In life, there are small successes like acing a test or getting a hit in a ball game. Then there comes a big success like the ADM track and field future champions camp put on July 8 through July 11.
Over 100 kids in grades K through ninth participated in the first-ever such youth track and field camp at ADM. The main goal of the camp was to provide a fun experience for younger kids to learn and grow within the sport of track and field. Those who attended received coaching in various events from certified high school coaches along with current and former ADM track and field athletes. Coaches from coach Bart Mueller to Jesse Hunt and current athletes from Tate Stine-Smith to Nate Mueller were present to provide what many parents were thrilled about.
“This was a great idea that was well executed,” began one ADM youth track participant parent. “My daughter has never had as much fun with the sport of track and field as she has these past couples of days.”
Various stations were set up all across the track as the first three days of the camp were formatted like practices. The fourth and final day of camp was set up like a meet day with proper preparation techniques and more.
“We wanted to set things up in a similar fashion to what they might see entering middle school and high school,” said boys track and field coach Jesse Hunt. “We wanted the young kids to learn about some of the ins and outs of the sport like how to properly prepare for a race and so forth. The little things go a long way towards a successful athlete of any sport and we’d like to start helping out with that now.”
With 103 total kids, it was a busy few days filled with a lot of learning that all boiled down to a fundamental level, something coach Hunt stressed when putting the camp together.
“Right alongside having fun in the sport is building up the fundamentals for each of the kids,” began Hunt. “The earlier kids learn the proper technique the better off they will be when they take on the sport when they’re older. Even if they don’t take up the sport of track and field, building up the fundamentals of running will have a huge impact on practically any sport played.”
Now a camp such as this isn’t complete without cameos of some current high school stars who have showcased their skills on the highest of stages within the state of Iowa. For the ADM future champions camp, such individuals who took on the Iowa high school state track meet were present in the form of sophomores Tate Stine-Smith, Nate Mueller, and others. Coach Hunt saw a benefit in having track and field stars like Mueller and Stine-Smith take part in the event far beyond just having an extra set of hands.
Growing up these younger kids probably watched these guys at the state track meet and so forth,” began Hunt. “It’s beneficial to have them at the camp for a multitude of reasons. First from the fun aspect. When they see those like Tate and Nate helping them out after taking on the state meet means a lot of fun for them. Second is that they get the chance to see up close the techniques, the angles, the preparation needed to be successful.”
Until the future champions of tomorrow reach their time, they’ll go home happy knowing they’ve been a part of something great and successful in its own right.