Instructing the young participants, were cross country and track and field coach Mike Mead, and his assistants Edlin Veras, Job Kemboi and Wilson Louima.
“The camp is not sports specific but it covers all of the sports in a generic sense,” Mead said. “I usually tell them unless you’re playing golf or bowling there is some sort of running involved in most of the sports you participate in.”
On the first and last day of camp, the kids were timed on their 40-yard and 100-yard dashes, the shuttle run, and tested in the standing long jump and vertical jump. During the days in between, the kids are guided through agility drills to improve footwork and mechanics.
“We try to give them a structure throughout the whole week as far as showing them warm-up activities,” Mead said. “Doing a little running. Drill them on form drills. Try to improve their mechanics to be more efficient as a runner.”
“We show them exactly how to run and all the proper techniques,” said Louima, who is a member of the men’s track team. “It is the same thing that we are doing.”
For example last Thursday, Louima and Veras explained to the group the correct stance before taking off towards the finish line.
“This is my third year doing the speed camp,” Veras said. “It’s a lot of fun being with the kids and interacting, taking on the big brother role even though it’s a short period. The kids rely on you for things and it’s good to give back.”
“We try to have our athletes involved,” Mead said. “I think that is good for them, particularly if they have an interest in teaching down the road. The other reason I like to have them involved is because of the training they are currently doing. They are a little more up on some of the more current things in training, throwing in a little nugget here and there is helpful too.”
The kids also were also able to do some resistance running, which has become a camp favorite.
“The popular drill has always been the parachutes,” Mead said. “Initially, they think they are going to fly or jump off of the building. But overall they just want to make sure the chute is not dragging on the ground.”
At the conclusion of camp, the kids received awards for improvements and handouts, which explained the reason behind the activities. The final speed development camp will start next Monday.