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FIX AMERICAN DISTANCE RUNNING
Get rid of the High School System in America....We need Clubs!!!! 12/30/2012 7:16PM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I hate under qualified, clueless high school coaches. The fact is, for every great high school coach there are 50 awful ones. Just look at how many kids post on these boards desperate for advice. Let the people who are actually QUALIFIED develop our young talent!!

What we need is to go to the club system like the rest of the world. This way..young runners could actually choose their coach and would have the ability to change coaches midway through high school. If they find that their current club coach is not a good fit for them, they could easily move to another club without worrying about transferring schools. In the high school system, you are pretty much stuck with the coach at your school because transferring creates eligibility problems. Those who start from an early age on the youth running level could have the same coach all the way up through 12th grade. WE NEED CONSISTENCY AND LONG TERM DEVELOPMENT!!

THAT is what's wrong with American distance running!!!!!
72
RE: Get rid of the High School System in America....We need Clubs!!!! 12/30/2012 7:25PM - in reply to FIX AMERICAN DISTANCE RUNNING Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
America is too big for clubs, I don't live in the complete midfle of nowhere and the closest town that would have a good club is at least 50 minutes away.
FIX AMERICAN DISTANCE RUNNING
RE: Get rid of the High School System in America....We need Clubs!!!! 12/30/2012 7:30PM - in reply to 72 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
What do you mean we are too big for clubs?!?

High school basketball, soccer, volleyball, baseball and swimming are all dominated by clubs. It is actually more common for top athletes in these sports to not compete for their high school teams AT ALL.
coach
RE: Get rid of the High School System in America....We need Clubs!!!! 12/30/2012 7:33PM - in reply to 72 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
of course youth club coaches who race kids back to back all year long are great. Nothing like watching a coach yell at a couple of 9 year olds to get tough and finish those 300 meter repeats
marijuologist
RE: Get rid of the High School System in America....We need Clubs!!!! 12/30/2012 7:35PM - in reply to FIX AMERICAN DISTANCE RUNNING Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Quick errbody, write your congressmen and tell them to make distance running a national priority!
Morgan Freeman
RE: Get rid of the High School System in America....We need Clubs!!!! 12/30/2012 7:37PM - in reply to coach Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

coach wrote:

of course youth club coaches who race kids back to back all year long are great. Nothing like watching a coach yell at a couple of 9 year olds to get tough and finish those 300 meter repeats


Never got to a pee wee football game.
FIX AMERICAN DISTANCE RUNNING
RE: Get rid of the High School System in America....We need Clubs!!!! 12/30/2012 7:44PM - in reply to marijuologist Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
There is not one other country that combines the school/athletic systems like the US. Are you satisfied with the state of American distance running.

Last I checked, our grand total in London was 2 medals!!!! When compared to Swimming that's pretty pathetic!! Not saying that this will completely solve the problem but with the way things are going on the international level, it's worth a shot.
someone had to do it
RE: Get rid of the High School System in America....We need Clubs!!!! 12/30/2012 7:51PM - in reply to FIX AMERICAN DISTANCE RUNNING Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

FIX AMERICAN DISTANCE RUNNING wrote:

There is not one other country that combines the school/athletic systems like the US. Are you satisfied with the state of American distance running.

Last I checked, our grand total in London was 2 medals!!!! When compared to Swimming that's pretty pathetic!! Not saying that this will completely solve the problem but with the way things are going on the international level, it's worth a shot.


many more events to compete in in swimming
Bad Wigins
RE: Get rid of the High School System in America....We need Clubs!!!! 12/30/2012 9:13PM - in reply to FIX AMERICAN DISTANCE RUNNING Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Never mind the high school system, get rid of the college system.

Whether they compete for clubs or schools, once kids reach college age, they have nothing left to do. If they didn't hit elite status before age 18 and win a scholarship, they can either give up training or pay 10 grand a year.

If colleges gave up their chokehold on American sports, there could be successful semi-pro leagues in sports other than baseball. During the 19th century, racing was a local sport, and attracted huge attention. Every county had a fastest man. People watched and ran in races at their county fairs. When Walter George raced the fastest American miler in a one-on-one match series, more than 30,000 people showed up to watch each time.

