If plans go well, I will be at the Hilliard Davidson Relays tomorrow. "Plans go well" means reasonably good weather and some good competition. I believe the meet is all relays, which means alot of competitors to evaluate. That is good for me.
Track has been one of my favorite sports, not only to coach, but also to watch. If evaluating football players, you see alittle bit of everything.
Speed and burst is evident in the sprints and relays. In the relays, I also like to watch the exchanges and the toughness in the third and fourth legs. For me I like to watch the starts in the sprints. Here you get to watch how an athlete handles the stress and also he concentrates. Watching a football player run the straightaway in the 200 can tell you alot. Most people like the finish line, but the start can tell me alot about a football prospect.
The quarter-milers are an interesting group. Sometimes, in football a wide receiver runs a sub 4.5 once in a while. Quartermilers may never do that, but he usually runs a 4.65 everytime. Of course, we are talking about sub 50-second runners. The 4X400 team is usually made up of tough competitors. I like to see football players on that team.
Usually , not too many football players are into the distance races. Every once in a while, a football player may be in the 800, but not often.
The throwers can tell you alot about balance and explosion. Balance is really important in the discus. Good balance and explosion are important in the shot put. Biggness and strength are important in the throwing events, but quickness and explosiveness are more important. Also enjoy watching the attitude of the thrower both as he warms up and also as he competes. Will he compete and will he control his emotions.
The long jump is one of the best indicators of a football player's athleticism, speed and burst. Here, like all events, the real competitive drive of an athlete usually comes out. Long jumpers must also be able to adapt his speed to the weather and to the field conditions. Split decisions must be made while actually doing the jump.
Like the other events, watching the warm-ups, can tell me alot about a football player's character. Evaluating a prospect's character is one of the more important aspects of what I do. The prospect is competing in a different sport, but the true character of a young man usually does not change, regardless of the sport. Watching track meets is just another way to evaluate a college prospect.
Now if it is cold and rainy, I may skip the chance to evaluate football players. I love what I do, but sometimes reality must set in.