


Track and Field Equipment

Aside from a good pair of shoes, runners will encounter a few more pieces of track equipment. If they participate in relays, they'll use a baton, and, of course, hurdlers will encounter hurdles and jumpers will use a landing mat and adjustable bar. Sprinters will use starting blocks at the starting line, so they can push off when the race begins. It should take a sprinter about five strides to rise from the crouching position on the starting block to reach a full-on running position [source: Y-Coach].

The discus is a flat disc that has sides made of rubber, plastic, metal or wood with a metal core that gives it weight. In high school track and field, boys usually throw a discus weighing about 4 lbs (1.7 kg), while girls throw a discus that weighs about 2 lbs (I kg). The shot put, on the other hand, is a solid sphere that fits in the thrower's hand. Boys typically use a 12-pound (5.44 kg) ball and girls use an 8.8-pound ball (4 kg) [source: Track Field Events].

Keep in mind that besides the obvious equipment used by the athletes, you may want to have a few other things on hand to help practice run smoothly, such as a good stopwatch, a loud whistle and plenty of water.

Teaching young athletes how to compete in track and field and use equipment properly is only the beginning of being a successful coach. Keep reading for tips on coaching youth track and field.