Why College Track and Field?
A surprising number of most international elite track and field athletes have come through the US College ranks! College track in the USA is a great way to continue to develop as an athlete while getting a university degree at the same time.
On top of everything else, student-athletes learn to work and thrive in a team environment, which alters and shapes them into well-rounded, unselfish, team-oriented, and driven individuals. These qualities will help you be successful, whether on or off the track.
Unlike other college sports, most track & field coaches will be very upfront about what time or mark you will need to make their team and get a scholarship. There are about 1,050 universities (Women) and 950 universities (Men) that offer a track & field program in the USA. Depending on your level, you can receive up to a full scholarship that covers; tuition, rent, living expenses, and sometimes even attractive pocket money.
In addition to track & field scholarships, an athlete can qualify for academic scholarships (through grades and test scores) and international scholarships. It is possible to get a combination of the different types of scholarships.
The following items can be covered by a scholarship:
vary from $10000,- to $65000,-
It is mandatory to have health insurance and some schools require international students to take a school’s policy.
How are practice and season structured?
The training schedule is characterized by high intensity and the coaching staff often includes several assistants. You will get amongst other things, personalized training gear with your school’s logo and have access to top-class facilities and resources like physiotherapy, weight rooms, and more.
Most track teams have 50-60 athletes on their team and besides the classic disciplines like speed competitions, high jump, and shot put, there are also more recent disciplines such as decathlon and heptathlon that allow a greater number of athletes to obtain scholarships.
The season is broken down into an indoor and outdoor seasons. During each season, teams compete against other universities at several different track ‘meets’ (tournaments). At the end of the regular season, the top-ranked teams will qualify for the conference tournament in which you can qualify for the National tournament.
Overview of an academic year
Showtime! – The season begins with indoor meets at the beginning of the Spring and will end with the National indoor tournament. This is quickly followed by a shift to outdoor meets until the National Championships officially close the college season in mid-June.
Summer break – There is a possibility to stay in The USA and take summer classes or work in camps. Most students decide to go back to their families to enjoy the 2.5-month break to rest and individual preparation for pre-season.
Day in the life of a student-athlete
Sports & academics are 100% coordinated, so you have the opportunity to excel on both the track as well as in the classroom.
get ready for the
Shower and then have breakfast with teammates or friends in one of the dining facilities on the college campus.
Lunch with teammates and friends, again at one of the various food halls available on campus using your prepaid ‘meal plan’ card.
Arrive at the training room to prepare for practice. You may get stretched out or taped by an athletic trainer (physiotherapist)
Back to the training room to make sure you take care of yourself physically after practice (ice bath/physical therapy). After taking a shower, you will have dinner with teammates and friends.
Time to get some studying or homework done. When other sports teams are in action, a good College athlete supports their fellow athletes! The rest of the evening is your own!
Did you know?
- During the summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro in 2016, 46 college athletes from 34 different universities were competing in one or more events.
- Track & Field Ambassador Anna Sjoukje was Dutch National Junior Champion in both the 100m and 100m hurdles and had competed at the European and World Junior Championships before she went to Miami University
- The first modern college track meet was held between Oxford and Cambridge in England in 1864.
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