**Registration will open on Monday, December 5th and close on Friday, January 20th. Spaces will be limited to ensure a proper coach to athlete ratio. Payment is required to reserve your space**
What?- A unique track and field experience for elementary school and middle school kids! We will have 2 groups this spring, a track and field group, and a distance running group. This spring the athletes will have the opportunity to compete in some local track and field meets! Please read here for our youth track and field philosophy.
Who?- Boys and girls ages 5-12 who want to learn more about track and field, as well as train speed and agility for all sports. The athletes will be able to learn from former NCAA D1 collegiate track and field athletes who competed at the highest level!
Where?- All youth practices will be held at The Bolles School (7400 San Jose Blvd, 32217).
When?- Track and field will be on Monday and Wednesday nights from 6:00pm-7:00pm. Distance running will be on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6:00pm-7:00pm. Spring youth training will run from the 1st week of February until the 3rd week of April.
Cost?- Just $325 for the entire spring period!
"I feel most strongly that the beginner athlete must be well taught, with teachers and coaches committed to ensuring that the various 'technical models' are stabilized before moving on to competition or advanced training. The years 8-11 for girls and 8-13 for boys have been referred to the 'skill-hungry years'. Hopefully, teachers and coaches will concentrate on these age groups, and use their ingenuity and inventiveness to the advantage of their young children."
- Frank Dick, former Director of Coaching, British Athletic Federation
"Specialization aims at achieving the highest performance in an adult on the basis on versatility. A wrong understanding of the term specialization can lead to a one sided training of juniors in one particular event. Such youngsters are generally capable of achieving good results at a relatively early age, but often do not improve, as expected, their performances when they become adults. Track and field athletes who have reached their best performances before the age of 18, have undergone the wrong training."
- Gerhardt Schmolinsky, "The East German Textbook of Athletics"
The Jacksonville Athletic Club works with kids of all ages, and where we differ from other track and field clubs is that we want the best LONG TERM development for your child. The goal for our club has always been to help kids obtain college scholarships in the sport of track and field. This can only be done when your child is competing at their best from the ages of 15-18. We keep the big picture in mind, and understand that no one gets recruited based off what they did when they were 11 years old.
What we strive to do with kids ages 5-12 is teach them sound fundamentals, so that they will be able to continue to improve year in and year out. We don't pressure them to compete, rather we allow them to have fun, learn, and become better athletes. We teach the kids how to do things properly from the beginning, so that they will have long term success. Only on rare circumstances do we allow kids in our youth program to compete in ultra-competitive youth track meets, as it pushes them too much, takes the fun out of it, and usually leads to burn out. Again, we are most concerned about how they perform when they are 16-18 years old, not 8 years old.
*We encourage kids from the ages of 5-12 to play many different sports, and not specialize in any one sport. The ages of 5-12 are when kids should be running, jumping, throwing things, and becoming overall better athletes!*