Track & Field Meet FAQs


Meets are not “in-and-out” type of events.  In many cases, you will be spending the ENTIRE DAY or a majority of the day at the meet. DO NOT overbook your child or family with multiple activities the day of meets. The feeling of being rushed through a meet only puts pressure on the athlete. The NJ Striders meets have over 700+ athletes. The USATF NJ Junior Olympic Championship is a competitive meet with upwards of 500+ athletes.


We are new to track and field meets.  What should we expect?

Meets can be a lot of fun – especially when the weather is nice, but there are a few things to remember. The meets have many different teams, events, and age divisions competing and will last for a few hours. Also, events are arranged to allow the athlete time between events. For example, if your child is a sprinter and runs the 100m and 200m events, the 100m will be near the beginning of the meet while the 200m is much later in the day. Please be patient and considerate of the officials and other athletes. Because the weather can be hot & sunny, cold & rainy or anything in between, it is best to have a canopy/tent that the athletes can use to stay out of the elements and relax between events. We do not want the athletes running around between events and getting too tired before they compete. Last, but not least, be prepared for a day of fun competition and be sure to keep your eyes open – there may be a future Olympian there! Jeremy Wariner, Allyson Felix, Sanya Richards, Bryan Clay, Lauryn Williams, Adam Nelson, Deena Kastor and Meb Keflezighi were all USATF youth athletes.


Track & Field is an outdoor sport, what is the weather policy?

Lesson plans are modified according to weather conditions (i.e., excessive heat or cold, humidity, rain, etc.). Do note that practices are held in the rain. We will cancel in the event of lightning or snow that is sticking to the ground.


How do I know if a practice is cancelled due to weather?

Often the timing of weather is unpredictable. In the event of a cancellation you will receive an email as soon a decision is made. Keep in mind that due to the unpredictability, practice may be cancelled even a half hour before it is set to begin. In addition to an email, the Y will be notified and the staff working at the Welcome Center and greeter’s desk will be able to tell you if practice has been cancelled.  If you call and they “have not heard anything” or are “unsure” if practice has been cancelled that means practice will be taking place.


Should my child check-in at each practice?

Yes, your child must check in at each practice with the coach taking attendance. Developmental athletes check-in by their birth year, whereas competitive team athletes all check-in at the blue Competitive sandwich board.


My child has Asthma, should he/she bring an inhaler to practice?

Yes, to all practices and all meets. Please write their name on it in case it gets misplaced or lost.


What type of clothing should my child wear to practices?

Dress appropriate for the expected and possible weather conditions of practices/meets. It is recommended that the shirt closest to the athlete’s body is a wicking material (e.g., our team shirts, under armor, etc). This will help pull sweat away from the athlete’s skin.  On cooler days, additional layers are often needed. The next layer should be a light fleece type of material. Finally, the layer on the very outside of the body should be a wind/rain layer (e.g., a light rain jacket). It is suggested that they bring a bag to practice and meets in case they want to shed layers as they warm up or add layers if they become cold.


How does the team uniform and spirit wear work?

All of our uniform and spirit wear ordering is online. Visit our website and click the “Apparel” tab at the top. The description on the page will explain the upcoming order deadline which is when the orders will be filled. From here you can order a team uniform, t-shirts, long sleeves, sweatshirts, head bands, and more! All funds raised from the spirit wear orders will directly benefit the Flyers Track Club. The Swan Brothers will print and deliver your uniforms and/or spirit wear directly to your home.


Will water or beverages be provided during practices?

Water is not provided. It is your responsibility to send your child to practice with a water bottle. Please write your child’s name on the water bottle so that if they leave it by mistake and we find it, we can return it at the following practice.


What are some good things to bring to meets?


  • Cooler for food/beverages
  • Folding chairs or blankets to place on the ground and sit on in good weather
  • We have a team canopy/tent. If you wish to bring additional canopies or tents, please coordinate with the team.
  • Bungee cords for tying down tents

Food and Beverages

  • Beverages
  • Ice cubes (for hot athletes or injuries)
  • Food
  • Fresh fruits & veggies to snack on such as (no dips)
  • Fresh or dried fruit & grain bars
  • Nuts and/or trail mixes
  • Sandwiches
  • No mayo
  • No cheese
  • Use lean meats
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on wheat bread.
  • No cookies, soda, candy. Cookies or dark chocolate are fine after the meet, but not before.

Other things that are good to have

  • Baby wipes
  • Sun screen
  • White towel to dampen with cold water to help cool athletes when over-heated
  • A change of clothes, socks and shoes in case of rain
  • Warm-up jacket and pants in case of cold weather
  • Books, games & cards (for both parents & kids)
  • Music players with earbuds (good for older athletes while waiting for their event – but they MUST NOT be brought to the competition areas.
  • Please help us keep the kids out of the sun in between events.
  • Patience, support and a sense of humor!!!
  • Good sportsmanship!!!!


What type of beverages should my child have or avoid?

Water is preferred. Please avoid carbonated beverages such as soda and it is suggested that athletes dilute electrolyte drinks such as Gatorade or PowerAde with some water as the high sugar contents often lead to cramping.


What should my child eat or not eat before a practice/meet?

There are many different philosophies on pre-competition nutrition. However a good basic rule of thumb is to only eat foods that easily digest before a practice or competition. Examples include fruits, eggs, and oatmeal. Avoid foods with high fat levels before a competition.


What should my child eat after a race?

Simple sugars within a half hour to hour after competition such as those in fruits, bagels, etc. are recommended. Foods containing antioxidants will help your athletes replenish their fuel sources quickly and decrease muscle fatigue.


My child is a pretty good athlete, should they wear spikes?  If so, what kind?

¼ inch pyramid spikes are permitted on our home track and at most meets. However, this is on a case-by-case basis. Speak with the head coach if you believe spikes may benefit your child before purchasing them. In addition, the head coach will speak with athletes and parents if we believe that an athlete will benefit from having spikes. More information about spikes can be found by clicking the "Apparel" tab or by clicking this link.


My child is nervous about participating in their first meet.  What should I do?

Encourage them as their parent and let them know that the coaches will fully support them no matter how they finish. Coaches attend our scheduled meets so they will have the support of a coach at the meets. We want them to try their best and have fun.


How do I know which track and field meet is most appropriate for my child to participate in?

First, cross reference your calendar with the meet dates to see what meet dates your child is available for and then speak to Head Coach Jolene or Coach Greg and they will recommend the most appropriate meet for your child.


How do I know which event(s) my child should participate in at a meet?

Speak to the head coach and we will help guide your athlete. In general, athletes should only compete in events they have practiced and enjoy doing.


Where can I find the results of the meets?

See the Meet Results sub menu item under Meets.


My child wants to be part of a relay, how are relay teams formed?

To be part of a relay team, there must be 4 athletes in the same age division. Step-up relays require one athlete from each age division. Sign up for a relay team on the meet form. Since meet sign-ups are due a week before the meet, the coach will be able to form the relay teams or let you know if there are not enough athletes in your child’s age division for a relay team.


Is transportation provided for any meets?

No, parents are responsible for this.