Team Handbook- Parent Edition

More comprehensive information/full documents can be downloaded here:

Track and Cross Country Team Handbook Important Iron Information Addendum
Team Pact/Attendance Policy  Attendance FAQ's
'Freshmen Cheat Sheet'  

About the Coaches
Head Coach Andrew Adelmann (XC and Track, Coach Adelmann ran at nearby Lemont High School and Loyola University Chicago before taking over as head coach for both cross country and track in 2009.  Coach Adelmann is the Diverse Learners Department Chair, as well as a teacher within the department here at Jones
Each year captains and mentors are selected by the coaching staff.  Captains/mentors can be of any grade and are selected based on their commitment, leadership and communication skills.  The student leaders speak on behalf of the coaching staff and should be treated as such.  Any questions or issues should be brought to the captains/mentors and every member of the team should have their captain or mentor's phone number.  Athletes should contact their captain/mentor first whenever they are running late or have logistical questions.  Every freshman will be assigned a mentor upon his joining of the team to help provide additional support in his transition
The coaching staff believes in tailoring training to fit each individual runner and a focus on long-term success through consistent, gradual improvement.  Every runner is considered an equal on the team.  This had led to success at numerous levels from freshmen city titles to a varsity state title.  
The coaching staff believes in open and honest communication between team members and an open door policy.  Athletes are welcome to provide input, but should remember the final decision rests with the coaches.  For example, athletes should say "I don't feel well, do you think I should run this event" versus "I'm not running this event".  Similarly reports of an injury should be "my shin is bothering me, can we talk about the workout today" not "I'm riding the bike because I'm injured". We also encourage communication from parents as often times student athletes do not convey all important information.  We are flexible as long as we are made aware of situations.
There are no shortcuts in cross country and track and to be successful athletes must be fully committed.  We meet as often as is legally allowed per IHSA rules to make sure our athletes are fully prepared for success.  While not mandatory, summer and winter conditioning are strongly encouraged for athletes to see growth and improvement.  We respectfully request that parents allow their student athletes to attend these practices as much as possible.  During the season we strictly enforce our attendance policy (see the attendance page).  
Running is a sport which requires consistency and dedication, and as such, it is important that all athletes be at practice.  While running by yourself is better than not running, it is not the same as running with your teammates under the supervision of the coaching staff.  Team members are allowed 4 excused absences and 1 unexcused absence.   Excused absences are at the discretion of the coaching staff and must be approved ahead of time.  
Examples of excused absences may include: Family emergencies, college visits, doctor/dentist visits, school field trips, weddings, funerals etc.  Unexcused absences include: Any absence when the coaches are not notified, absence for a non-approved activity, extreme tardiness, failure to be properly prepared for practice (dressed, hydrated, rested, etc.), over-sleeping, absence due to detentions or AIL status or any other absence the coaching staff feels is not justified. Exceeding these absences will lead to removal from the team or meet suspension(s).  
NOTE: The coaching staff decides what is an excused absence.  Athletes must contact the coaching staff directly tp have an absence excused
It is the expectation of the coaching staff that students will handle both their academic and athletic responsibilities.  While school should come first, it is not an excuse for missing practice.  Athletes should utilize time in the mornings and in academic lab to get tutoring, and should be staying ahead on their work as to not have to miss practice for homework or projects.  Students who cannot balance school and running must choose school and will be removed from the team.  
It is important that athletes run 6 days a week and as such the team will practice on any Saturday when a meet is not being held.  While the coaching staff will be a little more flexible on granting excused absences on Saturdays they will be counted for attendance purposes like any other day.  
Attendance at meets is mandatory and failure to show up to a meet will result in immediate removal from the varsity team.  Athletes are expected to remain at meets for the entire duration of the meet.  Excused absences for meets will be extremely rare and absolutely must be discussed at least 2 weeks ahead of time except in cases of absolute emergency.  Athletes are expected to schedule vacations, standardized testing, appointments etc. around the meet schedule.    
Being on time is an expectation of all athletes, especially on meet days.  Athletes should be ready to run at the time practice is scheduled to begin.  They should notify a captain ASAP if there are any delays but the bus will not wait more than 10 minutes.  Excessive tardies will be lead to meet suspension and/or team dismissal.


