MYTF families, we have some EXCELLENT news!
We are thrilled to announce that we have found a second Head Coach for the Spring season, allowing us to expand significantly and hopefully accommodate every child who wants to participate in MYTF. We extend a warm welcome to Mike Smith, who will join current Head Coach Adam Knudson in leading the program, effectively immediately.
About Coach Mike
Coach Mike is a former Track & Field and Cross-Country athlete from the University of Cincinnati, with a particular fondness for long distance racing. He is currently working a local day job in the publishing industry, but comes with past experience as an assistant Track & Field/Cross-Country coach at NYU, and is excited to join our program both as a coach and to help with many of the administrative tasks and strategic outreach activities to build and support the program long-term. We are SO pleased to have him on board, and can’t wait for everyone to meet him this season!
What a Second Head Coach Means for MYTF
MYTF had grown about as much as we could, given the limitations of a single Meet each week and the volunteer assistance available. While there were times when it felt like we could have added participants, practice sessions were usually packed, we experienced some challenges resulting from a high kid-to-coach ratio, and with no way to predict attendance at any given event, we were always on edge that we could have easily had trouble getting it all in if everybody actually showed up. So to grow, we needed two main issues to be resolved: 1) facility access for additional practice sessions and Meets, and 2) a second Head Coach to share Coach Adam’s load. The County has been great with helping us come up with the space, so our program’s task this winter was finding the coach – and along came Mike, just in time! This now allows us to expand the program, and hopefully do away with the days of a 70+-child waitlist.
What a Second Head Coach Means for you
There are three main implications for participants and families:
The Main Logistics
The expansion approach we’re taking is what we’re referring to as “MYTF Mitosis” – we’re basically going to split into two identical programs, running in parallel - Coach Adam will lead one, and Coach Mike the other. Every participant will be assigned to either “MYTF Blue” or “MYTF Red,” keeping children in the same family together. We will have two practice facilities, and because we know each has pros and cons, we will alternate facilities each week so everybody gets a chance at each facility. Because Langley HS construction is not yet complete, we could not secure a second facility for Meets, but we were able to get Falls Church HS for the entire day on Sunday. So, we will operate two Meets, but they will be a morning (~9am-1pm) and an afternoon (~1:30pm-5:30pm) Meet (both at Falls Church), and again, we will alternate so that no Group (Blue or Red) has all morning or all afternoon Meets.** While we will keep the age divisions (likely 5-8 and 9 & up) in both Groups, we will not alternate the age-group start times within groups for Meets as we have in the past; we think there will be enough moving parts with alternating facilities and Meets. Practice times are still being reviewed, but they will likely be the same or very similar to the past setup, with each age group having at least one early and at least one late option. **ADDENDUM: We have received several messages about people not able to attend Sunday morning Meets. We understand that is the situation for many families, but unfortunately, this is the only feasiable and equitable option as many families are in the same situation and we simply cannot accommodate everyone in a single afternoon Meet. Please see the "Cooperation, Patience, and Understanding" section below!
While we now have two Head Coaches, we will absolutely still need our families to help in MANY ways. Chiefly, we will still need a cadre of assistant coaches to help run practices and Meets in both programs. We will also need Head Timers in both Groups, and both age divisions within the Groups. And as always, Meets require at least two dozen adults to operate effectively, so in addition to assistant coaches who can help lead events, we will also need parent (and teen!) volunteers to help with timing, recording, and “cat-herding” between events. In effect, we need twice as many volunteers as before since we will now have two programs operating, but hopefully, we will also have more participants in the program, so there will be more of you available!
Your Cooperation, Patience, and Understanding
While we know the expansion is the right thing to do, and we think this structure is the best way to handle it, it is a first for the program, and there will be hiccups. We ask for your cooperation, patience, and understanding as we unfold our new approach, get our new Head Coach and volunteers up to speed, and work to accommodate as many kids as we possibly can into our expanded program. We know the schedule may be a bit confusing at times; we will do our part to communicate about it frequently and clearly, and we ask you to please help on your end by reading ALL emails and checking the website if you’re ever not sure about an event or age group’s time or place. We also ask that you PLEASE help keep everything running smoothly by coming ONLY to your family’s assigned practices and Meets. We know it will be tempting to come to the practice that’s closer, or the Meet that’s at the more convenient time (we know nobody’s thrilled about Sunday morning Meets – including us!). But, it will take everyone’s cooperation to make this system work, so while we will evaluate and tinker as we go, we ask everyone to stick with the program “as written” for the season.
We think this email has been long enough, so except for reminding you that Registration will open on Saturday, January **20th** at 9:00 am, we won’t provide any additional detail at this time. But not to worry: next week, we will both email and publish to the website the details for the registration process this season, the season’s tentative schedule (subject to getting all facility permits as requested from the Count), and everything else you might need to know to decide if and how to join us this Spring.
See you around the track – VERY soon!
The (Expanded) MYTF Team
The Fall 2017 Season Newsletter is now available! We will have print copies available at practices and Meets that you can hang on the fridge, but please feel free to peruse this advance copy in .pdf. A special thank you to Island Children's Dentistry and Adaptable Minds for their newsletter sponsorship!
https://s3.amazonaws.com/files.leagueathletics.com/Images/Club/7301/MYTF Fall 2017 Orientation Flyer v2.pdf
Our Spring 2017 Season Newsletter is also available, for those who would like to get a sense of our program.