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Team Overview*
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“Thank you for choosing the Blue Lightning Track Club – Where Champions Are Made!

Our Mission

To expose youth to the exciting sport of track and field and foundations of speed, strength, and endurance, and to develop Champions on the track, in the classroom, and community.

Table of Contents

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1. About The Blue Lightning Track Club
2. Coaching Philosophy
3. Are Coaches and Staff Background-checked?
4. Competition Age Groups
5. Events
6. Track Seasons
7. What is the difference between the indoor and outdoor track?
8. Practice
9. What type of shoes are needed to run?
10. Can I come to a practice to meet the team before joining?
11. Can I participate if I play another sport?
12. Team Schedule / Calendar
13. Registration
14. What is a Blue Lightning Test Drive & Evaluation?
15. How much does a Club Membership cost
16. What is a Competition fee?
17. Travel, Lodging, and Food
18. What is Conditioning Training Only?
19. Uniforms
20. How can Sports improve academic performance

The Blue Lightning Track Club, formed in 2013, is an approved AAU and USA Track and Field youth club based in Conyers, GA. The club is led by Head Coach Steve Strother, a graduate of Auburn University and Certified Double-Goal Coach with the Positive Coaching Alliance, 4-time NCAA All-American, SEC Champion, 11-time All-SEC Sprinter at Auburn University, and New Rochelle, N.Y. Sports Hall of Famer. He competed and trained under a 2-time U.S. Olympic Team Head Coach, Mel Rosen, at Auburn University.

BLUE LIGHTNING TRACK CLUB COACHING STAFF

The Blue Lightning coaching staff brings world-class training methodologies to youth athletes. The coaching staff has more than 60 years of combined youth, collegiate, national, and international track and field experience.  

Our collective coaching staff is made up of SEC Champions, NCAA All-Americans, High School State Champions, Regional Champions, MVP Award Recipients, and Sports Hall of Famers. Professionally, we are business owners, consultants, managers, educators, counselors, HR personnel, community advocates, and project managers. For more detail and to meet our coaching staff, click here

In addition to exposing youth to the exciting world of track and field and current training fundamentals for speed, strength, and endurance, we emphasize a positive and motivational team environment. We do not have a win-at-all-cost approach, and we put the well-being and personal development first of every athlete first. Mentoring is an essential part of our coaching philosophy. 

We focus on developing a Champion mindset within each athlete and bringing out their best on the track, in the classroom, and, most importantly, in their communities. 

Our coaching philosophy has produced 37 National Junior Olympians in three seasons, with 21 in 2019. In 2017, 100% of Blue Lightning Track Club athletes qualified for the AAU National Junior Olympics, and all were academic honor students.

We invite you to review our coach profiles by clicking the Coaches menu tab above.

Our coaches are background-screened by USA Track and Field and AAU associations.

The Blue Lightning Track Club is sponsored by 

  • Champion / GTM Sportswear
  • Interface Consulting
  • Kumon Learning Center of Conyers
  • Mini Smile Pediatric Dentistry
  • MyTrackPix Photo & Video
  • Smith, White, Webb & Welch Law Firm
  • Strother Marketing and Media

THE CHAMPIONS MANTRA

We refer to every athlete as a Champion and dedicate the entire season to developing and unleashing their inner Champion on the track, in the classroom, and community.

2. Coaching Philosophy

Coaching is through training cycles, which include nutrition, mentoring and mental training, strength, core development, speed, endurance, flexibility, running technique, event techniques, and energy systems education.

3. Are the coaches and staff background-checked?

A. Yes. Participating coaches have passed a background screening by AAU and USATF associations. The USATF Registered Coaches Program was conceived to establish a set of standards for all coaches affiliated with USA Track & Field. The program involves a four-pronged process, which results in a published list of coaches who have demonstrated the ethics, honesty, and trustworthiness necessary for endorsement by the national governing body. The centerpiece of the process is a comprehensive SafeSport Handbook, which focuses on only the highest ethical and honorable standards. Registered Coaches also carry with them the rights and privileges available only to those within the registry.

The Double-Goal Coach Certification with the Positive Coaching Alliance and a passed background check is required to be approved as a youth club coach for AAU. This is an excellent coach training program designed to facilitate coaching for winning and teaching life lessons. Steve Strother, Head Coach for the Blue Lightning Track Club has completed this certification.

4. We Coach Ages 6-18, Boys and Girls.

Competition Age divisions are listed by birth date.

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5. Events

Running Events

  • 100 Meters
  • 200 Meters
  • 400 Meters
  • 800 Meters
  • 1500 Meters
  • 3000 Meters
  • 80 Meter Hurdles
  • 100 Meter Hurdles
  • 200 Meter Hurdles
  • Race Walk
  • Relays (4×100, 4×200, 4×400, 4×800)

Field Events

  • Long Jump
  • High Jump
  • Triple Jump
  • Javelin
  • Turbo-Javelin
  • Shot Put
  • Discus

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6. Track Seasons

We Compete Over Three Seasons.

