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2017 HATF FAQ

Welcome to Holy Angels Track & Field!  Please review the information contained in this document prior to the first practice.  A mandatory Parents Meeting will be held during the second week of practice to review this information, and to answer any questions you may have regarding HATF.

Please click here to meet the 2017 HATF coaching staff!

When does practice start?   Practice for Grades 3-8 begins during the first week of March (March 2, 2017) in the Holy Angels gym.  We generally practice on T/TH from 6-7:30 after Daylight Saving Time begins.  Our TeamSnap Page details the practice and meet schedule.  Practices for Fun Runners begin on March 16.  Fun Runners practice once/week on Thursdays.


Where are practices held?
  Unless otherwise announced, all practices will be held at St. Mark’s High School.  The 2017 season's first practice will be held in Holy Angels School Gymnasium on March 2. In the event that the track is occupied (which sometimes happens without notice), we will practice on the grass fields up the hill from the track.

What time should my child arrive for practice?  Athletes should arrive at the track no later than ten minutes prior to the scheduled start of practice. The warm ups and stretches that we do at the beginning of practice are essential to a safe and productive workout. Waiting for late arrivals is unfair to the group, and will deprive the late-arriving athlete out of a proper warm-up which may result in injury. 

Per CYM regulations, coaches are required to stay onsite until all children are picked up, so please be courteous to your coaching staff and pick up athletes promptly at the end of practice!!!

All parents are welcome and encouraged to stay for practice and observe, or utilize the track for their own workout.  If you plan to walk or jog on the track during practice, please stay in the outside lane.

Does HATF practice in bad weather?  We generally practice in the cold (>40°F), but usually not in steady rain and definitely not if there is any lightning in the area.  If the weather is looking bad, an email notification will go out at least 2 hours prior to the start of practice informing everyone if practice has been delayed or cancelled.  Early in the season, if the temperature/wind chill is bitterly cold (<40°F), we may elect to practice indoors at Holy Angels Gym.

What should my child wear/bring to practice?  Please make sure your child is dressed appropriately for the weather conditions.  Particularly in the early part of the season, make sure your child brings sweat pants/ sweat shirt or fleece, hats and gloves if necessary.  Layers are always recommended.  Your child should also bring water for themselves.  HATF does not allow the use of personal electronics during practices or meets, unless it is necessary to place or receive a call to/from a parent.

What type of shoes should my child wear to practices/meets?  Each athlete will require a pair of proper running shoes. Basketball shoes, “cross trainers” or other specialty shoes are not appropriate for the types of stresses that the athlete’s feet will be under during training, and are discouraged.  “Barefoot” shoes are also not recommended for children. 

Track Spikes are specialty shoes designed specifically for track athletes and can improve performance, particularly in the sprinting (<400m) events.  Track spikes require some getting used to, so it is a good idea to have them available by mid-way through the second week of practice. Spikes are not a required piece of equipment, but we encourage the use of spikes for best results, particularly for older athletes in the sprinting events.

Are practices mandatory?  Attendance at practice is required to participate in the meets.  HATF is an instructional program; we train the children in proper stretching/warm up techniques, running form, race strategies and field event instruction.  Your child will greatly benefit from regular attendance at practices.  Unless specifically excused, a child must attend at least one practice during the week, to be eligible for meet participation on the following weekend.

Where are meets held?  Meets are generally held on the weekends at various facilities, mostly in northern New Castle County.  These include St. Mark’s High School, Baynard Stadium, Serviam Field, A.I. DuPont High School and Concord High School.  Some years a meet is held at Delaware State University in Dover.  Please see our TeamSnap Page for all scheduled meets.

How many events will my child participate in during a meet?  Typically, each athlete will participate in 2 running events and 1 field event during each meet.  This may vary depending on participation, but 2 running events and 1 field event is the maximum allowed per child for each meet (per CYM regulations).

How long do the meets last?  A typical track meet lasts 4-5 hours.

Wow, 4-5 hours!! Does my child need to be at the meet for the entire time?  For each meet, we will publish a scheduled arrival time, usually about 45 minutes before the first race.  All participants are required to arrive and check in with the coaches by the published arrival time.  This is necessary so that the coaches can verify our submitted entries into the various events.  If your child is not checked in by the published arrival time, the coaches must scramble to rearrange the pre-determined lineups and your child may be scratched from his/her events.  Once your child has completed his/her scheduled events, they are free to leave, but must check with the coaches prior to leaving to make sure they are indeed done for the day.

Will my child win a medal at every meet?  Whereas HATF accommodates a wide range of athlete skill levels, the Wilmington CYM is a competitive league with very accomplished athletes.  As such, not every child will win a medal at every meet.  When the coaches prepare the lineups, we do our best to distribute the events equitably to make sure that every child has a chance to win an award, but it is not guaranteed.

How do I let you know if my child must miss practice or a meet?  HATF employs TeamSnap, a simple online website to “RSVP” for all meets.  For Grades 3-8, it is mandatory for you to verify your child’s attendance at every meet, so the coaches can accurately compile the lineup for the meet (not a simple task!).  More information regarding TeamSnap will be provided prior to the first meet.  Fun Runner meet participation is optional, but encouraged.

What is the “Penn Relays” and will my child participate?  The Penn Relays is one of the oldest and most prestigious track and field meets in the country.  It is held annually at Franklin Field, on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.  Each year 6 boys and 6 girls (4 runners/2 alternates) are chosen to represent HATF and participate in one 4x100m relay race at the Penn Relays.  We select our participants from our 7th and 8th grade athletes in a competitive process, using specific criteria including leadership, work ethic, behavior, attendance, tenure and performance.  For more information, please review the Penn Relays Selection Criteria document which is distributed to the 7th and 8th grade runners at the beginning of the season.

Does HATF need any volunteer help?  YES!!!  We are always looking for parents/older siblings/HATF alums that are willing to help coach.  If you have any questions, or are interested in helping, please contact Coach Brian. You do not need to have any prior experience or knowledge of track and field to help out!  In addition, HATF requires volunteer participation, or you may pay the opt-out fee of $50 during the registration process.  Parent volunteers are needed for various tasks during the year, each of which is generally less than two hours of work required.  In addition, we require a number of parents to volunteer at the HATF/SJB Invitational, our cohosted meet.  Early in the season we will set up an online form to volunteer for the various available positions.  The success of our program depends on having sufficient volunteers, so your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

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