FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
This page contains a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and their answers.
Q1: Is Speed Unlimited an Elite Club? Are there tryouts?
A: Speed Unlimited is not an “Elite Club” in that it does not pose entry standards for prospectives to meet to gain entry. Speed Unlimited is a club which is focused on developmental and competitive athletes who are self-driven, and want to work (both smart and) hard to meet their goals.
There are no tryouts for Speed Unlimited. We are not an elite athlete program with selective participation criteria therefore athletes of all levels and experience are welcome to join. However, Speed Unlimited is also NOT a recreational track team. We are a developmental and competitive Track and Field/Cross Country team for committed athletes and families.
Upon your initial inquiry, you should be prepared to supply background information about your athlete’s fitness, sports history, or marks if the athlete has competed in Track and Field. Coaches use this information to assess and determine if we think an athlete will ultimately be a good fit for the program.
Q2: What if my athlete is not a good fit for the Speed Unlimited Program?
A: There are a number of clubs in the Seattle Puget Sound area including on the east side that cater to recreational athletes. Speed Unlimited is focused on developmental and competitive athletes. If you athlete is not ready for the type of training demands that Speed Unlimited requires, then there are other options we can discuss with you depending on your home area.
Q3: What does it mean to be a committed athlete’s club?
A: Being part of a committed athlete’s club means that every athlete and family in the program are fully committed to their participation in training and meets. We understand that participation in a variety of sports and activities is an important part of youth development. As such, some conflicts with practice and early-season development meets are OK and to be expected. However, if an athlete cannot commit to routinely attending regular training on Mon/Wed and most Saturdays, we ask that you do not register for the program. Missing routine training over the long term only creates frustration for the athlete, parents and coaches alike.
Additionally we ask that families review the team meet schedule. Athletes should be available for most developmental meets in May – early June ( in the spring season) or October (in the fall season for cross country). They should also be available and prepared to travel to compete at ALL Junior Olympic (JO) meets. See the Competitive Commitment Policy for more details.
Q4: What is the Competitive Commitment Policy (CCP)?
A: Our Competitive Commitment Policy highlights for all families the key meets and dates for each season. We do ask families to schedule family vacations and other activities around these key dates. Participation in the hallmark events each season is critical to full participation in Speed Unlimited. Athletes that cannot commit fully to participating (to the extent that they qualify) must seek an exception waiver from the Speed Unlimited board PRIOR to registration. Once registered, any conflict with these dates could result in an athlete being asked to leave the program.
Q5: It says that parents have to commit to volunteering. Is this true?
A: Yes. Speed Unlimited is a volunteer-led organization. None of our Coaches or Board, or Organizational staff are paid. As such, we ask that every parent volunteer to cover a task which is required to run the organization.
Q6: I missed registration, and now my athlete is wait listed. What does this mean? How does the Wait List work?
Each season Speed Unlimited caps the number of athletes that can participate in each training group in order to maintain high coach-to-athlete ratios. We do this to maintain the quality level of instruction that our program aims to provide. Once member registration reaches the initial cap, we activate the wait list.
We keep the wait list active for the first 2 weeks of each training season. If additional parent volunteer coaches step up to help or if any athletes withdraw from the program for whatever reason, the board will review our wait list and offer available spots to eligible athletes. Our wait-list is not first come first served but rather prospective athletes on the waitlist are evaluated on a comprehensive basis of both athlete and parent volunteer profile. The evaluation will also seek to ensure that age group and gender balance on the team is in line.
Q7: I Would like to get more involved, but i don’t know how to get plugged in?
A: There are a number of tasks that the club needs to have tended to in order for it run smoothly. Some of these tasks are larger,and require more full commitment, perhaps across the span of the season. Other tasks are small, but important, and can be accomplished every time you drop your athlete to the track, or sitting in your home at your computer for a couple of hours once a season.
We also have a VP of Volunteering on our Board who would be happy to help you get situated with a specific task. This individual can share with you all of the roles that require help, their descriptions and meet with you to answer your questions about the role.
Q8: Does Speed Unlimited Offer Financial Assistance with Member Dues for Athletes in need?
A: Yes. Speed Unlimited allocates a portion of it’s operating budget to support athletes in need. This includes reduce membership dues, and possible travel stipend to Junior Olympic Nationals meets. Please see a member of our board (President, Secretary, Treasurer) if you have any questions about this program.
Q9: What if I can’t travel to nationals? Can I still join Speed Unlimited?
A: Athletes that cannot commit fully to participation in all of the hallmark/required meets (to the extent that they qualify) must seek an exception waiver from the Speed Unlimited board PRIOR to registration. Once registered any conflict with these dates could result in the board asking an athlete to leave the program.
Exceptions are granted for reasonable and unavoidable conflicts. Family vacations, conflicts with other sports/activities are not considered unavoidable for these purposes. Please check your family calendar and other commitments carefully PRIOR to registration.
Q10: What events will athletes have the opportunity to compete in?
A: Through a series of State, Association, and Regional meets, athletes have the opportunity to compete in and advance to the Junior Olympics National Championships in the following events during the spring/summer track and field season:
- Sprints: 100m, 200m, 400m
- Relays 4x100m, 4x400m
- Hurdles: 80m, 100m, 110m, 200m, 300m, 400m
- Middle & Long Distance: 800m, 1,500m, 5,000m, 10,000m, 3,000m steeplechase
- Relays 4x800m
- Race Walks: 3k and 5K
- Jumps: High Jump, Long Jump, Triple Jump, Pole Vault
- Throws: Shot Put, Discus, Javelin, Hammer
- Combined Events: Triathlon, Heptathlon, Pentathlon, Decathlon
During Fall Cross Country season, athletes can compete in the 2k, 3k, 4k, and 5k cross county distances.
During the Winter Indoor HS Season, athletes can compete in the following events.
- Sprints: 60m, 200m, 400m, 300m, 500m, 600m
- Relays 4x200m, 4x400m
- Hurdles: 60m
- Middle & Long Distance: 800m, 1,000m, 1,500m, 1,600m/mile, 3,000m, 5,000m
- Relays 4x800m
- Jumps: High Jump, Long Jump, Triple Jump, Pole Vault
- Throws: Shot Put
Q11: What is the typical training schedule?
A: Speed Unlimited generally trains on Monday and Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings. During the Fall & Winter training season our high school training group has an additional training day on Thursday evenings. Also in May-July we have a technical training session on Thursday evenings.
Q12: Why do I need a USATF number?
A: Speed Unlimited is a USATF sanctioned club. Our national sanctioning, insurance and participation in USATF events (like the Junior Olympics, Simplot etc) ties our compliance with all national rules and regulations. In order to remain in compliance, ALL athletes, coaches and administrators are registered with USATF. In addition our coaches and administrator complete and pass a national database background check and the SafeSport class for Child Safety training every year.
Q13: How can I donate to Speed Unlimited?
A: Speed Unlimited is a 502(c)3 not-for-profit organization, led by volunteers and supports select fundraising initiatives. If you are an employee at Microsoft and are volunteering your time with the club, Speed Unlimited is a Microsoft approved volunteer organization and will receive matching funds for the hours you volunteer for the club. Just go the http://give site and select ‘Give Time’ then record and submit your hours on the Volunteer Manager site. Speed Unlimited receives matching funds donation from Microsoft, which we use for our Scholarship program, and equipment for our athletes. If you are not a Microsoft employee, you can always make a donation to Speed Unlimited on our donation page here. All proceeds from our donations benefit our Scholarship and Equipment procurement program for our athletes.