Asked Questions about the NTF Summer Program:
Q: What activities are kids involved in
attending the NTF
summer track program?
A: We do quite a lot of
running at each practice. Some days
we also practice jumps and throwing. Athletes learn step by step how to
up, how to stretch. They learn and practice plyometric drills for
balance, and agility. We also play running games to keep
for all ages.
many days (per
week) do athletes need to be at practice?
A: Athletes 8 years old
and younger practice two nights a week. Older athletes have scheduled
four nights a week, Monday through
Thursday, but attendance on all days is not mandatory. You can choose
that work best for your schedule and goals. Attendance of at least two
week is recommended if you hope for athletic improvement.
suitable for kids with no running or
A: Yes, this is the
exactly the program that provides such
experience. Although it is open to a very wide range of athletes, we
everyone to develop at their own rate.
to be at a certain level of fitness
when joining the program?
A: There are no strict
requirements. But getting in shape
beforehand is a good idea. That would give your athlete a sense of
if he or she had done some running or other sports before the first
example, try to build up gradually to running continuously 2 laps
track. That can be a good starting point.
kids allowed to
try it out before signing up?
A: Yes, we have a try-out period until May 15th for any new
participants. Signed waiver and filled registration form are still
required to join
Q: What do athletes need
to have for practice?
A: Good running shoes and a water bottle. For
shoes, the recommended
source is Rapid Transit Sports on 115 South Allen St. They have a nice
of youth models and can help to pick the right type / size. The shop
you a discount if you mention Nittany Track and Field.
many kids are
normally enrolled in the summer
session, and are there any age groups?
for summer may exceed 200 athletes. For each practice we may
expect 60-80 kids in attendance. Athletes are split in
age groups based on USATF standards (age as of Dec 31): 7-8, 9-10,
11-12, 13-14 and older. For some activities groups may be
How many coaches
are usually present at practice?
A: Every night, each
age group will have a lead
coach who will coordinate practice activities for that group. Also
several support coaches and volunteers are present to help
practice. In addition special event coaches (hurdles, jumps, throws)
are available on certain days to instruct different
practiced in the program?
A: Track events include
sprints (50m, 100m, 200m, 400m,
relays), middle and long distance (800m, 1500m, 3000m), hurdles; field
include long, triple, and high jump, throwing (javelin,
divided into different event groups?
A: On "event" days,
the general warmup, we
announce what event coaches are available for that day. Then,
can choose one or another group to practice with. Size of some groups
limited. They do not have to stick to the same group and can try
throughout the season, but we discourage wandering between groups
during one practice.
track meets are
included in the summer program?
A: We include very
diverse meets in our schedule to allow
athletes with different levels of experience to participate and to
them. All-comers meets organized by Centre Parks and Recreation are
beginners. We also target AAU and USATF Junior
meets for more experienced kids. There are several meets in Junior
Olympic series, and
one has to participate in each to qualify for the next one. In the end
season, some club athletes may choose to go to National championships,
which provide the highest level of competition.
Check our meet calendar to
see what is on the menu for this season.
Is participation in
A: Not mandatory,
although some competition is always
encouraged as it completes the purpose of track and field training. I
every athlete to choose at least 2 meets to get experience and to see how much they improve over
Q: How do
I know if my
child is ready to participate in
A: Talk to the coaches
who work with your athlete. Kids
usually get confidence as training goes on and are excited to run at a
Starting at a local, relatively low-key competition is preferable. They
it with no pressure and see how they feel and how they like it. Club
sets up an intersquad meet for the team in early June to give everyone
opportunity to try.
transportation to the away track
A: At this moment,
transportation to and accommodation at
the out-of-town track meets is responsibility of parents. Detailed
and directions are provided, and a Coach is usually present at the meet
and have to wear Club shirts or
A: Club T-shirts are
included in the registration fee and are provided
to all participants. Racing uniforms (singlets / shorts) can be
purchased via apparel order at the beginning of the season. A limited
number of uniforms is available to borrow from the Club if
athlete is set to compete at the track meets. Wearing Club
T-shirts or uniforms at
practices is optional. For the meets, club athletes are encouraged
to wear club uniforms or T-shirts, and it is
relay and cross country
must compete in the matching apparel.
Are spikes allowed
/ required for the workouts and meets?
A: Spikes are allowed
practices for specific workouts, as
advised by a coach. For most of practices, spikes are not necessary.
may be worn for any track meets, unless specified othewise.
racing in spikes, athletes are encouraged to try them at workouts.
What is the
check-in / check-out procedure for each practice?
A: Parents need to drop
off their athletes at the track (not
at the parking lot), making sure that practice is on and at least one
of the coaches is there to
practice. Pick-up at the end of practice is also at the track. Athletes
not be allowed to leave track on their own. If you need to leave early,
the coach in charge. Athletes 12 years of age and older may be allowed
to ride their bikes home independently with parents' signed permission.
Q: Do you
due to weather? How do we know if
practice is cancelled?
A: Practice may be
cancelled because of bad weather
conditions, such as thunderstorm, pouring rain, or freezing rain.
will be communicated to all participants over Remind message list and via e-mail before 5 pm on
If an on-going practice is cancelled because of the weather, the group
stay under the roof of the concession facility at the track or inside
School South Building, and the cancelation message will be sent to parents for early
pick-up. Instructions for Remind system sign-up will be provided to all participants at the beginning of the season.
Q: Are parents allowed to
stay for practice?
A: Absolutely! Parents
stay around to watch or even
participate in the practice (please ask coach), especially if you have
young kids who are new to the track and need
your encouragement. Check with your children though
- some kids like it and some don't.
Q: Do you
volunteers? How can parents help?
A: We welcome new
volunteers to help at practice. Talk to
the head coach or Club president about the options. Extra help from
parents will be needed at the local all-comers meets and for
the Central Pennsylvania Youth Track Meet, which NTF hosts in early
you can volunteer for leading such
as clothing orders, organizing summer picnic, providing snacks (e.g.
drinks on hot days), etc.
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