YIM 2017 Coaches Guidelines

General Coaching Guidelines:

  • To help ensure participant safety, coaches must commit to attending at least 7 sessions. We need to have consistency and a good complement of coaches on the track and trails with the participants.
  • Coaches should wear their light blue coaches’ shirt and nametag each week.
  • There are 4 age groups.  Each group will have a designated start of training area on the Herndon High School track and infield turf area.  A member of each group will guide participants to the appropriate age group training area.  Either Virginia and Mij will be at the YIM table located at the entrance to the track each week to help any latecomers to the their designated age group location.
    • 4-5yr age group will meet on the infield (between the goal post closer to entrance to track and 20yd line)
    • 6-7yr age group will meet basically in the middle of the infield (between 20yd line and far 30yd line)
    • 8-9yr age group will meet  at the far end of the infield (between 30yd line and high jump/pole vault area and far goal post)
    • 10-13yr age group will meet in the high jump area (beyond the far end of the bleachers/the area opposite the high jump/pole vault area and far goal post).
  • The track will be used primarily for the older age groups (8-9, 10-13) as needed for special workouts; but will be available for the younger age groups – just check with Jeff Wolfe (Coaches Director). 
  • The hill area (far end of infield/track) will also be available for all age groups; just schedule accordingly with other age group leaders.
  • Dynamic stretching & warm-up laps will be done prior to participants separating into their age groups.  Usually the 10-13yr age group will conduct their own stretching routine.
  • Participants should arrive a few minutes before 6:30pm, write out their nametags, and then run a few laps around the track to warm up.  If you see participants/parents milling around the track/infield, go ahead and direct them to either the nametag table or encourage them to warm up by walking/jogging around the track before group stretching. 
  • Group stretching will begin promptly at 6:30pm and last approximately 5 minutes.  This will give latecomers a chance to catch up with everyone else, give coaches additional time to set up equipment and also allow any equipment set up on the infield to be left alone until start of age group training.
  • We also encourage dynamic stretching following the workout.  Each age group leader should determine how they will handle leading the group through stretching after the workout.
  • Please NOTIFY YOUR AGE GROUP LEADER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE if you cannot attend a session so we can assign a floater for your group.

Interaction with Participants:

  • Many of our young participants  will be nervous about embarking on this exercise program.  We are there to encourage them, help them challenge themselves, and keep them safe.
  • Get to know the participants.  When you arrive, interact with the children.  Try to learn their names.  Be encouraging and positive!
  • Strongly encourage the parents to stay in the bleachers  (for the 4-5yr age group, this may be understandably difficult as the younger aged participants might prefer their parents by their side).  Our training area is limited; so we prefer parents to stay in the bleachers so as not to crowd the area. 
  • Discipline Issues:  Establish good and positive behavior expectations on the very first day to set the tone.  If a child’s unruly behavior is unsafe for him/her (or with other participants), or disrupts training to a point where training has to halt because of that child’s unruly behavior,  coaches may issue a verbal warning to the child in a firm (not yelling) tone emphasizing that we expect positive energy during training.  If the unruly behavior continues, consider asking the child to sit out training for a couple minutes on the sideline.  If the issue still persists, bring the issue to your age group leader or to one of the directors who will deal with the child and his/her parent.  If the parent is present during the child’s behavior problem, coaches may bring the child’s behavior issue directly to them if they prefer; however, please remember to keep your tone calm but firm while explaining the issue.  Ultimately, if you are unsure how to handle a discipline issue, bring it up to your age group leader or to one of the directors.
  •  The younger aged participants tend to have a limited attention span.  Don’t spend a great deal of time in lengthy explanations/instructions on activities – get into the activity as soon as you canLIMIT waiting time in between activities; but still allow brief water breaks.
  • Encourage participants to challenge themselves (e.g., let’s pick up the pace, or let’s try to run the entire hill, or encourage them to use good running form, etc.) 
  • Encourage participants to cheer on their peers during training and especially during time trials!


  • If a participant seems to be in minor distress or needs first aid, one coach may take him/her to the YIM table to either Virginia/Mij for first aid.  We will inform the parent (if parent was not present or not aware of minor accident/injury).  We have a first aid kit at the YIM table as well as ice and water.  Either Virginia/Mij will fill out an Accident/Injury Report Form.
  • If a participant has a serious accident/injury/emergency, call 911 (location to give is Herndon High School track located at 700 Bennett St in Herndon).  Notify the parents, the age group leader and directors immediately.  If unconscious, check for breathing and pulse.  If not breathing, provide CPR (if you do not know CPR or do not have another adult who knows CPR in immediate vicinity, Virginia is our CPR certified director).  If a back injury is possible, do not move the participant.  Other coaches should supervise the rest of the participants and keep them calm and occupied and away from the serious accident area.   Either Virginia/Mij will fill out an Accident/Injury Report Form.
  • The older age groups (10-13yrs) will sometimes run on trails outside the high school area.  Coaches should spread out among the participants so that no one gets lost.   One coach must have a walkie-talkie in case of emergency.  Either Virginia/Mij will have the other walkie-talkie at the YIM table.
  • Teach participants about hydrating. Encourage them to drink plenty of water before and after the workout.  Encourage them to eat meals at least an hour before to allow time to digest before training.


Inclement Weather Policy:

Track sessions will be held rain or shine.  However, we will not meet if there is lightning or if the temperature is over 100 degrees at 6:30 p.m.   We have seen every combination of weather event happen in the past; but, we never take for granted the session will be canceled.  More often than not, we are able to hold at least a partial session.  Parents of the participants make their own judgment call when the weather is questionable.  However, we do make every attempt to meet.  If lightning occurs in the middle of the session, we will cancel the program for that evening.  A cancellation during a session will be signaled using our sport horn.  This is why it is essential that parents DO NOT DROP OFF AND LEAVE their children; but rather help with our coaches or relax in the bleacher area.  When a session is canceled due to lightning, EVERYONE must leave the area immediately.  We will not update the website unless it is clear early on that conditions make it impossible to hold a session; however, we will send out an email notification as soon as possible to notify participants that a session has been canceled.


Most important:  Have fun!



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