The Warren County Middle School track team has a need for speed.
WCMS track coach Scott Pritt is hoping to give his runners a leg up on the season with a three-day Speed Camp at Nunley Stadium. The camp began Monday and concludes Wednesday afternoon.
“An average runner with good mechanics can compete with some of the faster kids out there,” said Pritt, who is entering his second year as WCMS track coach. “The five things we emphasize are coordination, flexibility, strength, speed and endurance. It’s good for runners but it’s also helpful for kids who play other sports. It can help basketball players who are looking to jump higher to grab those rebounds. It can help baseball players looking for explosiveness so they can steal bases.”
Pritt has earned his Level 1 certification with USA Track and Field. He’s a physical therapist by trade who has been coaching track for around 12 years.
Pritt says a proper warmup period is essential for avoiding injury. Technique and form addresses how the arms and legs should be working in unison. Acceleration drills concentrate on the first 2 to 4 seconds of a run. There are also exercises to build core strength.
“On the third day, we’ll film the kids running and go over the fundamentals of what they can do to improve,” said Pritt.
Pritt had the privilege of coaching Dyson Elam his first year in Warren County. Elam soared to a first-place finish in the state high jump last year as an eighth-grader.
Pritt would like to generate more interest in track and field and encourages any middle school student to give it a try. Students who attend Morrison, Centertown, Irving College, Eastside, and Dibrell are welcome to participate on the WCMS track team.
“I’m going to make a round and visit all the schools that feed the WCMS program,” said Pritt. “I’d like to have an informational meeting with students and tell them about our team. When I tell kids about track, they all say the same thing. They don’t want to run laps all day. Well it’s much more than running laps. You’re not going to get run to death.”
Pritt says he would like to hold another Speed Camp in October.