If you have any other questions, let me know!
Q: Where should I stand?
- Anywhere, as long as you aren’t on the actual track. You certainly don’t want to be the person the announcer is telling to get off the track, over the loudspeaker… either during or right before a race.
Q: When should I go say hi to my friend / family member?
- Personally, I don’t like it when friends or family come to talk to me before I race. I actually often tell my friends not to talk to me until after my race. I like to be focused on my next event, and not on chatting with friends.
- Be aware that they likely need to cool down after their race. Watch from afar. Don’t be afraid to walk up while they’re with their teammates.
- Also helpful if you know where they/their team is keeping their bags. You’ll likely be able to find them around there at some point.
Q: Can I yell their name while they’re running?
- Absolutely!! Yell loudly. All cheering is encouraged.
- How long should I wait, after they’re race is finished before I go say hi?
Q: Should I bring them cookies, for after their race?
- Ummm this is a tricky one. I want to say both yes and no to this. If you brought me a cookie at the very end of the track meet, I would absolutely accept it! But – if a friend came up to me with a freshly baked cookie and I still had races that day, I’d just be sad, and probably have to say no. And then I would think about how good that cookie probably was for the rest of the meet. Man, what a good friend that would bring me a cookie.
- You can always bring them protein drinks (ahem, like a Rumble), protein bars or Gatorade, instead of cookies.
- Don’t ask them if their throw/run/jump was “good enough” for the final. Find out how to look up results at the track meet (often found online) to see if they’ve qualified. This is usually pretty easy to do by typing in the track meet name, the year, and results into the ol' Google.
And the tricky question
Q: What if your friend didn't run/jump/throw as well as they would have liked?
- Ugh. This is definitely tricky. I still struggle with this if a teammate doesn't do as well as they would have liked. It really depends on the athlete. Some athletes just want to brush the race off, and you can say something like, "Don't worry, you'll get it next time", others will prefer "Hey, you worked hard, just had an unlucky race/throw/jump. It'll come together next time." And with others, you might say "Hey, you did your best, and that's what counts." You really have to kind of learn by doing, and see how it goes. But let them be grumpy for a bit ;)
All the best, and have fun cheering your friends / family / loved one on. I hope you'll all be watching CIS (or parts of it!)