Integrating indoor track with spring track (sprinters)

  • Coach
    horn1chris
    Question: Is running indoor track for sprinters really worth it when you already have a good HS offseason and preseason track program?

    Many of these kids run 2-3-4 indoor meets, then step on the outdoor track and run another 7-8 perhaps 9 outdoor meets. Not even college runners do that.

    Thoughts?

    How do some of yall integrate your indoor runners with your early season base sprint workouts that you may be doing with your kids that don't run indoor?
  • User
    Coach_H
    Folks on here like to rag on the clubs but for many of the kids the clubs may be the only good coaching they get. For many of these kids a school workout consists of a couple of 200m and then they go home (I know of one school that has started speed work without doing base work). In no way does this help the 400m or longer runner. Coach, many of the records at a lot of schools where set by kids who consistantly ran club track. Some coaches even encourage their kids to participate though they do no mandate it or suggest one club over another. Also, for many, this gives them valuable experience that shortens their learning curve once they do get to college as they already know how to run on an indoor track. Another point is that there are some high school coaches that even have their own clubs while others communicate with the club coach to taylor the workouts to help the kid improve where he/she is weak. As the season goes on, I would bet you that most of the top performers do participate for some type of club (sprint/distance/field event). A good club coach is not trying to compete with the school coach but to compliment him/her. All theyhave to do is talk. In the end it is all able getting the kid to the next level if that if their goal.
  • Site Admin
    Aggietom
    Coach Hill,

    Your program may be different or perhaps the San Antonio area is different than Houston.

    I know most of the clubs train during the high school year despite knowing better. As a HS coach, I have run into several instances in which the athlete is told to avoid certain workouts or go with less intensity so they can perform the "real" workouts later.

    As a HS coach, I find this incredibly aggravating.

    I had a talk with a few of my athletes who run both last week...I didn't tell them not to do it, but I merely pointed out the total volume of both programs exceeds that of what A&M or Baylor 400 runners do. I also asked what the view of the club coach was toward our program and they all said that their coaches make little digs about it or they just laugh out loud.

    I find that interesting. Here we are setting up a comprehensive training program with our vast resources (track, transportation, uniforms, UIL competition, and so on and so forth) and we're constantly questioned by club coaches who I often find have no specific training in the track and field area. The only requirement is that they like track and field (a plus) and that they probably ran the event themselves (no correlation to success.)

    When I went to level II jumps school (on my own dime I might add), I was in a room full of scholastic track coaches and collegiate track coaches. There was one club coach in 30 some people.

    What I would like to do is have the ability to look at these coach's programs and ask them what they are thinking by blasting out ridiculously hard workouts every time the athlete sees them. I never have that opportunity, though. The club coach gets to know what we're doing, yet we're kept in the dark. The same goes for local private distance coaches.

    So how exactly is this a question of a HS coach needing to reach out? To me it seems the other way around. Half the time we're guessing about whether or not the athlete is training outside anyway (although there are many telltale signs.)

    The main thing I have a problem with is the culture of summer track. I truly don't understand it. I have been to plenty of local indoor meets and seen the people recruiting on the infield at our HS meets. There seems to be a lot of free agency involved and I don't like it. The Houston area is loaded with this. They come recruit so-and-so after he or she runs a fast time and then drop them off the relay the second they find someone else faster. That person may have left a longtime club in order to run with faster girls, yet now they are out in the cold (this has actually happened.)

    Some other athletes just hop from club to club several times per year. This isn't training them up - this is just recruiting the best team possible.

    I could go on and on with what I see. There are some clubs out there who don't do this, but many in our area do operate in this manner.

    I've had one positive experience with an outside coach...and I can't help but notice that he is also a HS coach.
  • Coach
    horn1chris Edited
    So back to the original question...

    If a HS has a quality offseason and preseason track program, then are indoor track meets really needed?
  • Site Admin
    Aggietom
    horn1chris
    So back to the original question...

    If a HS has a quality offseason and preseason track program, then are indoor track meets really needed?


    No, but you aren't going to convince other people of that. Those kids are going to run them no matter what because their club teams are.

    I like the indoor meets as tuneups or progress reports. I don't think a lot should be put into them.
  • User
    peastjumpersdad
    I have been seeing a lot of back and forth on this club track thing versus school track. It sounds like it is such a mess. But this might be a solution to part of the problem.

    Texas needs to create an indoor track season. There are at least 3 indoor track facilities (Houston, Texas Tech, A&M) in Texas. Each of these host at least one high school invitational or some type of all-comers meet. However, a lot of school coaches will either not take their athletes or try to prevent them from participating. The club coaches and the athletes know there will be scouts at these meets and don't want to miss the opportunity to be seen.

    If you have, let's say a 3 meet indoor season (4th meet for state championships) that begins two weeks after the Christmas break. Each facility can host one meet and the state meet can be rotated each year. (you could also do them as regional meets at each facility and have qualifying standards for the state meet. keep kids from having to travel to all 3 facilities) That would allow the athletes to learn how to run indoors and would tie them to their individual schools instead of running for clubs or unattached. It would also allow the outdoor season to be started at beginning of March instead of early February when weather is so unpredictable and lots of outdoor meets get cancelled. You could have maybe a two week break between indoor and outdoor so athletes can changeover to training for outdoor distances and outdoor 400 meter track. They would already be in pretty good condition after indoor season, so it would just be adjusting to outdoor distances and track config.

    If I were a coach, I would much rather have my athletes getting some good competition indoors early in the year rather than having sporadic outdoor meets the first month of the season. It is so difficult for kids to get out and warm up and give good performances in temps under 45 degrees which happen frequently in February and sometimes in early March.