Students must be in good standing with the school both in terms of academics and discipline.  The coaching staff strictly enforces the school policies and will not make exceptions.  JCP XC and T&F team members are student-athletes and must complete their academic requirements first.  In addition to the school policies the coaching staff reserves the right to place students on probation for unsatisfactory grades or behavior and/or remove athletes from the team.  In addition, reports of misbehavior in school may result in disciplinary action on the team, including extra work, meet suspensions and team dismissal.  Students who are struggling academically should seek help from the coaching staff, teammates, teachers and other school resources.  The team itself has contained several school valedictorians and contains many straight A and AP students who can help struggling students.  Athletes must also be up to date on their attendance and on running log (see next section) to be eligible for meets. 
Running Log
All athletes are required to complete a running log daily.  The log allows the coaching staff to better prevent injuries, modify training to achieve better results, identify patterns in running success and plan future goals and training.  Athletes must make an account at the team website.  Daily logs should include each of the following:
  • The time and distance of the run.  If you do not know the time do not estimate.  If you do not know the distance then try to estimate one but note that it is estimated.
  • Who you ran with and all mile splits (including workout splits for workouts)
  • The weather/conditions and how you felt.
  • Make special note of any unusual feelings, injuries, vomiting etc.
In addition to the above, athletes should add the following for logging races.  This will greatly help athletes fine-tune their races and improve their times.  
  • What you ate the night before and morning of the race
  • Your time and place and if possible splits.  
  • How you felt before, during and after the race
  • 1 positive of your race and 1 thing you think you could improve
Failure to complete the running log will result in meet suspensions and/or removal from the varsity team.  
Athletes must wear watches for every practice to ensure that they are training at the proper level.  Athletes are encouraged to purchase watches with a split function so they may record splits as they run.  It is strongly suggested that athletes buy a few cheap watches in case they lose one.  Athletes who lose or forget a watch should borrow one from a teammate- it is not the coaching staff's responsibility to find athletes a replacement.  Watches should be worn to all practices and meets.  Watches cannot be worn during competition and may result in disqualification.      
Replacing uniforms is a serious cost to the team.  We beg you to please take proper care of the uniforms. The uniforms and warmups are delicate and have specific washing instructions.
Please wash them on cold by themselves and tumble or air-dry.  Please hang warmups so they are not wrinkled.
Uniforms/warmups are property of the team and should be properly cared for.  Athletes will be responsible for the full cost of a uniform or warmup if they are lost or damaged beyond normal wear and tear.  All uniforms and warmups have a number which is recorded when the uniform is signed out.  Each athlete is responsible for the return of that specific number.  Uniforms must be carefully washed following the proper instructions.
Uniforms and warmups are only to be worn at races by the athletes competing.  They should never be worn to school.  If a meet is held after school they should be put on after school.  They are never to be worn during practice except in the case of an approved time trial.  The uniform and warmups should be worn with pride- when you wear them you represent JCP XC and T&F and should behave as such.  No garments should be worn over the uniform and only approved hats/beanies should be worn with them.  When getting off a bus or accepting awards the warmups should be fully zipped.  
Athletes are expected to warmup in the full warmups until immediately prior to the race.  On days that are excessively hot athletes may run instead in an approved t-shirt but should never warm up in just the uniform as this indicates that the athlete is currently competing to race officials.  Shirts/singlets must be worn at all times at all competitions. 
At many meets athletes wear stickers with numbers to identify them.  It is imperative that stickers be removed immediately following the race to avoid damage. 
JCP XC and Track athletes run all year long and as such face a variety of conditions.  The priority is always safety and no athlete will ever be expected to run when conditions are unsafe.  In general, as long as runners are properly equipped, there are very few days when practice must be outright cancelled or runners must stay inside.  
Cold Weather- Outside practice is typically cancelled when it is below 8 degrees Fahrenheit or when there is a wind chill of -10 below zero.  As long as travel conditions are not affected, practice is usually held indoors (stair workouts etc.) Above those temperatures athletes are permitted to run outside as long as they are properly equipped.  Some athletes may be more sensitive to cold than others and should speak with the coaches if weather is a concern.
The most important gear for cold weather are hats and gloves.  Runners lose far more heat through the head and hands than they do in shins and forearms.  On very cold days sweatshirts and running pants are also recommended.
Hot Weather- On days of extreme heat, practice will usually be moved to early morning or late evening to avoid the hottest parts of the day and runs are usually cut short.  With proper hydration there are very few times when it is too hot to run at all.  In cases of extreme heat athletes should ease down on mileage and pace. 
