Track and Field competitions are a very fluid and dynamic event. Some meets will end an hour ahead of posted times and others will end an hour after posted times. There is no way to predict how many athletes will be participating in each event, how efficient the timers and starter may be, the impact that the weather or an injury might have on the timing of the meet, etc. There are no quarters, periods, frames, or innings. There are very few times where a meet starts and stops at the exact posted time. There are very few times where the line-up posted before a meet is the exact line-up run during the meet.
As a team, we will put each athlete in the best possible place to reach our team and individual goals...you might be asked to step into a race in support of an injured or ill teammate. Support that teammate, step up. You might be asked to do a different series of events than you are used to. We are trying to maximize points and opportunities for the whole team. Support the team, step up.
Please be aware that changes always happen during a meet. Please be flexible in your understanding of that. The key to that understanding and flexibility is communication.
What to wear...or not to.
We're going to focus on this from a "Track Meet" perspective. For practice, we always want to wear what we can comfortably and safely perform our best in. Clothes in layers, correct footwear, etc. For Track Meets, however, we must conform to some very specific rules.
What TO wear...
Team issued uniform
Oxford-themed sweats, t-shirts, or warm-ups (if available). Wear you colors!
Appropriate undergarments. Boys-white bottoms, white tops. Girls-navy blue bottoms, white tops. There are very specific rules about undergarments in track and field that vary depending on event. Event coaches will discuss as needed. However, you are NEVER allowed to wear undergarments with more than ONE manufacturer's logo and that logo cannot exceed approx. 2 1/4" x 2 1/4". There are other guidelines based on length. Here is a far more specific breakdown.
You MAY wear a hat (beanie-no poms), headband, and/or gloves (no gloves on relays). You should not wear anything with markings or anything that hangs and/or dangles from the body.
What NOT TO wear...
Flip flops. Ever. They are terrible for your feet and WILL cause premature fatigue that increases the occurrence of shin splints. Seriously, they are terrible.
Jewelry. Jewelry is not "prohibited", but it will not help you perform better. You risk losing it. Although no longer prohibited by rule, it is at the discretion of the meet officials and host games committee to prohibit it if there are concerns about athlete safety or damage to equipment. You ARE permitted to wear a watch (non-GPS). Hair-ties are permitted, but should be free of metal.
Any TEAM wear not Oxford-related. NBA, College, MLB, etc. If you don't have Oxford wear, please opt for items that match team colors.
Electronic devices. Headphones, cell phones, iPods, etc. are not a part of the competitive arena. They very often lead to missed announcements and lost devices. By rule, electronic devices are not allowed in the "area of competition". As that is a vague definition, at best, it is best to keep them away from the track and other field event areas.
What to bring...every single day.
Pack a bag. Treat it as your "Track and Field Survival Kit". The following is a list of items that will help you be "ready to go" at a moments notice:
Event specific needs (spikes, flats, chalk, batons, implements, bungee, etc.)
Band-aids, "glide", tissues, other hygiene needs, etc.
Snacks and fluids (this should be aimed at "re-fueling" not "fueling"-race safe stuff)
Water bottle...top it off whenever possible and keep sipping on it
Money for concessions (if desired)
A GREAT team-focused attitude!
*This is not an exhaustive list as everyone has different needs, but it should point you in the right direction.
What to eat...for optimum performance.
As everyone has very different dietary needs, it is not our mission to tell you every single food that you should and shouldn't be eating. What we WILL remind everyone is that you need to fuel your body for peak performance. Hydrating your body is equally important. Continual consumption of the right foods and beverages will aid you in performing your best. Trying to cram in fluids and food prior to an event will likely have a negative impact on your performance. The "day before" is just as, if not more, important than the "day of". For more insight on the "right" approach, please see Coach McDonald for resources.
What to do...when you don't know what to do.
We are always working toward being our best. Never miss an opportunity to improve. There will be times where the coaches are working with different athletes or different members of your relay are working on exchanges. In those "down times" these are just some of the things that you can do to help yourself be better tomorrow than you are today.