The headline for MileSplit.com on April 27 read: 22 First Round NFL Draft Picks Ran Track In High School. It is not a coincidence to see this, but merely a correlation of the results track and field can have on any athlete, no matter the sport. Speed on the track is very much indicative of the success an athlete can have in their respective sport. The article pointed out that of the 32 athletes in the first round 2017 NFL draft pick, only 10 athletes did not participate in track during their high school careers. The results can be even more of a shock when you learn that 15 of the 22 athletes were defensive players, and not just running backs and receivers like you may assume. Athletes from linemen to quarterbacks all experienced life on the track in one way or another.
Track & Field is more than just racing, jumping, or throwing far; it is about learning to move the body efficiently and effectively. Naturally gifted athletes are indeed blessed with numerous abilities, but those gifts can only get a person so far when working to be elite. One thing track & field offers is the development of technical and mechanical skills in movement. The better an athlete can move their body, the better they can produce forces to allow for quick, swift moves. The better an athlete can move their body, the better they can prevent injuries from the powerful, explosive movements that happen constantly on the field or court.
Another key component that track & field can help with is the development of mental resilience. Some of the fastest and strongest kids in track & field are not usually the ones who win the most. Success in track & field follows those athletes who are mentally tough, those who can endure the harsh and difficult training that come with the territory of track & field. Yes, football and basketball practices are grueling, but some of the best NFL and NBA players have come to professional track runners and stated that workouts are nothing compared to a track practice. Like the saying goes, “our daily workouts are your sport’s punishments.”
So if those two reasons, the development of proper body movement and the development of mental resilience, are not enough for you to find a great track program, then stay tune and we will be sure to give you even more reasons why track & field is life.