Information for Parents


What is your philosophy?
  1. Anyone is welcome to do track and field at Gig Harbor, and we will always try to match athletes’ events with their area of interest. However, due to reasons of safety, team discipline, and competitiveness, the coaching staff will have the final say in which events athletes practice for and compete in, as well as training methods, groups, and schedules.
  2. We believe that talent is not just physical talent. We believe that mental focus, emotional stability, academic competency, physical resilience, dedication, work ethic, selflessness, and pain management are also forms of talent that figure in success.
  3. We like to compete to win, and we don’t apologize for it. We also like to attain marks that are recognized as elite in our league, district, and state. Yet, we’ll ultimately judge our personal performances on how well we prepared, executed, and competed in our events. If we did those three things to the best of our ability, we will judge ourselves successful.
  4. We believe the health and well-being of the athletes is essential to a positive experience. We strive to keep athletes healthy, but we believe that the health of the athletes is mainly in the hands of the athletes themselves. To this end, we expect clear and complete communication about that athlete’s physical, mental, and emotional status, and we expect the athletes to make healthy, realistic decisions about what they do with their body away from the track.
  5. We believe that we must hold ourselves as coaches to the highest technical standards of our profession, and these standards should be passed on to our athletes in a way that they themselves are capable of understanding and teaching the concepts as well or better than we can. We believe that those who have passed through our program with dedication should leave with the ability to coach at the high school level. Additionally, we will strive to understand the latest research on physiological principles and how that applies to writing workouts and building a season plan so our athletes are at their physical peaks when the time comes.
  6. We are committed to TEAM, even though many times the best thing we can do for the team is to make sure we are prepared as individuals. Often TEAM means creating and accepting an atmosphere where the accomplishments of others are valued and celebrated along side our own, and the accomplishments of the TEAM are valued and celebrated above ANY individual accomplishments.
  7. Track and Field success is a journey, often a long one. We are on a road towards an impossible standard: perfection. We will always strive to be better than we were yesterday, and practice with the goal of being better tomorrow than we are today while understanding that setbacks are a part of the process. Steady improvement over time will set us apart from other programs
  8. Understand your role as a parent. Allow coaches to coach. Communicate your concerns at appropriate times. Be a parent rather than a coach. Let your student athlete know that you love them rather than rehashing their performance. Let the motivation for doing athletics come from them, rather than you. Our athletes’ performances are independent of their worth as human beings.


Who are your coaches and what experience do they have?

Goto our coaches bio page.


What sort of paperwork or fees does my child have to turn in to participate in track and field at Gig Harbor?

Packets can be picked up from our athletic secretary, Mrs. Purdy, or from Eager in room 216. The information packet will give information about necessary physical documentation. A pay-to-play fee of $100.00 must be paid to the bookkeeper, Mrs. Estes. When the fee is paid, the packet turned in and verified, including the physical, then you are cleared to participate. You can call 530-1404 or email for more information.


What sort of clothing or equipment will my child need?

SWEATS: Athletes should come to practice every day ready to participate in all weather conditions. Sweats and a sweatshirt are the minimum. Especially for any non-shot/disc person, the sweats should be of a type that allows for running, meaning not baggy around the ankles. We advise buying black sweats, as we use these as our uniform bottoms. Gig Harbor Track and Field sweatshirts can be purchased in room 216 for $22.00, and Nike rain jackets can be purchased for $53.00.

UNIFORM: All athletes need to provide a pair of event-appropriate navy shorts. A singlet is checked out to athletes by the school. Some athletes choose to purchase spandex “speed tops” and accompanying shorts. See Coach Eager about this.

SHOES: Any athlete who runs (distance runners, sprinters, hurdles, relay members, but also jumpers and vaulters) will need a good pair of running shoes, preferably a pair that is set aside specifically for workouts. These athletes will also need event specific spikes. If you child is new to the sport, please wait to buy spikes until you know exactly what your child needs. Event coaches can assist you with this.

Shot and disc thrower can throw in general athletic shoes, but their performance and comfort will be greatly enhanced by purchasing throw specific shoes. Again, event coaches can help with this.

