Many good youth coaching philosophies apply to a variety of sports, including track and field. As a youth coach, your goal is to teach young athletes how to compete, how to enjoy themselves and how to analyze and improve their performance.
When you're able, work out with your athletes. You may not be able to clear as many hurdles as you once could, but going for a jog with the team will make you approachable and reinforce your knowledge of the sport to your athletes.
After a meet, talk with athletes about their performance -- ask them what worked well and what didn't. Listen to their answers, and guide them in figuring out what they'd like to improve and how they can achieve their goals. It may be tempting to lay out strategies for your athletes, but helping them come up with ideas on their own will increase their confidence and their understanding of the events.
Also, be sure to introduce yourself to the opposing coach at the beginning of a meet to show good sportsmanship. When your athletes see this, it will demonstrate the importance of respecting their opponents [source: Positive Coaching Alliance].
For more information on coaching youth track and field, see the links on the following page.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Complete Track and Field. "Hurdles." 2009. (Accessed 12/26/2009) http://www.completetrackandfield.com/hurdles.html
- Faigenbaum, Avery. "Sports Preparation: Pre-season Recreation and Exercise for Pre-teens." Everything Track and Field. 2009. (Accessed 12/25/2009) http://www.everythingtrackandfield.com/catalog/matriarch/OnePiecePage.asp_Q_PageID_E_348_A_PageName_E_ArticlePreSeasonPreTeen
- Green, Warren and Martyn Shorten. "Winter 2009 Running Shoe Guide." Runner's World. December 2009. (Accessed 12/27/2009) http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-240-400--13336-0,00.html
- Hackett, Brad. "Pre-Season Conditioning." Everything Track and Field. 2009. (Accessed 12/25/2009) http://www.everythingtrackandfield.com/catalog/matriarch/OnePiecePage.asp_Q_PageID_E_151_A_PageName_E_ArticlePreSeasonConditioning
- Positive Coaching Alliance. "Coaching Tips." 2009. (Accessed 12/27/2009) http://www.positivecoach.org/subcontent.aspx?SecId=3442
- Pucher, Frank. "7 Tips and Tricks for the High School Track Athlete." Everything Track and Field. 2009. (Accessed 12/27/2009) http://www.everythingtrackandfield.com/catalog/matriarch/OnePiecePage.asp_Q_PageID_E_410_A_PageName_E_articlepucher7tipstricks
- Pucher, Frank. "Curing the Runners Side Stitch." Everything Track and Field. 2009. (Accessed 12/27/2009) http://www.everythingtrackandfield.com/catalog/matriarch/MultiPiecePage.asp_Q_PageID_E_443_A_PageName_E_articlepucherstitch
- Track Field Events. 2009. (Accessed 12/26/2009) http://trackfieldevents.com/
- USA Track and Field. "Race Walking." 2009. (Accessed 12/26/2009) http://www.usatf.org/groups/racewalking/
- Welch, Bill. "Objectives…Middle Distance and Distance Running." Everything Track and Field. 2009. (Accessed 12/25/2009) http://www.everythingtrackandfield.com/catalog/matriarch/OnePiecePage.asp_Q_PageID_E_455_A_PageName_E_ArticleWelch
- Y-Coach. "Coaching Relay Exchanges." 2009. (Accessed 12/27/2009) http://www.y-coach.com/exchange.html
- Y-Coach. "Coaching the Sprinter." 2009. (Accessed 12/27/2009) http://www.y-coach.com/sprinter.html
- Y-Coach. "Principles and Technique of Hurdling." 2009. (Accessed 12/27/209) http://www.y-coach.com/Hurdling.html