I'm a little later than usual on this one, but I wanted to post about day 21! It was an extremely fun practice that had some very real applications as far as mimicking upcoming situations/meets.
It was a "lactic acid" day at the sprints, so kids were pushed to their limits. This was done in preparation for next week's 3 meets, and to ensure that all athletes on the team are prepared for our first whole-team meet of the season on Tuesday.
To continue that intense approach to the day's practice, I decided to have a "competition" day! When sprinters came over I told them to partner up. I then informed them that they would be competing with that person today to not only find a winner, but to also see who was most consistent in their approaches.
Here are the actual instructions I used:
1.) Partner up.
2.) You and the partner you chose will be competing today to see who jumps farthest - bragging rights and the potential to be a varsity jumper are on the line.
3.) To mimic the hardest conditions possible you will perform your second jump RIGHT AFTER your first jump.
4.) For every scratch, you do 20 push ups.
5.) While you are waiting you will need to stay warm. Treat this like a real meet!
I wanted to see which kids would bring their "A-game" even when tired after a hard sprint workout. I wanted to see which kids would have that killer instinct of wanting to beat the person in the lane next to them. I wanted to see who continued to move and stay warm in the back of the line while awaiting their turn(s). All of these are indications of individuals that deserve to compete at the varsity level, and I like to reward those that listen and do what is asked of them.
The kids (mostly) competed very well!
There were a few lackadaisical jumpers that simply seemed like they were going through the motions. To be fully honest, I let them have it. If they can't find the intensity asked of them at practice, they simply aren't ready to compete at a meet - and I told them this much. That seemed to light a fire under them.
It was a good day that provided me with a great deal of information. I've been waiting all year to have our first whole-team meet and this competition day greatly assisted in making my lineups.
We will be having an approach and "meet prep" day. This will ensure all kids are ready to hit board, and follow our "meet routines" to that "T".