They say that coaches always work backwards – ie decide on the principal fixture that year and then come back four or five or six weeks for the racing season up to that point, then another four or five weeks back for the pre-season sharpening, then before that we have the strength, conditioning and technique work to be done.   So far so obvious but to get it right they then discuss the coming summer in October or November of the year before that.   The New Year starts on 1st October for track and field athletes – or it did when the Scottish championships were on a regular date in June.   To emphasise that, I once gave a couple of athletes a New Year card on 1st October rather than January.   It is however a good principal in athletics, as in life generally to plan ahead.

The Olympic Games this year are in the last week of July and the first three weeks of August.   Youngsters and adults alike will be inspired to take up the sport, or to come back to an event or events that they used to like doing.   The Olympics are therefor a great recruiting period.   If we wait until the Games are on us, and they soon will be, it will be too late to capitalise on this great opportunity.    Why not set up a ‘Come and Try’ week for Clydesdale Harriers only at St Peter’s?   Advertise it in schools and sports centres – get an article or two in the local papers.    These things always work.    We need to plan ahead and with only 10 weeks to go the requirement is urgent.

Which brings me to another point – the track is only four lanes and can only take a limited number at any time.   We will find it very difficult to increase the capacity without ending the “all who will may enter” policy and say that the track is let to our club and no other at least for the summer season.   It is a home track for only one club.   Can you imagine what it will be like if all our seniors, all our young athletes and any newcomers have to share the track with the same numbers from another club or clubs?   It will do no justice to anyone.   It would be different with eight lanes but four would make it almost impossible.   Plan ahead and restrict the number of guest athletes allowed at any one time.   Say 10 or 12 max from any other club or clubs.

Still on the looking ahead theme: the Press reports serve two purposes – reviewing the last weekend’s results and previewing the coming weekend’s events.   This could also be done on this website.   With the Scottish track and field championships coming up, I have seen no preview or mention of the athletes competing on the website.   If we don’t know what’s coming up how can we go to support and cheer them on?   Everybody needs encouragement – tell us in advance what the weekend’s fixtures are.   More specific than a general list of dates which doesn’t say who is going to be there.

Look ahead, plan ahead.