Wednesday, February 5, 2014

February 5, on being flexible

I hadn't intended to post again this week, but those of you who came to practice on Tuesday may have noticed that we didn't actually start at the track, despite all my instructions to meet there. :-)

We're fortunate to have a nice facility right in the heart of our team's area to practice in. Sometimes, though, this means we also get to practice the fine CYO traditions of "being flexible" and "going with the flow." A College Park-hosted soccer game kept us off the track for a little while on Tuesday, bumping us to the large turf area beyond the baseball field for warm-ups. We were able to take the track later and complete our workout. Think of it as a little test of our adaptability.

And good news! We get another such test this Thursday, with another such game. There's also the chance that another club will be using the turf area. So what do we do on these days?

If you show up early, and there's a game of some kind (the scoreboard is on), then we won't be able to take the track right away. Our backup meeting place is at the bottom of the stairs from the main parking lot on the blacktop by the basketball hoops.

We'll try to warm up in the turf if we can, or figure something else out on the spot if we can't. Short of actual rain, though, we'll manage some sort of practice. After all, the kids carry all the equipment they need just beyond their ankles.

If you don't make it right on time, look for me in my brown cowboy hat, or a large group of school-age children and head our way. Be flexible! Some teams don't get to practice on a track at all.

Two last notes:

1) It's fine if your athletes bring phones or other personal items, but they are responsible for them. Our field-hopping yesterday caused a large deposit of expensive-looking electronics and other gear to be left unattended by the fence. (Not anyone's fault: we changed fields without warning.) Please remind your athletes that they are responsible for their stuff.

2) All parents have to be completely outside the track fence for the duration of practice: this is a CYO requirement from their insurance company. Only the certified track coaches, athletes and myself may be in practice areas during practice.

I know we were nomads yesterday and had to cross over the field. Come up to the stands with me, or head to your cars for warmth, but don't be inside the track fence for any reason while practice is going on. It's like a busy street, so cross carefully.

If we're bumped to the turf, parents need to stay well back by the gate. If you're itching to help out, please talk to me about coaching next season! Practices are a lot of fun, and I know we had at least a few parents planning a workout while their kids were running. Why not combine the two?

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