Track & Field – Real social networking

Hi All,

I saw this video today and it inspired me to share it with you and to comment on some of the many reasons why I love track and field.  At meets it is a great time to reconnect with people I have not seen since the last season and it is a great opportunity to meet new people.  I am always amazed at how helpful the track and field community is as well with the coaching of athletes from other schools as well as the sharing of equipment to help an athlete have a better experience.  I also enjoy seeing the students from GRCI making friends with athletes and coaches from other schools as they go about competing and networking as the meet goes on.

It feels less competitive and more cooperative than other sports with which I have been involved.  There is a real sense to me in the Region that people really want to see Track & Field excel regardless of who gets the credit.  One of may favourite parts of the high school season are the debriefing sessions that I am part of with Gary Wilson, Jeff Anderson and Scott Curtis after the meets where we discuss what went well, what didn’t and what we can do to make it better.  The progress that has been made for T&F in the Region has been greatly influenced by these sessions where notes are sometimes taken on an old file folder or scrap piece of paper.  The synergy that we share it a true social networking that helps to make the experience better for the talented student athletes that we have in the area.  Scary to think that amongst the four of us in the timing hut that there is over 160 years of T&F experience.

This is just one aspect of the social networking that takes place during the track and field season that I really enjoy.  I love the face to face discussions that take place throughout the day.  I could branch off into talking about the WCSSAA/D8 committee but I will hold off for now as I am out of gas for now.

Enjoy your true social networking and best of luck during the rest of the season!!


Coach G

Track and Field – Meet Preparation

Hi All,

As the first Maxi meet approaches I am reposting an article that I created for my first web site 6 years ago so here is the latest version.


Coach G

Mr Galasso’s Guide to Successful track and field performance.

This is the start of the guide.  Please pass on to me (Mr. G) any wisdom that you think can be added to the list.

•Please thank the officials for running their events.  The meets would not happen without their efforts.

•Before you go to bed make sure that you have packed all of the things that you need for the next day! This is your clothing, food, chair, umbrella.

Meet Prep

•Make sure you know your schedule for the day.  Be prepared for any type of weather:  hot, cold, wet, dry, sunny cloudy, snowy etc.  Some suggestions for clothing – wind breaker, wool hat, mitts, winter coat, wind pants, rain gear, extra socks & T-Shirts, fleece top, tent, plastic garbage bag, umbrella – good in the sun and rain

•Check the link for the weather to see what the weather may be like for the meet

• Water & food – fruits and veggies and lighter snacks are better.  Do not rely on the people running the meet to feed you.  The concession stands rarely offer healthy food.

•Drink a lot of water throughout the day (stay away from sweetened water drinks – they dehydrate you more than they help.)

• Get to the meet well ahead of when you compete.  1 to 1.5 hours ahead of time minimum.  Meets can run ahead of schedule.

• Get your number from the coach for Track Wars, WCSSAA and beyond – numbers are not needed for Maxi meets.

Numbers are always stored in the med kit in the team tent.

• Bring some extra safety pins to secure your number.  There may not be enough supplied by the meet director

• Check out the event sites where you compete.  Make sure that they are safe and look for any areas to avoid.  ie.  a long jump board that sticks up above the runway on one side.

• Warm up well, even on a warm day. (30 to 60 minutes)

• Check in to your event well ahead of time. Find out where you are in the competitive order for field events.  On the track get your heat and lane assignments.  Check in for field events is usually at the event site.  Track is often at an announced marshalling area.


ALL Athletes

•Make sure you have your complete uniform before you leave your home.  This includes your singlet, spikes, shorts, running shoes and all the rest of your gear for all types of weather.  Remember that we live in Canada!!!

Runners – listen to the starter to see if he or she has a pattern that they follow.  Do they fire the gun really quickly or do they make you wait in the set position.  This can help you to prepare for a good start.  React compared to guessing.

•Track events always take priority over field events so if you need to be in 2 places at once make sure that the officials at both events know that you are moving back and forth.  If you see from the schedule that you may find yourself in this situation please see one of the coaches to get the details on how to handle this situation.

