The Solano Thunderhawks cross country program:
- Early September to early December
- Month-To-Month basis
- For ages 7 to 17 years old
- For experienced and novice athletes
- Practices held on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30PM to 6:00PM until time change, then moved to 4:00PM - 5:30PM
- Practices generally held at Lagoon Valley Park in Vacaville
- Meets held on select Sundays throughout Northern California during the season
- Periodic special Saturday practices and other running events or activities
- $50.00 per individual or $75.00 per family (2 or more athletes) per month
What to Expect
The "General Conditioning" phase of training occurs during the first several weeks of the season. The athletes will work on improving their endurance, strength, coordination, biomechanics, and flexibility through a variety of drills and activities. The "Competition Preparation" phase focuses on improving endurance, introducing speed work, and gaining an understanding of the fundamentals of cross country such as starts, running tangents, hill running, passing, and finishes.
During the various "Competition" phases of training during the season, the athletes will focus more time on improving speed through repetition and technique refinement.
The Solano Thunderhawks have team members of varying ages and physical abilities. As such, we will often break the team up into two sub-groups at practices:
- Thunder Chicks: The Thunder Chicks are an awesome group of some of our youngest athletes, or those who still need time to focus on the fundamentals such as endurance, strength, coordination, biomechanics, and flexibility. The drills and activities for the Thunder Chicks are designed to be challenging, but also fun and inspire growth and development.
- Thunderhawk Elite: The Thunderhawk Elite are for those athletes, regardless of age, who have demonstrated not only physical ability, but also responsibility, accountability, dedication, and desire. The Thunderhawk Elites are challenged through difficult drills and activities, and receive more one-on-one coaching, which will help prepare them for the rigors of top-level competition.
All athletes are expected to arrive to practice on time and prepared, which includes:
- Having gone potty before leaving the house
- Well hydrated throughout the day, and not just right before practice
- Had a carbohydrate snack prior to practice (not protein as it can cause gastrointestinal issues)
- Wearing appropriate athletic wear for the forecasted weather
- Wearing well fitted running shoes that are not worn out
Hydration (water and electrolytes) are provided at practice. Athletes are also welcome to bring their own hydration as well.
For the concern of the health and safety of the athletes, only those athletes who have received advanced approval from coaching staff may wear cross country spikes at practice.
Cross country season practices are primarily held at Lagoon Valley Park in Vacaville. The team will also utilize other local and regional parks during the course of the season for certain practices such as Al Patch Track and Centennial Park in Vacaville, and Rockville Hills Regional Park in Fairfield.
The Thunderhawks exercise a number of health and safety precautions to mitigate possible illness and injury of our athletes:
- All coaching staff are required to complete and maintain compliance with USATF "SafeSport" program
- Should a child require to go to the bathroom, they will be escorted to the exterior of the building by a coach and at least one other teammate
- A first aid kit is maintained at all practices with a list of emergency contact numbers
- At least one coach must have a working cell phone throughout practice
- As warranted, coaching staff will discuss safety measures with athletes and establish safety parameters with field implements or other potential safety hazard
- Hydration jugs are washed weekly with hot water and soap, and are taped to prevent the tops from being open during practices
- Athletes who are not picked up timely by parents will be supervised by coaching staff until pick-up
The Solano Thunderhawks participate in a number of club, USATF and AAU meets throughout Northern California. Their is no obligation to attend the meets. Athletes compete against age-group peers. Fees for the meets are typically less than $10.00 per athlete. The meets generally follow a standard schedule:
- 8:00AM - 9:00AM - Registration
- 9:00AM - 10:00AM - Course Walk
- 10:00AM - Races begin with youngest to oldest age groups
The meets typically run until early afternoon. The meets are held at a variety of public parks and schools in Northern California.
The Thunderhawks encourage families to stay through the duration of the meet so that all athletes receive the support and encouragement of their teammates and parents. Below is a list of recommended items to bring to the meets:
- Pop-up tent (if inclement weather is forecasted)
- Snacks and beverages
- Cash for vendors
- Blankets or layered clothes
- Books, magazines, games and toys to pass time