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Coaches Needed - Junior High T&F

Updated 11/13/2018.

We have a Lead JH Coach and just need an Assistant! Contact us with any questions.

Junior highers are the future of our team. We love the kids and would love to provide continuous opportunity and community for them. However, more needs to be done to reduce Swanson family responsibilities associated with managing two teams (Junior High and JV/Varsity) in the spring. The Nighthawk track & field team grew significantly in 2018, and we learned a lot about what is required to manage student-athletes, families, practices, meets, weather issues, indoor space, etc.

We had excellent help with our JH’ers this past spring, but our family’s responsibility level remained significant. We also soon realized that coach training and preparation would need to be revisited frequently as coaches’ kids quickly move up to the JV/Varsity program. As such, we do not have JH coaches lined up, so our junior high track team is tentative for 2019, pending the addition of a JH Lead Coach and at least one Assistant JH Coach. We are a Christian-principled program and are looking for volunteer coaches with  encouraging spirits and hearts to serve.

Note: even if we are unable to provide a JH track & field program, we remain committed to a full 7th-12th grade cross country program!

An alternative idea—and one with much less responsibility for those who lead it—would be to organize some kind of “5k Club” that would allow runners to get together with friends and stay in shape in preparation for summer running and cross country. We have some vague ideas for this if anyone wants to “run with it.” :)

O.K., back to the track & field team...

Things that would stay the same for JH:

  • The Head Coach will plan the season’s workouts, and JH’ers will practice with the JV/Varsity team under the direction of the Head Coach on days when we are able to practice outdoors.

  • The JH competition schedule will be similar to last year and organized by the Head Coach.

  • Overall program management (registration, equipment, communications, calendar, awards, etc.) will be handled by the Athletic Director.

Things that would change for JH:

  • On inclement weather days when JV/Varsity must move indoors (locations TBD on a day-by-day basis), JH practice will be canceled unless JH coaches are able to secure an additional (separate) suitable facility and notify the athletes and parents.

  • JH coaches will have more ownership and responsibility than in the past.

Coaching benefits:

  • Official Northwest Nighthawks COACH shirt :)

  • Meets feel shorter when you're keeping busy

  • Rewarding experience working with youth and seeing them grow and rise to challenges

  • Fun!

Responsibilities for all JH coaches (Lead and Assistants):

  • Complete MSHSL online coaches' training (approximately 3 hours)
    and read InSideOut Coaching: How Sports Can Transform Lives by Joe Ehrmann (provided).

  • (Optional but recommended:) Attend at least one day of the MTFCA coaches’ clinic (typically the last Friday and Saturday of January, www.mshsca.org/trackclinic). We will cover your entry fee and reimburse meals.

  • Practices:

    • Attend practices 3+ days/week (mid-March through mid-late May)--we host more practices than that, but 3x/week is a minimum for coaches.

    • Lead JH Coach: Rotate as an assistant coach among the disciplines (sprints, distance, jumps, possibly throws) at full-team practices. You do not have to have any previous experience or become an expert in anything, but you will need to become comfortable coaching and answering athletes’ questions at meets to the best of your ability.

    • Assitant JH Coach: Works as a specialty event coach at full-team practices. Maybe. We're still figuring this all out in terms of who spends time where. :)

    • 2019 practice schedule: See https://www.homeschool-life.com/2515/custom/6662

  • Meets:

    • Attend at least one JV/Varsity meet as an orientation before the first JH meet.

    • Attend all JH meets (typically 3:00 arrival through approximately 7:30 wrap-up); we try to schedule 5-7 meets per season. Our track & field meet locations have typically required less driving than our cross country meets. See team calendar for expected schedule.

    • Additional meet responsibilities and tips can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/10B_IZB43SwouT5lzaQ1LQym7fzeRh-tZHQRjEdI7BYA/edit?usp=sharing

    • Lead JH Coach:

      • Work closely with the Head Coach in determining which JH athletes participate in which events.

      • Collect as much meet data (lap times, etc.) as you can with the help of your assistant JH coach(es) and parent volunteers. Some meets provide results, others do not. We can provide you a form to fill out and send to the head coach (a legible photo of your form is fine), or you can create your own. These will be used by the Head Coach to keep track of PR’s, team records, etc.

      • Publish meet results for the team. Use whatever format you’d like an include as much information as you’d like--at a minimum, final times/distances.

  • Post season: End-of-season banquet

    • Select “athlete of the meet” award recipients and notify the Directors of your selections at least 7 days in advance.

    • Prepare 1-minute affirmation write-ups (150 words max) to read and give to athletes. Delivery can be negotiated if you prefer to ad lib; this is a hallmark of the Nighthawk program and we desire all athletes to receive this benefit.

We understand this is a big commitment, so thank you for considering it! We'd love to hear from you and answer any of your questions. Please continue to pray as we seek what is best for the Nighthawk programs.