Track & Field Dual Meets – Some Thoughts


The dual meet was the cornerstone of an athlete’s development for years in track & field. For a variety of reasons, the dual meet has all but disappeared in track and field at all levels. I have heard all the arguments for abandoning dual meets and I didn’t then or now ever agree with them. At the collegiate level the most prevalent argument is limited scholarships. What about getting walk-on’s? What about running less events instead of a full slate of events? Dual meets if used properly are keys to develop athletes, especially at the high school level. That gangly ninth or tenth grader given the opportunity to compete often turns into a smooth coordinated athlete as a senior. Without the opportunity to compete in dual meets how would you know and what would keep them motivated?

At the collegiate level the opportunity to run multiple events or to compete in other events than your specialty is invaluable. Last but not least dual meet s are inexpensive to run. If scheduled properly travel is minimal, overnight stays are not necessary. It is very basic; the dual meet was the cornerstone of American success in Track & Field for many years. Not nostalgia but reality. Given the current reality the dual meet can be the salvation of the sport.

I will devote a future GAINcast to this topic with an emphasis on the developmental aspects of the dual meet. Your ideas and feedback is always appreciated.

Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta


Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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Vern Gambetta

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