The best way to stay cool is to wear loose fitting clothes made damp in cold water.  This helps remove heat more than running shirtless. Runners should always run in pairs or packs to keep an eye on each other and should stop in shaded areas if feeling overheated.  It is essential that athletes hydrate properly before running in heat
Please refer to the weather guidelines section for more detail information/expectations
The Seasons
Cross Country
The official cross country season runs from mid-August to the state championship race in early November.  The first few weeks of official practice are mandatory for returning runners and begin before the school year. During the season practice occurs immediately after school from roughly 3:30 to 5:30 each day.  Some days, especially Mondays, sometimes run longer as the team discusses the previous meet and completes the week's long run.  Saturdays are either a race day or a practice.  Sundays are always an off day from organized events.  The regular season runs from the end of August to the Chicago Public League championships in mid-October.  After that only varsity athletes on the championship teams (see below) compete in the IHSA series.  The IHSA series takes place on 3 consecutive weekends: Regionals, Sectionals and the State Championships.  The state championships are usually held the first week of November.  It is important that varsity athletes not miss any part of the state series - DO NOT plan on taking the ACT during this time. A competitive intra-team time trial is usually run for all non-state bound athletes the week before the state meet.  
The track season runs from Mid-January to Mid-May and is composed of the indoor season (Mid-January to mid-March) and the outdoor season (Mid-March to Mid-May).  Track practices follow the same schedule though there are sometimes weekday meets.  Track meets are generally more limited in spots so not all athletes run every meet.  May usually consists of the championship season in which only 2 athletes may compete per event.
Both cross country and track websites contain season calendars that are kept updated as much as possible.  The calendars contain the names, date and times of meets, a link to directions to the location of the meet and a meet sheet.  The meet sheet is usually posted the night before and contains an approximate schedule of events, who is running what event and more.  Athletes and parents are encouraged to look at the meet sheet regularly and athletes are provided with a paper copy.   
Championship Teams
Both track and cross country culminate in a "championship season" which consists of the Chicago Public League Championships, IHSA Regional and/or Sectional Championships and the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) state championship.  Rosters for championship season are limited and are a coaching decision carefully made by the coaching staff based on a number of factors.  The number one factor will always be the potential for team success.  This itself is based off of previous best times, consistency in races, execution of strategy, quality of workouts, health, diet and sleeping patterns and more. 
The Chicago Public League holds Cross Country City Championships at 3 levels: Frosh/Soph, Varsity and Open/JV for boys and girls.  Each team consists of 7 runners.  See the description of cross country rules below.  The IHSA State Cross Country series is a varsity competition.  A roster of 14 runners of any age is set before the series begins, 7 of whom can race at each event.  All teams are invited to regionals.  The top 6 teams from each regional qualifies to the sectional meet.  The top 5 teams from each sectional qualify to the state championships in Peoria.   
The Chicago Public League holds Track City Championships at 2 levels: Frosh/Soph and Varsity for boys and girls.  At each meet a team may enter 2 athletes in every individual event and 1 team in each relay event.  The IHSA State Track series is a varsity event.  Teams may enter 2 athletes in every individual event and 1 team in each relay event.  The top 2 in each race qualify for the state championships in Charleston.  In addition there are auto-qualifying standards; if an athlete achieves the standard at the sectional meet they automatically qualify regardless of their place in the event.  
Summer/Winter Running
While summer and winter running are not mandatory they are strongly encouraged.  Success in cross country and track require consistency and runners will not achieve maximum success without training year round.  While athletes will not be removed from the team for not running during the offseason, it may affect coaching decisions such as meet lineups, team awards, and captaincy choices.  Mileage will be assigned for the offseason and informal meet ups with and without the coaching staff will take place as much as possible per IHSA regulations.  Note that Spring Break falls in the middle of the track season and both practices and competitions will still be held. Please refer to the FAQ section for more information, as well as the attendance sectioin. Runners are still expected to log their runs during the offseason.  
Athletes are expected to represent Jones with class and character and are held to a high standard of sportsmanship.  Athletes should use proper language, respect their competitors and the officials.  Athletes should never gloat or celebrate excessively nor should they display their discontent when having a bad race.  Unfortunately public schools in the city have a poor reputation with the rest of the state - we aim to change that.  Athletes not displaying proper sportsmanship may face disciplinary action including meet suspensions.