The South Orange County Wildcats is a youth running group that trains for and competes in cross-country. It is open to athletes under the age of 19 who are interested in middle distance running, regardless of capability and experience. The club has a strong tradition of helping runners of all ages achieve high ideals. A large number of runners from this organization have gone on to lead their high school track and cross-country teams, and also have excelled at the state and national levels.

A primary objective of the club is to encourage youth participation in running, and in the disciplines that accompany the sport. The methods include a safe, balanced and enjoyable approach to training and racing, all of which should lead to a smooth transition to competition at the high school level and beyond. The ultimate goal is not so much to win races, but to instill a love for running as a life-long activity and to develop strength of character through competitive running. Winning races is a by-product of accomplishing these goals.

The philosophy of the club is that each runner is competing against his or herself, and that how fast or where a runner finishes is not nearly as important as how they conduct themselves in the face of adversity. Each runner is encouraged to improve his or her own times with each race, and not be overly concerned with what the next runner is doing, since there is only one person you can control in a race, and that person is yourself. We believe that every runner is a winner regardless of how he or she finishes a race, as long as they do the best they can. It is our hope that this pursuit of excellence will serve them well throughout their lives.

Training Tomorrow’s Champions

The training includes drills and running techniques, endurance and speed development, racing tactics and mental preparation. Strength and flexibility training is also incorporated into the program as they relate to the sport, with an emphasis on preventing injuries. Our season begins with general conditioning and endurance training, through mid-Oct, followed by speed training into Nov and ending with peak race training to finish the season in Dec.

The Cross Country Season

Competitions begin Sep and occur on Sunday mornings. The meets vary in the levels of competition and runners will compete only in those meets that are appropriate for their capability level. No runner will compete though until they are ready, both physically and mentally. Also, there are a couple of road races that we will participate in as a team which is encouraged for all runners, but optional, as these are the responsibility of the runner to register and pay for. In Nov, the USA Track & Field Junior Olympic meets take place and present the highest level of competition. These meets will be limited to those runners who meet certain higher capability levels at that time. Although it is not required to compete in any competitions, it is strongly encouraged once an appropriate capability level is reached, as competition is an important part of the development process in this sport.

Once our regular season has ended, post-season opportunities will exist for those runners who have achieved high capability levels in their respective age divisions. These meets include the Regional and National Junior Olympic Championships. These meets are for those runners who qualify for them, by placing high at qualifying meets

Practice Makes the Athlete

Every effort must be made to attend our workouts on a regular basis. This means that runners must manage their time wisely. It is their responsibility to complete their homework and chores promptly after school and in the evenings. Workout sessions throughout the week will have different objectives and, by missing too many, the runner’s body will not receive enough conditioning to withstand the demands that will be placed on it during competition. I believe it to be unwise to place a child in a competitive race situation without adequate preparation.

Workout sessions will start promptly at the scheduled times. We ask that all runners be present at that time and dressed in the appropriate attire. The temperature often drops significantly early in the season and those not bringing along warmer clothing tend to get sick often. Also, runners should pay special attention to what they eat and drink prior to the workouts. An upset stomach will prevent the runner from accomplishing their workout goals. Plenty of hydration throughout the day is very important, rather than immediately before workouts.

During training sessions, an understanding of the runner’s body will be emphasized. In this regard, each workout will have a specific objective that will be made clear to the runners. For best results, it is very important to follow the plan of the day and understand its objective. Running hard on an easy run day will only wear you down for the next difficult session.

Pace is very important and will be strongly emphasized. Each runner will be assessed based on estimated or known recent racing times and be assigned an individualized pace for each of the 3 types of training runs that include: 1) Easy and Long Runs, 2) Tempo Runs 3) Interval Training.

Each pace assigned will be closely followed until such time that the runner’s level of discomfort at that pace becomes less than it used to. The goal of our workouts is NOT to always hurt as much as possible, but rather to experience improvement at a level before stepping up to the next.

Parental Support

Parents, you play a big part in how well your child will do. You can help your child by demonstrating a good attitude, respect and support the philosophy of the coaching staff, and just remember, the runners are young and this is a learning experience. They will not always live up to your expectations, but you must remain supportive, and encourage them no matter what. Children are involved in organized sports for their enjoyment, not ours, and children need models, not criticism. Any single race is only a very small piece of a much larger puzzle.

Membership Dues

The membership fee for our 2020 Cross Country season is $400 + $75 per month dues. Total $475 (Includes uniform, t-shirt and 1st-month dues)

Returning member 2020 Cross Country season is $300 + $75 per month dues. Total $375 (Includes t-shirt, and 1st-month dues)

New additional family athlete $300 (Includes uniform, t-shirt)

Returning additional athlete $200 (Includes t-shirt)
2020 General conditioning memberships no meets $200 + $75 per month dues

Training Schedule: Mon, Tues, Wed, Thu, Fri @ Different Parks (summer) 5-6:30
Sat. 7:30 am – 9:00 AM @ Salt Creek *Saturday workouts will NOT take place on a meet weekend
Required Attendance: Suggested minimum of 2-3 workout days per week

Special arrangements may be made for independent workouts for those with conflicting activities
Meets: The meets take place on Sundays and the races usually begin with the youngest runners, at around 9:00 AM.

Required Attendance: Suggested minimum of 2-3 workout days per week

Special arrangements may be made for independent workouts for those with conflicting activities
Meets: The meets take place on Sundays and the races usually begin with the youngest runners, at around 9:00 AM.

1. Running form techniques (efficient and injury free)
2. Breathing techniques (avoiding cramps)
3. Individualized Pace
4. Eating and Sleeping Habits
5. Mental approach to racing

1. Strengthening drills and exercises
2. Easy Runs
3. Long Runs (Flat and Hill Terrain)
4. Tempo Runs
5. Interval Training

i)1 Pair of new running shoes
Lightweight exercise clothing
ii)1 Pair of racing flats (optional)

Goals: To become fit and healthy while improving race performances.
To enjoy running and feel satisfied with each level of progress.

South Orange County Wildcats Youth 27068 La Paz #294 Aliso Viejo, Ca 92656