If you're familiar with the Beastie Boys you know the rest of that lyric (party). If you're not, I'll give you an alternate ending that is the focus of this post.
"Fight for your right! To...host a meet."
Here in Wisconsin we are given very little time with our athletes. Off-season connections are deemed illegal/unfair/etc. and thus are avoided at all costs in fear of punishment. This is honestly one of the biggest things wrong with Wisconsin sports; but it doesn't seem to be changing anytime soon.
This makes every single meet during the season incredibly precious, and something that should only be cancelled in the face of extreme weather conditions.
When a meet is cancelled every athlete scheduled to compete loses an opportunity to shine. He/She loses the possibility of a moment that could define their upcoming meets and/or season, a moment that could decide whether they've earned the distinction of being a varsity athlete, and/or a moment that could lead to a personal/lifetime best.
I know many coaches out there think that kids will never be able to set new personal bests in rain - but they are wrong. DEAD WRONG.
I've seen some amazing accomplishments in the rain.
Unfortunately I've also seen great failure in the rain as well. That failure though started at the coaching staff and worked it's way down to the athletes competing. Coaches complain about poor weather, athletes hear them, athletes make excuses as to why the weather will be at fault if they don't perform well, and athletes "fall on their faces."
I've seen it (honestly) HUNDREDS of times!
Instead of gripping about poor weather coaches should be ecstatic to see kids compete in the rain, and should be preaching the importance of "showing up" no matter the conditions (physical, emotional, etc.).
What happens if an athlete doesn't compete in the rain all year and it pours at regionals, sectionals, and/or the state meet? Do you think they'll be prepared?
Coaches, are you going to whine at the state meet if it starts to rain? Or, are you going to keep your mouth shut because you don't want to affect your athlete's mindset and/or performance?
I sincerely hope you chose the 2nd option...
If you did, than ask yourself this next question - is there any reason why shouldn't you act that way ALL the time? Even at dual meets. Even at JV meets. Even at a middle school meet you volunteered to help at. You as a coach should ALWAYS show excitement to see your athletes compete. You as a coach should ALWAYS preach the ability to perform well in ANY condition.
What upsets me the most is that after our meet was canceled last night, I heard of other track meets farther north (with worse conditions) that still took place. As well, the district that canceled our meet allowed soccer games to continue...
The reasoning behind this probably has something to do with workers canceling on them which I get; but if you are hosting track meets you need to inform your parent group that they may be called upon to help out if needed. You need to front-load everyone prior to the meet to make sure everything goes as scheduled even if there are volunteer cancellations.
Stop wimping out because of rain people. Track and field is a spring sport - it's about time people realize the yearly weather conditions during this time of year aren't changing anytime soon. If rain bothers you quit. Resign your position right now. Find another sport that has all their competitions indoors and never step foot on a track again - seriously.
Meets are about athletes - NOT Coaches, spectators, or volunteers. Find a way to give your athletes what they deserve - a meet.