Now track is something that happens somewhere else. There is no local team, no minor league. Only college teams that nobody watches and aren't paid. Because there are no minor leagues, once the college athletes graduate, the vast majority of them are done competing.

Once there's a viable system where enough adults can compete, then worry about the kids competing. Otherwise track will go the way of soccer.
Texas HS Coach
RE: Get rid of the High School System in America....We need Clubs!!!! 12/30/2012 9:51PM - in reply to Bad Wigins Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I have to say I disagree.

The school system has provided many of our athletes the chance to travel and we have many more quality meets because of school money. This money wouldn't exist if it weren't for the public school system.
Another Option
RE: Get rid of the High School System in America....We need Clubs!!!! 12/30/2012 10:27PM - in reply to Texas HS Coach Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
While I don't agree with the poster that it's a good think, I do think that's the direction scholastic sports are headed in. The general public has clearly develop the mindset that sports are a luxury and should be available to those who can pay. Local participation fees per sport are more than $500 for Track and for XC and nearly $1000 for football. I personally don't think public schools should be supporting activities that are financially accessible only to a small portion of those enrolled.

Many sports programs already need to be self-funding. We are essentially making them club sports with in the schools. Booster organizations already pay for all equipment and uniforms.

How long will it take until the public doesn't want to foot bills of $100k-$400k for resurfacing/new tracks?

At that point track is probably dead. Clubs will not be able to generate the kind of cash necessary to build/maintain tracks.
Nope
RE: Get rid of the High School System in America....We need Clubs!!!! 12/30/2012 10:56PM - in reply to FIX AMERICAN DISTANCE RUNNING Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Sounds like you had or are having a bad experience. Sorry.

Clubs won't fix any problems that you mentioned but could allow for more opportunities for more participation.

Advantages of public school systems: Allows for participation at a lot of different levels of interest for a limited period of time. Kids know they don't have to specialize and can still enjoy the activity that may have life long benifits. These systems aren't meant to be training grounds for the next level even though they can be for a small percentage of the total population that does attend. In my opinion, track and distance running has been making a comeback in performances in the last 10 years at the junior level and now at the pro level. It was a lot worse in the 80's & 90's. Another advantage is that little thing called money. It's not much and budgets are getting tighter but coaches are contracted, busses are fueled, entry fees are paid, schools are insured etc... to make the system that is in place work.

Disadvantages of a public system: As you mentioned, not every track coach is really a track coach or may not have the skills needed to teach all events well. Considering what the pay is compared to the hours needed to run a great program, it's getting harder these days to find people willing to commit to that kind of time not just for a year but for 30 years. Geographic location, population density, talent pool, climate etc... are always going to be limiting factors. Everybody deals with this to some degree. Those schools that have consistent high performing programs in all events are few and far between.

Advantages of clubs: Opportunity to focus on skill development in the warmer months of the year (summer)while not in school. Flexible schedules.

Disadvantages: Most important meets to most high school aged kids are during the spring. Not true with younger kids but they don't really understand what's going on anyway. Pull out the slip and slide and I know which activity they will gravitate toward. You better be willing to take on a lot of low skill/talent to be able to fund the things you want to do with your elite athletes that most club coaches only want to spend their time with anyway. Insurance, facilities, resources for running a program including equipment, implements, training room needs etc... are all going to have to be considered. Organization by a competent adult is just as important here. I've seen more lousy club coaches than high school coaches. Really developing a plan to help athletes grow and improve is not what I'm seeing most of the time. Most of the time, the club coaches I've observed don't appear to have an understanding of child development or a sense of motivating kids of all ages. They tend to look for prodigies and then try to do too much with them while they have them under their tutelage.

I'm looking at soccer, swimming, basketball, volleyball, orchestra, dance etc... clubs or groups that require money and parent support. How many talented kids never get these opportunities for the simple fact that they don't have the resources or parental support to participate. Public school provides an opportunity to explore and makes things available that otherwise wouldn't be.

