General Rules and Expectations
Our program is heavily reliant on and greatly appreciative of parent assistance. If you would like to become a coach or regular helper, please let us know. Roles can range from simply holding a stopwatch and calling out times, to jogging along with a younger group (especially at Van Dyck and Providence parks) for supervision purposes, to planning and leading a practice workout group. No running or coaching experience is necessary and commitment does not have to be weekly - we'll have you as often as your schedule permits.
We also need parents to help out at meets. Some of our track or cross country meets might have over 300 participants, with several heats of each event. We need course marshals, starters (ear plugs provided!), heat organizers to sort runners by age, recorders of results, ribbon and awards writers, and set-up and take-down helpers. In the past, these responsibilities fell on the shoulders of a small but selfless group that volunteered time at almost every meet. IT IS REQUIRED THAT A PARENT OR FAMILY REPRESENTATIVE FROM each FAMILY WILL WORK AT LEAST ONE to TWO EVENTS/MEETS. Parent or other representative helpers are expected to arrive early for assignment and instruction. They should assume that they WILL be needed for the entire meet (optimistically assume 3 hours) and that they will be limited in their ability to watch many races on their day.
A "Sign-up Genius" volunteer document allows parents to choose a volunteer job. The link will be sent to registered families to sign-up for volunteer spots. Out of fairness, the coaches will be checking up on this to make sure each family fulfills this commitment with a document families can check online. Your participation is essential for fun (and timely) meets.
Though a little cumbersome, the following practice is a safeguard to strengthen the protection and safety of our children:
Any parent who could be interpreted to have a supervisory role or be a steward of the team MUST complete an FPYC background check. This is 100% mandatory and must be done prior to your taking an active role. It only takes a few minutes and is done on the FPYC home website. This is not optional.
Go to the FPYC registration page
Click on 'Adult Volunteers Register Here'
Click on the notepad cartoon character holding the pencil to access the form
This process does not apply to occasional helpers such as meet helpers or those that step in to help with numbers, shirts, or assist with casual things such as timing.
E-MAIL USE FOR TEAM MESSAGES AND ADDITIONAL ADDRESSES
We send messages, updates, and reminders to parents exclusively via e-mail. The registration process allows for up to four e-mail address submitted per participant. These are the email addresses that will receive the mass team communication. We use e-mail to pass on team messages, but are always willing to talk before or after practice about any matter that may be of concern or interest to you. IF YOU DO NOT RECEIVE A MASS TEAM EMAIL FROM THE DIRECTORS WITHIN 2 WEEKS of THE START OF THE SEASON or WITHIN A FEW DAYS OF REGISTERING IF YOU HAVE REGISTERED VERY CLOSE to the start of the season, please email the directors.
ADDITIONAL RUNNING OR ADVICE
Because of the coach to participant ratio, it is no secret that this program has to be designed for the masses. That said, we want to do all we can to help individuals meet their goals and prosper. Parents and runners often ask about the desire or need to do additional training outside of practice sessions, or about things from rest to diet to mechanics to aches and pains. We don't know of your concerns unless you express them to us. Please approach a coach if you have any questions.
In general, older and/or more experienced runners who have lofty individual goals would greatly benefit from at least one extra day of running outside of the thrice-weekly practices - preferably a longer distance run at a moderate pace (yes, this applies to sprinters, too). We don't plan on doing many long runs in the practices, primarily because the large groups get spread out too much and we think we can make more productive use of practice time concentrating on pacing and repeat drills.
Most runners except for the very young can tolerate running (or competing in other sports) on consecutive days. To compare, if the local middle schools had interscholastic sports, the respective teams would be practicing and competing five consecutive days per week. We do recommend at least one day of rest (and preferably, two) per week for youth runners of all ages, even the most competitive. If anyone wants suggestions on out-of-practice workouts, please feel free to see the coaches. Again, this is a decision to be based on interest and enthusiasm. The goal is to find some individual balance between achieving personal goals and having fun. When an activity is no longer fun - at any competitive level - for the kids, the primary reason is almost always that they are either bored or overtaxed.
If anyone would like some guidance in helping devise a training plan or come up with some workouts in addition to practices either before, during, or outside of the season, feel free to contact any of the coaches at any time.