Double knots in your laces are a great idea!  You want to make sure that your shoes stay tight for the entire competition!!!

Field Event people – find out where you are in the order so that you can stretch and do a stride before your next trial.  This is usually done 5 or 6 athletes ahead of you in the competition.

Throwers – make sure that you have had your implements weighed so that you can use them in the competition.  WCSSAA and beyond.

•make sure you have a measured approach for Javelin.

• Bring a couple of pairs of gloves to keep your hands warm and dry.

• make sure that you take the implements first from GRCI then off of the bus or van when you get to the meet and gather them up and return them to the school at the end of the meet.

Jumpers – make sure you have a measured approach.

•Have a couple of things you can use to keep your mark. (Tape, chalk, a tack or a piece of wood with a nail in it.)  A shoe can be easily kicked or moved.

•Make sure the landing area is safe

•Pay attention to the strength and direction of the wind as you practice your approach so that you can compare it to when you are competing and be able to adjust your approach accordingly.

• Put your sweats back on between trials and have a seat.

• Sit close enough to the officials so that you can hear the names being called.

•Bring a collapsible chair and umbrella.  They are very handy to have.

•All athletes cool down after you have competed

•#1 PRIORITY IS HAVING FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

New Photo Timing Equipment for WCSSAA

NerfLynxHi All,

This is a great new addition to the Ether Lynx and Identi Lynx that we currently use.


The Nerf Lynx will alleviate a lot of confusion at the finish line and make sure that the cameras have a clear view of the finish line.


Coach G

No Comments on my Blog – Why??

Hi All,

I want to thank Nate Green for posting this idea on his site and I have used many of his ideas in this post.

I’m impulsive and I need to minimize the distractions that I have in my life.  A cell phone is enough on my plate and I leave it in my office when I am at work and check it only at lunch or when I am on my spare to allow me to focus and stay present.

Nate said it really well here and I quote, “If I know there’s something I need to check in on frequently — even something as potentially beneficial and community-building as comments — it will consume my brain and I’ll find it very difficult to focus on anything else.” (Nate Green)  I would also feel that I need to respond to every comment that is posted on my blog.

And since I have a full time job that I enjoy a great deal I want to use the blog as a space to talk about what I have learned about or found interesting lately and share it with people who are interested in reading about it.

By removing comments from my Blog it allows me more space to focus on what I love…learning, teaching, training, helping others, and coaching…


Coach G

PS – How well do you know yourself???

Mutaz Barshim – 2.15m scissors

Amazing HJ feat.  Mutaz Barshim scissors 2.15 m,  that is over 7 feet high.

Well done.


Coach G

The Road to OFSAA

Hi All,

For years I have had chatted with athletes and coaches about the different levels of competition athletes will see on the road to OFSAA.  The qualifying process is one that has patterns that I have seen that I would like to share.

The number in brackets is the number of athletes that advance to the next meet.

WCSSAA(4) little step up to CWOSSA (5) big step up to OFSAA West (4) little step up to OFSAA.

I like to tell athletes that the big jump in the level of competition is from CWOSSA to Regionals.  I have also noticed that athletes that do qualify for OFSAA from the West Region usually finish in the Top 10 at OFSAA.  This is due to the strong level of competition in our West Region.

Another factor that comes into play @ the level of the Regional meet is travel and how that affects the athletes.  It is a great advantage to be able to sleep at home and have a regular day as well as being familiar with the facility like we are this year with Res.

I also suggest that athletes stay home as long as they can to rest at a meet like Regionals.  Just make sure that you are at the meet 90 min ahead of your event so you can warm up well and be ready to compete.

Also, due to the much older tracks that we have in the CWOSSA region, athletes that come from the WOSSA and SWOSSAA usually run more slowly when they come to KW.  This was the case for most of the out of town athletes the last time the Regionals were here.

Finally, you never know what conditions the other schools had to deal with for their meets and what type of performances the athletes had.  Was it a PB??  Was there a bad handoff??  Were they slightly injured?  The list goes on and on.

Bottom line……aim to do your best at every meet.  That is the only thing that you have control over.

Most importantly, enjoy the journey!!


Coach G