I'm in agreement that there is a place for clubs but I think it comes in the summer months, after high school or college. Distance Running and Track & Field will never surpass the major sports in America in terms of popularity until the same money is available and that will never happen. Most of the rest of the world doesn't have the sport culture or money to support bb, bb, fb, etc... The best available Americans that are motivated enough to stick with it and excel will be who we can hope for. Not sure clubs will make all that much difference except to those that are just off of the elite but if they don't have the time to train at the elite level because they have to pay the bills somehow, I'm not sure you will find much more talent to develop anyway. There are clubs already in place like the Hanson group etc... for those distance runners on the edge of being elite.
xenonscreams
RE: Get rid of the High School System in America....We need Clubs!!!! 12/30/2012 11:47PM - in reply to FIX AMERICAN DISTANCE RUNNING Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Swimming exists at both the high-school and the club level and the clubs are still super successful. All of the serious swimmers do club in addition to (possibly) high-school.

We have clubs for track/XC/running in general in the US too, but they are not nearly as abundant as USA Swimming clubs. My thoughts: Not enough people are actually willing to pay for clubs. So the clubs are usually close to free and the coaches are typically unpaid, extraordinarily nice volunteers who love the sport. There are not many people who are willing to coach like that and not get paid.

Club swimming cost my parents $4000/year growing up. Many families would not have been able to afford that.
only 10 weeks per season
RE: Get rid of the High School System in America....We need Clubs!!!! 12/31/2012 12:14AM - in reply to xenonscreams Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Another problem may be the state athletic associations that forbid coaching (or competing)out of season. That may leave six or seven months that a runner is on their own in terms of training.
JennaMarbles
RE: Get rid of the High School System in America....We need Clubs!!!! 12/31/2012 12:20AM - in reply to FIX AMERICAN DISTANCE RUNNING Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Nobody is forcing anybody to run for their HS. There already is a club system in place with USATF and AUU that gives athletes a choice.
xenonscreams
RE: Get rid of the High School System in America....We need Clubs!!!! 12/31/2012 12:24AM - in reply to only 10 weeks per season Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Is that true for all states or just some (I didn't start running until college)? I guess that is pretty ridiculous either way. But when you allow for participation in club all year and clubs cost money (like they do in swimming) the sport becomes a Rich White People sport, since if you don't do club you're at a huge disadvantage. I really don't want to see that happen to track and XC.

It'd be neat if the clubs could stay cheap, be available year-round, and someone else could pay the coaches. No idea where that money would come from, though.
The Animal Within
RE: Get rid of the High School System in America....We need Clubs!!!! 12/31/2012 12:27AM - in reply to FIX AMERICAN DISTANCE RUNNING Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Yeah worked out great for the UK.

If you can't tell I'm being sarcastic I am. Ask any Brit, they hate their club system and blame it for the lack of depth in the sport. Kids care about their school, not some club you pay to be on.

You sound like a cry baby. Distance running is a solo thing so quit blaming others for your lack of success. Talk to a local coach who does it right and get some advice.
any ohio coaches that know
RE: Get rid of the High School System in America....We need Clubs!!!! 12/31/2012 1:34AM - in reply to xenonscreams Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

xenonscreams wrote:

Is that true for all states or just some .


Just looked up Ohio and you can coach 3 months for xc, 3 months for T&F and any 10 days between June 1 and july 31. That leaves 5 months in the winter when no coaching is allowed though I don't know how they handle indoor track. I couldn't find that info.
malmo
RE: Get rid of the High School System in America....We need Clubs!!!! 12/31/2012 7:02AM - in reply to FIX AMERICAN DISTANCE RUNNING Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

FIX AMERICAN DISTANCE RUNNING wrote:
What we need is to go to the club system like the rest of the world.


Where in the world is this phantom "club system" you speak of?
Another Option
RE: Get rid of the High School System in America....We need Clubs!!!! 12/31/2012 7:15AM - in reply to any ohio coaches that know Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Indoor track isn't one of the 24 sports handled by the OHSAA, so there is little regulation other than it must be a school board approved activity and any coaches must be approved by the school board. Furthermore, the athletes have to participate in indoor track with the intention of competing in indoor meets - not sure how they measure that, however. I don't know of any coaches that are paid for indoor track. Transportation, meet fees, etc. all come out of the pockets of the participants.

"Conditioning" activities are permitted for all sports, pretty much all summer long. No requirements can be made on attendance and no technique instruction can take place. For distance running, they have said that no "intervals" are permitted. Pretty much as long as you don't require anything, don't provide any instruction, and don't put a watch on anything you can maitain contact during the summmer.
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