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Frequently Asked Questions

When is the track season?

Our indoor track season begins in September and ends around the third week in February. Our outdoor track season begins in March and, depending on what qualification standards are met by the athlete, ends with the USATF Junior Olympics around the last week of July.

How many days a week does NTC practice?

Practice days are typically Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Specials Practice (jumps, hurdles, etc.) is on Wednesdays. Sometimes there are Saturday and Sunday practices, as needed.

What attire should be worn for practice/brought to practice?

The athlete must wear training flats, long, athletic tights, and a t-shirt or athletic shirt for practice. Also, they are expected to bring a thermos filled with ice water, track spikes, and a great attitude. Also, in your athlete’s track backpack, please create a “personal pouch” for them. This pouch would include feminine products, an extra pair of undies, wet wipes, deodorant, lip balm, sunscreen, and insect repellent.

My child has asthma, should he/she bring an inhaler to practice?

Yes, she should bring her inhaler to all practices and all meets. Please write their name on it in case it gets misplaced or lost.

How do I know if a practice is canceled due to the weather?

Often the timing of weather is unpredictable. In the event of a cancellation, you will receive a message via Remind as soon a decision is made. Keep in mind that due to the unpredictability of the weather, a practice may be canceled even a half-hour before it is set to begin.

If my athlete has to miss a practice or meet what should I do?

If any problems arise (if a team member has to miss a practice or a meet, questions about not being entered into a meet, requests to try a different event, etc.) we ask that the ATHLETE speak with a COACH. Missing practice because another team member said there wasn’t practice, not showing up for your event or to a meet, etc. is unacceptable.

When an athlete does not show up for the meet she has put an incredible strain on the coaches and her teammates. Thus, it is extremely important that athletes communicate to her coach as soon as possible if they are unable to attend a meet that is on the schedule.

Do the shoes really matter?

High-quality running shoes and spikes are critical to the health and success of the athlete. That doesn’t mean that the athlete needs the latest and greatest model—shoes can become expensive. If the price is an issue, there are many previous model running shoes and spikes that are very affordable and will support the running style and comfort of the athlete.

What can parents and athletes do at home that will help the athlete’s progress?

  • Sleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends the following: school-age children (6-13) should sleep between 9-11 hours per night and teenagers (14-17) the sleep range widens to 8-10 hours per night. Sleep cleans the brain of toxins, helps muscle heal, and lets oxygen and water flow through the body.
  • Diet. Runners need complex carbs, clean protein, fatty acids, and plenty of water, Vitamins A, C, D, K along with Potassium, Calcium, and Iron.
  • Support. Please let the coaches, coach. Contradicting the coach removes the credibility the athlete needs to have in the program. The more the parent believes in the program, the athlete will follow. Please let the coaches work in the manner they know best--even if you were taught differently.

What type of beverages should my child have or avoid?

Water is preferred. Please avoid carbonated beverages such as soda. Also, it is suggested that athletes dilute electrolyte drinks such as Gatorade or PowerAde with some water as the high sugar contents often lead to cramping. Pedialyte is also a good post-run or post-practice recovery drink.

What should my child eat after a practice/meet?

Simple sugars within a half-hour to an hour after the competition, such as those in fruits, bagels, etc. are recommended. Foods containing antioxidants will help your athletes replenish their fuel sources quickly and decrease muscle fatigue.

What should my child eat or not eat before a practice/meet?

A good basic rule of thumb is to only eat foods that easily digest before a practice or competition. Examples include fruits, eggs, and oatmeal. Avoid foods with high fat levels before a competition. Avoid sports drinks before a practice/meet.

How can I help?

As always, we appreciate any support that our parents give to NTC. As a coaching staff, we cannot emphasize the crucial role parents can play in the success of our track and field program. In a given year, we may have as many as 80 Cheetahs on our team, which obviously presents some logistical work. Throughout a season, we may need parents to assist at meets, getting an athlete to/from a practice or a meet.