The first week of practice is always an exciting and nerve racking time for a coach. In many ways I look at the first week of track and field like Christmas. Every season I get to enjoy all the pleasant surprises I get from new athletes who decide to join our team. However, the first week is very stressful with all the things a coach must get accomplished. The first week requires a lot of paper work and no coach likes paperwork! More importantly as a coach the first week you are a teacher!!! Just like in a classroom you must set group expectations, norms, and routines. If you don’t do this week one it will be increasingly difficult to put this culture into place later. Planning is always a must so things can go smoothly as possible. The first week is not a time to coach by Feel. Just as you are making evaluations about your new and returning athletes those athletes are making the same evaluations about you. At our school we try to evaluate our athletes with a number of different methods which include but are not limited to the USATF testing batteries along with other skill challenges. We usually only have one real workout week one. Due to the economy our school has falling enrollment and changing demographics leading to decreased participation school in all sports. Understanding the new world we live in it’s very important to make sure you work hard to get the kids to smile and find value in their hard work to keep our sport alive.