For those who plan on throwing javelin, javelin boots are extremely helpful. Some athletes use football or soccer cleats, but only javelin boots really allow for the proper technique, both on grass and on track surface.

EQUIPMENT: Many serious athletes choose to purchase their own throwing implements so that they can throw year around. We provide these things in the season and can check them out over the summer, but WIAA rules prevent us from allowing athletes to throw school implements (or use school poles for vaulting) in the off-season (August-February.) Talk to your event coach about this.


What are your practice times?

For the 2013 season, event groups will practice at the following times:


Where can I find the schedule and meet results?

Click here


Are all meets required?

We expect that all athletes who want to be a part of Gig Harbor track and field will have a strong desire to compete in all meets. We know that sometimes unavoidable conflicts do occur that cause athletes to miss meets or have to alter their planned meet schedule. If the coaching staff determines that athletes are not making the effort to participate fully, we will consider removing that athlete from the team. We are not providing a fitness club experience. We are providing a competitive opportunity and a team opportunity.


When are team meetings?

Every Monday at 2:30 in the Library. These are REQUIRED!


Can I transport my child home from an away meet?

Peninsula School District policy states that the head coach is responsible for the athletes at away meets, and the head coach can only release the athletes to a parent or legal guardian. Under no circumstances can athletes leave an away meet with other parents, other athletes, other relatives, or anyone else. To verify, please sign your child out personally with Coach Eager if you plan on transporting him/her home from an away meet.


My child plays a club sport. How will this affect their track and field participation?

You should know first of all that the WIAA states that practice times and frequency cannot be altered to accommodate club sport athletes. Given that, we still try to be flexible. Please read the following policy:

Non-Track and Field club involvement (i.e. club soccer or volleyball, or band, etc.): Club sports continue to proliferate at the high school level. This creates two potential conflicts for students who wish to be involved in both Gig Harbor Track and Field and a non-Track and Field club team simultaneously. The first potential conflict is the commitment to the team schedule, and the second one involves the health and well-being of the athletes.

Club teams often demand attendance at event or practice that require a Track and Field participant to miss team competition or practices. I understand the importance of club teams to many athletes, but if they want to be involved in Gig Harbor Track and Field, they must understand the following concerning scheduling conflicts:

  1. The student must provide Coach Eager with a club schedule of events listing potential conflicts (through the first weekend of June,) as well as a phone number where the club coach or director can be reached for verification.
  2. The athletes, at Coach Eager’s discretion, may miss up to two regular season meets or invitational meets due to club conflicts. This must be arranged at least two weeks before the event to be missed. Any request for an excused absence due to club activities, aside from the provided and approved list, will not be considered.
  3. The Narrows League Meet (May 13 th and 15 th), the West Central District Meet (May 22 nd and 23 rd) and the State Meet (May 28 th, 29 th, and 30 th) MAY NOT BE MISSED in lieu of club events or practices. Athletes who miss these events will be removed from the team and are not eligible for team awards, letters, or banquets, and their participation in future seasons will be subject to scrutiny.

The other conflict for club sport participants is the physical toll taken on the bodies of the athletes, something that often causes injuries as well as poor performances. Gig Harbor Track and Field workouts have been meticulously thought out and individualized to achieve specific levels of improvements in strength, speed, and stamina. Since our staff is held accountable for the safety and health of our athletes, we have an inherent right to ask students to limit outside activities that may jeopardize their safety and health during practice.

Additionally, any injuries, nagging, acute, or otherwise, that the coaching staff feels are being exacerbated by club participation can result in suspension from team activities until a parent-coach conference can be arranged to discuss situation. Athletes who miss or are forced to limit participation in Track and Field practice or meets due to any injury will also be expected to miss club events and practices for health reasons. Failing to do so will result in removal from the team.

These policies are in place to ensure the health and safety of the athletes and a minimal commitment to the Gig Harbor Track and Field team. The above policies represent a compromise on the part of Gig Harbor Track and Field, and compromise is expected in return from the club system. If athletes and their clubs coaches cannot abide by these policies, the athletes will be forced to choose between the two. Coach Eager reserves the right to remove athletes from the team who are not honest and forthright on this issue.

