Sunday, February 19, 2012

Track News for Feb 19, 2012

Hello, track families, here's your news for the week.

* Sportsmanship

I'm getting some reports of athletes teasing one another, or making unkind comments. This is a good time to remind everyone that we follow the CYO Code of Conduct, which everyone needs to read and abide by:

These rules apply both at practice and at meets. Athletes and parents who are unable to follow these guidelines will be asked to leave the program.
* Volunteer Positions

If you're recently joined the team, you should have heard from Katy Simpson or one of her helpers about your volunteer responsibilities. Please find your family name on the meet schedules available from the "Volunteers" page, and make sure that agrees with your calendars.

Families of athletes receiving their First Communion this year should make extra sure they aren't signed up to work during their retreat weekend, or during the ceremony itself. Please attend your child's Communion: track will still be here next year.

* Calling All Experts

If you're brand new to track this year, you can skip this section. It's OK: you'll get to read it next year.

Our team numbers are down, and it shows in the volunteer signups. We're especially lacking in what I consider the "expert" meet jobs: head high jump, head shot put, head timer, finish line coordinator, head clerk, and starter. I always assume that we're going to act as the host team for a meet given our size and our history of being good at it. We really need these jobs to be filled. If you have worked in one of the areas before -- high jump, for example -- then you should be familiar with how it works.

Katy Simpson and I have a list of all the families, and the number of years of experience that you each have with the team, and we're fully prepared to do battlefield promotions as necessary to ensure that we have key jobs filled at meets. Some of the jobs may be filled by other parishes at a meet, but if we're hosting, then it's up to us to assign those as well.

I've heard that our former starter and former head timer are willing to come to the mini-meet to train people in the intricacies of these jobs, and I will do the same for the head clerk position (my former haunt.) That's what the mini-meet is for, after all: parent education. Better to learn at that meet than later in the season.

If you're able to take on a little extra responsibility in your volunteer shifts, please let Katy and I know and we'll adjust accordingly. Remember: this is not the Olympics, and these are all do-able jobs, even more so if you've been around for a season or two. When in doubt, just blame the meet director (yours truly.)

* Practices

The College Park track team has asked that we gather in the middle of the stands near the 50-yard line, as our enthusiastic pre-practice mob is blocking their athletes' access to water bottles and gear. Naturally, we're happy to oblige, so as you walk your athletes to the track -- you are doing this, right? -- have them keep going until they reach the middle of the stands.

Also, make sure that they are walking around the outside fence, and not cutting across the track area. I'm sure that I imagined seeing a few of our kids almost get mowed down by high school hurdlers at Thursday's practice.

Practice goes until 6:00pm this week as we enjoy more daylight. Pickups as usual at the track, and stragglers can be found waiting with a coach and myself at the gate in the large parking lot, not the loop in front of the school. Your promptness at pick-up is appreciated.

Always be sure to check the main page of the site or our Twitter feed (@ctktrack) to see if there is a weather-related cancellation.

* Field Clinics

Our first field-event clinic was on the 18th, and it was very well-attended. I'm especially grateful to the coaches and parents for coming out and running the various practice stations, even as the College Park track team raked, weeded, and swept up in our midst. The kids had a good time, and more importantly, went home looking tired and well-exercised.

Our second field event practice is in one week, Sunday the 26th from 1:30-3:30pm. All athletes on the team are welcome to come out and practice, even if you came to the first clinic. Hopefully there will be no schedule excitement this time.

* Photographers

This year we have two team photographers: David Grube and Paul Nuti. David and Paul will be down on the field and at the track doing their best to capture the athletes in action, as well as all the in-between times at the meet. They'll be choosing a photo-hosting site that will limit access based on your email address.

We do not have team photos, given the logistical nightmare of trying to organize 180+ athletes, and the unlikelihood that you'll be able to pick out your child from a sea of identical t-shirts.

* Lost & Found

The team lost and found collection is overflowing. Did your athlete come home without a sweatshirt? A water bottle? Pants? Please check the Lost & Found page to see if I have them. I bring a large purple shopping bag to practice for you to rummage through:

* Saturday June 2: Save the Date

The season may have just begun, but we're already planning the team picnic. Due to ongoing construction at our usual site, this year we're going to hold it at Waterfront Park in Martinez. There will be more details as the season winds down. This is a family picnic and many special athlete awards are passed out. We also recognize and reward those super-helpful families who worked extra shifts throughout the season with a prize drawing. That's right: we're not above bribery to get those jobs done.

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