Indoor Track (Winter Track) (Dec-Feb). Practice begins on 11/2/19

  • The Indoor track is used as a fitness and developmental season to prepare for the Spring and Summer seasons.
  • There are only two indoor track facilities available to youth competitions close to GA, located in Birmingham, AL, and Columbia, SC.
  • Currently, we compete in 3-4 indoor competitive meets, located in Birmingham, AL, and Columbia, SC.
  • Local and National Competition
  • No qualifying standards to compete at these meets

Spring Track (Mar-May 31). Spring practice begins 1/8/20

  • This is the developmental season to prepare for the summer season
  • Seven competitive meets in the Atlanta-Metro area
  • Athletes from the Southeastern U.S. will compete
  • No qualifying standards to compete at these meets

Summer Track (Jun-Jul 31) Summer practice begins 4/4/20

  • The Summer season (known as the Championship Season) includes the Junior Olympics, and prerequisite qualifying meets.
  • Six competitive meets in the Atlanta-Metro area
  • Local and National competition.
  • AAU and USATF National Junior Olympics.
  • Athletes must qualify through a series of meets to compete in the National Junior Olympics.

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7. What is the difference between Indoor and Outdoor Track?

Play

8. Practice

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Off-Season Conditioning (practice begins  Sep 14, 2019).
Winter (Indoor) Season (practice begins  Nov 2, 2019).
Spring Season (practice begins  Jan 8, 2020).
Summer Season (practice begins Apr 4, 2020).
  • Sat, 10:00-11:30 am – Earl O’Neal – 2710 Old Covington Rd, Conyers, GA 30013 (Fall)
  • Sun, 2:00-3:30 pm – Earl O’Neal – 2710 Old Covington Rd, Conyers, GA 30013 (Fall)
  • Tue, 7:00-8:30 pm – Newton H.S. 1 Ram Way, Covington, GA 30014
  • Fri, 6:00-7:30 pm – Newton H.S. 1 Ram Way, Covington, GA 30014

Note: There are times when the practice location or time must be changed because of weather or conflict of facility availability. For this reason, we use Groupme.com for up-to-minute practice and team information. As a Blue Lightning Track Club member or training-only customer, you will be added to our Groupme.com text system. Please view our team calendar here.

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9. What Type of Shoes Are Needed To Run?

What type of shoes are needed to run?

A.  An athlete will need two types of shoes, one for practices and another for competitions. The shoe types depend on your athlete’s event. For example, a sprinter needs a sprint track shoe (with spikes) designed for sprinting on synthetic tracks, and a middle-distance runner requires a middle distance track shoe with or with or without spikes depending on the event. There are also special competition shoes for field events, like for the shot put and javelin. In general, every athlete will need two types of shoes, one for practices and another for competitions.  (See recommended shoe samples to purchase here)

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10. Can I participate in a practice as a test-drive of the Blue Lightning Track Club?

A. Yes, your athlete may participate in one practice before making a decision to join, but you must sign a Liability Waiver before practicing with us (download here). Table of Contents | Return to top

11. Can I participate in the Blue Lightning Track Club if I play another sport?

A. An athlete may participate in another sport during the same season as track and field but it is not recommended. Many of the issues with playing another sport in the same season include time-conflicts, missed coaching and development, lack of rest, and recovery which can lead to injuries.

Note: if the other sport is a middle or high school track and field team, please make the head coach aware so he may coordinate practices that complement the athlete’s training to avoid overworking them.

Blue Lightning athletes are required to attend practice and track meets. Track meets are typically all day Saturday, and sometimes Sunday. During the Fall, practices are on the weekend; however, during the competition season, practice days are during the week.

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19. Team Uniforms

Team uniforms are being redesigned for 2019.- Competition uniform purchased separately – $90 (new 2019 compression speed suit w/ top and bottoms and team logo)

– Sweat Suit (jacket and pants) + team t-shirt – $95 (new 2019)

20. How can sports Improve Academic Performance?

Decades of studies show the link between sports and improved academic performance, self-esteem, and confidence (see links to a few). Physically active people remain healthier and are able to perform better on tests of cerebral or intellectual ability.

A study of 317 middle school students by James Pivarnik and colleagues at the American College of Sports Medicine discovered that the fittest kids scored nearly 30 percent higher on standardized tests than the least-fit group.

Los Angeles Unified School District conducted a study on 35,000 student athletes which showed that students average 21 more days of school attendance per year than their counterparts, while they also achieved GPAs some 0.55 to 0.74 points higher than non-athletes.

“What was proven is that students in our schools who participate in athletics attend school significantly more often, have higher GPA’s and score higher on the CST’s in both English and Math, when compared to the rest of the student body,” according to a memo sent to Los Angeles Unified School District schools from Barbara Fiege, the commissioner of athletics.

An integral success factor of students who scored higher was attributed to the intervention and guidance provided daily by qualified coaches, who understand the relationship between academic and athletic success.

Some of the major benefits and life skills of students participating in the Blue Lightning Track Club include –

  • a learned practice work-ethic applied to academics and other areas of responsibility.
  • improved self-esteem and confidence
  • leadership skills
  • motivation, improved goal setting, and developing perseverance
  • learning how to team and collaborate other others
  • positive outlook on what is an achievable
  • learning how to persist and bounce back from obstacles

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Indoor Season Practice begins, Nov 2, 2019


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