Frequently Asked Silverback Program Questions

Is track and field a good sport for my son/daughter?

Yes, it is, and with good reason. Whether your son or daughter has dreams of becoming an Olympic Gold Medalist, running for a 60-yard touchdown in high school, competing in a 10k marathon or a triathalon, or being the fastest kid on the playground, track and field is the best foundational sport for your athlete. Track and field, with its 18 events, builds speed, endurance, strength, flexibility, and coordination making it the best all-around sport for anyone of any age, size, or body type.

Track is flexible. Athletes who get a later start are not missing out on crucial skill building years as they are in other sports. A latecomer to some sports may have a very difficult time catching up on necessary sport-specific skills, but in track & field, kids do what kids do every day: running, jumping, and throwing.

Indoor track is especially advantageous for high school athletes needing to get ready for spring sports, and if you’re going to run spring track for your school then training and competing in the USATF indoor season is a must.

A child can begin competing in USATF sanctioned meets as early as age seven. Children under the age of 10 will be limited in the number of events, such as hurdles, shot put, and long distance events, but most kids would enjoy the 100 or the 800 or trying out the long jump.

Here are some great articles that will give you a good understanding of our sport:

If you’re a high school athlete, or parent of one, this article is a must read:

 Does my son/daughter have to have special athletic ability or achievement to participate?

No, everyone of every ability is welcome and encouraged to participate. The only thing we ask of every athlete and parent is that they have a positive attitude towards the sport and our team. We emphasis personal achievement and growth. An athlete that strives toward doing their personal best by actively applying themselves will always improve. Yes, we have several athletes that have achieved successes, but everyone has to start at the beginning and no one should be discouraged if they can’t perform like them at first. Time/Technique, Effort/Energy, Attitude/Application, Motivation/Momentum (T.E.A.M.) are keys to success.

My child plays another sport. How will this affect his or her track and field participation?

Not a problem. We understand that athletes may want to participate in more than one sport. All we ask is that you let Coach Branch know of your athlete’s participation in other sports and to give us the training and competition schedule for those other activities. For the younger athletes, it’s just a courtesy thing so we can plan around your absence; for older athletes, Coach Branch may have to adjust the schedule to accommodate and prevent injury from training volume overload.

Can my child try it out to see if he/she will like track and field?

An athlete can participate in up to two of the first three practices of any beginning season by signing a waiver and making arrangements with Coach Branch in advance for the designated practice date(s). A non-refundable $25 fee per athlete per practice will be charged. If your athlete chooses to join the amount paid for the try-out practices will be deducted from the total participation fee for the season. Non USATF Member Waiver_One Time

What kind of training methods do you use?

Silverback Track Club will ALWAYS have an emphasis on correct technique, age and ability appropriate conditioning, proper warm ups and cool downs, and REST, making sure your athlete is not over trained, which is all too common and leads to injuries, stagnation, and burn out. Some athletes never get a chance to rest and there are lots of coaches, trainers, centers, and teams that are eager to capitalize on keeping your athlete going every day for the entire year so that you can “stay peaked.” Nonsense!

We love (as we know you do, too) when our athletes win their events and qualify for big meets, but we care more about how that process happens. We do what is best for your athlete emotionally, psychologically, and physically. Development takes time. There are athletes that seem phenomenal and you’ll see them on the track winning medals and ribbons, however, in a few short years most, if not all, of those athletes have left the sport due to burn-out or injury or both. Children develop at such varying rates that establishing a proper foundation is of paramount importance.

We will employ a variety of training methods and techniques, such as utilizing different running surfaces, resistance and plyometric work, and body weight exercises. However, everything is designed and planned for proper development and based on what each athlete can handle at the time.

Here is a great article that will give you a good understanding of proper training and injury prevention:

Will my child have the opportunity to try out different events?

All athletes, no matter their age, ability, or success will have the opportunity to try several different events to see which event he/she most enjoys. We are not concerned about natural ability. There are so many athletes that have defied the experts when it comes to genetics and natural ability. Applying Desire & Determination, Resolve & Respect, Excellence & Endurance, Appreciation & Action, Mindfulness & Mental Preparation (D.R.E.A.M) are what determines your success in anything you do on the track or in life. We’ve seen athletes transition to other events and do amazing things. Just because you’ve always been put in the 3000 meters because you were never considered fast doesn’t mean you can’t run the 100 meters. Transitioning won’t be easy and we can’t guarantee you will ever win a race, but doing what you love to the best of your ability should be your ultimate goal.