• David Allison

Join a USATF AZ Club Team Now!

Why signing up your child for track and field is a great idea.

You may be on the fence about signing up your child for track and field. You may not even know that there is youth track and field in the state of Arizona. But let me assure you that there is and we are a great organization. Sure, we are not perfect by any means, but we can boast great quality coaching, amazing athletes, supportive parents, selfless volunteers and a family approach to our sport rather than a cut-throat mentality.

Here are a few things you should know about USATF AZ to help you hopefully make an informed decision.

#1 - Everyone "Plays"

While track and field is a club sport, it's also an individual sport. Meaning, all athletes, no matter how fast or strong they are, will have the opportunity to compete. If your child isn't fast - no worries. How about trying the shot put, discus, hammer or javelin? Your child is not sure what event he/she would want to compete in? All good. Many of our club coaches are well trained and experienced. After observing your kid in practice, they will know where he/she may have a better chance of success.

#2 - Cost

While each club has its own pricing structure, overall the cost of youth track and field is usually a fraction of most other club sports (ie, soccer, volleyball, baseball, etc.).

3# - Commitment

As stated in #1, track and field is primarily an individual sport. Unless your child is on a relay team, he/she won't effect other members on the club by not making every practice. Of course, like in any endeavor, the more time one can put into practicing the more he/she will improve along the way. Coaches want your child to be safe and have a good experience, so most likely they wouldn't, for example, throw an athlete into the 3000 meters, if they hadn't seen him at practice because that's a long distance event. In the same vein, any coach worth his salt, would not allow an athlete to compete in most field events without proper training, due to the technical nature of the discipline, which if done incorrectly could lead to injury of the athlete or spectator.

#4 - Great For All Athletes

Nearly all athletes who focus on other sports can benefit from participating in track and field during their off-season. Speed, power, balance, agility and flexibility are all key components of track and field. Many a NFL, NBA and MLS player have competed in track and field growing up, which aided in their success in their chosen sport.

#5 - There Are So Many Events

Most Americans only watch track and field every four years (Olympics) and could probably name only Usain Bolt and maybe Ashton Eaton (US Gold Medal Decathlete) if pressed. But, while your son may be the backup lineman on his football team, he may find he has a knack for the shot put and discus. Your daughter who isn't the fastest on her soccer team, may be pretty springy and so the high jump is where she will truly shine. The point is there is a lot more events than the 100 meters in track and field, and if you give it a chance, you just may find an event that suits you just right.

#6 - Many Clubs To Choose From

There are many clubs in Arizona to choose from. Here is a list of clubs in Arizona. Here is also the USATF Club search page on the main USATF site.

Pre-season has already started for some teams and others will be starting right after the new year. It's not too late to sign up, promise. Our season goes until June for all our athletes and late July for athletes who compete in region and national competition.

Hope to see you out there!

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