Slide YOUTH CLUB The USA Track & Field Foundation youth initiative seeks to support and expand high quality programs that attract diverse ethnic and socio-economic youth and that promote character building, education, active healthy and drug free behaviors, including event participation in track and field and cross country/road running. The USA Track & Field Foundation considers providing opportunities for youth athletes to compete in track & field, a top priority. We encourage youth track clubs and programs from all areas of the United States to apply for financial assistance. GRANT PROGRAM YOUTH CLUB GRANT PROGRAM Apply Today Donate Now The USATFF provides opportunities for youth athletes to compete in track & field. We encourage clubs and programs from all areas of the US to apply. Our youth initiative seeks to support high quality programs that attract diverse ethnic and socio-economic youth and that promote character building, education, active healthy and drug free behaviors, including event participation in track and field and cross country/road running. Donate Now Apply Today

Expand & Enhance

The Foundation favors the use of grant money to expand existing youth programs/clubs, to provide additional competitive opportunities for children and to enhance the experience for all participants. Preference is given to clubs that are based in low-income areas. It also favors programs that have a history of solid financial management, multiple funding sources and community support. Allowable expenses include equipment, uniforms, meet fees, travel, facility rental, staff and volunteer training, and outreach.

The USA Track & Field Foundation does not discriminate, in its youth club grant selection process, on the basis of race, color, national origin, creed, marital status, sex, disability, age, gender identity or sexual orientation of any club member or staff.

$1 Million+

TOTAL AWARDED SINCE 2006

509

GRANTS AWARDED TO YOUTH CLUBS

15,000

PARTICIPATING YOUTH RUNNERS

Slide USATF Foundation ODP With the 2028 Summer Olympics site solidified as Los Angeles, there is a new dream for youth runners—stand on the starting line representing the United States. The USATF Foundation aspires to assist youth athletes to live that dream. The USATF Foundation ODP provides a platform to assist the development of runners of all levels while delivering elite training with access to the best coaches and mentors in the sport. The USATF Foundation ODP was created in 2018 by the USATF Foundation under the leadership of Director Martin Dugard. The program’s mission is to inspire a movement across the country by providing an opportunity for youth distance runners to display their passion, commitment, and personal growth within the sport. ODP Apply Today Donate Now Created in 2018 under the leadership of Director Martin Dugard; the program’s mission is to inspire a movement across the country by providing an opportunity for youth distance runners to display their passion, commitment, and personal growth within the sport. Our ODP program seeks to assist the development of runners of all levels while delivering elite training with access to the best coaches and mentors in the sport. Our ODP program seeks to assist the development of runners of all levels while delivering elite training with access to the best coaches and mentors in the sport. Donate Now Apply Today

Benefits of the USATF Foundation ODP

  • Integrates USATF Foundation principles and mission
  • Creates opportunities for elite level training
  • Opportunity to meet like-minded athletes that are serious about their commitment to the sport
  • Allows ODP members to meet and work with Foundation Elite Grantees (post collegiate professionals ranked top 30 in the world and top 10 in the USA in their event)

Please note: The USATF Foundation ODP has initially been developed for youth distance runners but will be expanded to other track & field disciplines in the near future.

10 things to do during Covid

  • Work on mobility and stretching
  • Improve sleep habits
  • Focus on daily hydration
  • Be consistent in daily training
  • Easy days easy
  • Run trails or wide open spaces
  • Core every day
  • Improve running efficiency with form drill
  • Abolish mediocrity
  • Set new goals and figure out the ten steps it will take to achieve them.

Coaching Tips from Director, Martin Dugard

Make running fun.

First and foremost, running should be fun. Do not use running as a punishment. Encourage children to participate and try their best. Emphasize good technique. Teach youth good form early and help eliminate bad habits such as excessive arm movement, twisting of the upper body, or over striding.

Focus on participation and self-improvement.

In elementary school, running should be about participation and developing a healthy lifestyle, not about being the fastest kid in the school or program. Save competition for middle and high school aged students.

Consider individual differences.

Avoid a one-size-fits-all running program. Accommodate for differences in abilities within the group. Children mature both physically and emotionally at different rates, and this will factor into their ability to participate in running.

Limit systematic training and competition before puberty.

Before puberty children are rapidly growing and changing. Excessive, systematic training may interfere with normal growth and cause injury in a child. Between the ages of 3 and 9, encourage regular exercise, which can include organized running for fun as outlined in the Kids Run the Nation Program Guide for Teachers, Coaches, and Program Directors. Around the age of 8 to 12, children may enjoy participation in a more organized running program that has a more systematic training environment that lasts two to three months. Around the age of 12 for girls and 14 for boys, key developmental changes will enable students to slowly increase training distance and duration leading to participation in a systematic and competitive training environment.

Increase running workload gradually.

Running workload includes volume (distance), intensity (speed or effort), and frequency (number of days a week). Just like with adults’ running training, children should start a running program with a low-volume, low-intensity plan and limit frequency to a couple of days per week. Workload should increase over the duration of the program, but should remain appropriate for the individual runner.

Participate in age appropriate running events.

Running in a kid’s fun run or youth track event can be a great experience for kids. For children 5 and under focus on “dash” events that range from a few yards to 400 meters. For children 5 and over, kids fun runs that are a ½ to 1 mile long may be considered, but allow for a combination of running and walking. Children ages 12 and over may want to participate in a 5K run. Children ages 15 and older may want to participate in a 10K to half marathon event. Children 18 and older may want to participate in a marathon or further distance. These are general guidelines and the distance a child can physically and emotionally tolerate will depend on the individual, however longer distances (10K and over) should wait until after puberty.

SOURCE: Training for Young Distance Runners written by Larry Greene, PhD and Russ Pate, PhD

Gratitude From Our Youth Clubs

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The USA Track & Field Foundation provides a means to attract and guide funds to new and innovative track & field programs with an emphasis on providing opportunities for youth athletes, emerging elite athletes, and distance training centers. The Foundation depends upon donations from its Board of Directors, major gifts and from generous fans of track & field.

Elite athletes are supported by the Foundation via monetary grants and participation in Run With US! Youth athletes are supported via monetary grants to youth clubs.

For more information, or to contribute to the USA Track & Field Foundation, Click Here or contact Tom Jackovic at (412) 398-2484 or tjackovic@usatffoundation.org.