How to prepare for practice
It is understandable that your athlete is not with you throughout the day before practice, and you can still remind your athlete of the things they need to do to prepare themselves for practice. It is very important to drink lots of WATER throughout the day. Sugary juices, sodas, and "sports drinks" are to be avoided, and please do NOT consume any of the so called "energy" drinks on the market. Also, eat a healthy breakfast and lunch. Make sure you pack a lite snack for them to eat before practice. This could include orange or apple slices, a granola bar, and a nut butter (peanut, almond, etc) and jelly sandwich.
What to bring to practice
Make sure that your athlete always brings running shoes, running spikes, sweat pants, sweat shirt/jacket, t-shirt, and a water bottle. Do NOT allow them to come to practice in their school clothes unless they wore the items mentioned above. High top sneakers and skinny jeans may have their place in today's fashion world, however, they have no place on the track. Also, bring or send them with additional items to protect against inclement weather, as practice is rarely (read, never) cancelled for these character building opportunities. Ask us how we know ;)
How to prepare for a track meet
All of the training your athlete has undergone up to this point can only be enhanced by following a solid 48-hour pre-race routine to prepare for a track meet.
Two days before
1) Carbo-Load: Eat foods high in carbohydrates at every meal to maximize muscle glycogen stores. Pasta, oatmeal, and rice are excellent choices.
2) Stay off your feet: Have your athlete relax as much as possible over the next two days. That 12-mile hike up South Mountain can wait.
3) Get a good nights sleep: Pre-race/pre-track meet jitters often make short work of an athletes sleep routine the night before competition. So plan ahead and get a solid 8 hours of rest two nights before the meet.
The day before
1) Carbo-Load: Continue with the high carbohydrate diet today as well. Incorporate the complex carbs mentioned in the nutrition section for a little variety.
2) Visualize your success: Visualization is one of the most powerful tools for success that we have. Encourage your athlete to take some time to calm their body and mind, close their eyes and see themselves competing in their event. Have them say and see everything that they plan to execute during their event. There are some great resources online that you can access for further techniques and information. We highly encourage EVERYONE to visualize their success.
3) Prepare your gear: Give yourself adequate time to get all of your race essentials prepared and waiting for you at the door, or better yet, in the car the night before the track meet. It's never fun to show up at the track meet and realize that you've forgotten spikes or something else just as essential. Plan ahead.
4) Get some rest: Sleep is cumulative, so don't allow your athlete to lose out on the previous nights sleep success by staying up late. Get them to bed early.
1) Wake up early and eat a good breakfast.
2) Grab your gear.
3) Warm up well.
4) Have FUN!
What to bring to a track meet
Track meets are an ALL DAY event, so come prepared. Parents, bring things that will help you to be comfortable, like a stadium chair or seat cushion, a cooler with healthy snacks and drinks for you and your athlete, a wide brimmed sun hat and/or tent if you prefer, and comfortable shoes and clothes. Athletes come dressed in your running uniform, warm-up pants/suit, and running shoes. Also, make sure you bring your track bag with your spikes.