Private Track and Field coaching: Involvement with private Track and Field coaches and “personal trainers” during the season, unless specifically approved by Coach Eager, is absolutely prohibited. For the same health and safety reasons detailed in our policy on non-Track and Field club sports, we will have a zero-tolerance policy on this issue, regardless of a parent or athlete’s desire to work with a private coach or trainer. If an athlete wants to be eligible to compete for Gig Harbor High School in Track and Field, they will be coached exclusively during the season by the staff who officially represents Gig Harbor High School. Athletes involved in these prohibited activities will be removed from the team immediately.


I competed myself and I’d like to coach my child. Is this possible?

It is the policy of the Peninsula School District, Gig Harbor High School, and Gig Harbor Track and Field that parents should focus on parenting while coaches focus on coaching. We feel strongly that these two should not mix. In the rare instance where a parent has prior coaching experience, is willing to conform to the philosophy of the program completely, and is willing to meet the expectations required of all assistant coaches, Coach Eager may, at his discretion, consider the possibility. Please consider these requirements carefully before asking.


Can I hire a personal coach for my child?

Out of season, our program works year around to provide legal, appropriate and beneficial training and conditioning. We strongly advise that you patiently allow this age-appropriate training to work, as it is based on scientific physiological principles that advanced athletes use.

Involvement with private Track and Field coaches and “personal trainers” during the season, unless specifically approved by Coach Eager, is absolutely prohibited. For the same health and safety reasons detailed in our policy on non-Track and Field club sports, we will have a zero-tolerance policy on this issue, regardless of a parent or athlete’s desire to work with a private coach or trainer. If an athlete wants to be eligible to compete for Gig Harbor High School in Track and Field, they will be coached exclusively during the season by the staff who officially represents Gig Harbor High School. Athletes involved in these prohibited activities will be removed from the team immediately.


Our family is taking a vacation. Will this affect my child’s team status?

The process of building workouts throughout the season is a delicate one, and it is easily upset by unannounced, in-season vacations that alter the work-rest-compete cycle we adhere to. Altering this plan can negate much of the hard work your child has put in for the year, sometimes resulting in significantly lowered performances, injury, and low morale. Can you go on vacation? Of course, but before you plan a family vacation, please consult the team schedule, and tell Coach Eager well ahead of time so we can plan for the absence of your child and alter his or her workout plan accordingly, as well as discuss possible workout options while he or she is on vacation. (These will be minimal.) If your son or daughter anticipates post-season competition, we ask that you restrain yourself from long vacations in season, for the sake of your athlete and the team.


What does it take to letter in track and field?

All athletes who have qualified for and participated in the league meet as an individual will letter as long as they have met ALL of the following standards:

  1. Crucial paperwork in. (Duh)
  2. Eligible and available for all post-season meets.
  3. Met attendance expectations for practice and meets
  4. No outstanding misbehavior or unsportsmanlike conduct.
  5. Coaching staff approves of attitude/effort.

You must finish the season with the team, meaning you went as far in the postseason as you could.

For athletes who have NOT qualified for the league meet, the following standards can be met for lettering purposes:

  1. Meets standard 1-5 above AND
  2. Coaching staff recommends lettering based on any combination of the following by coaches’ judgment :
    1. Outstanding relay contribution
    2. Outstanding Invitational contribution
    3. Outstanding Leadership contribution
    4. Outstanding Citizenship contribution

Lettering is not on the basis of participation or good character alone. Although track and field is a participation heavy sport, it is still a competition oriented, elite, athletic contest.


How can I get more involved?
  1. Join the booster club. We are largely underfunded and would not be competitive without the booster club. For more information, visit
  2. Help officiate at meets. The school does not provide officials for our home meets, so our coaching staff must cobble together over 30 volunteer positions to make home meets work. We can find something for you to help us with, no matter how little your experience. Home meets dates can be found on our schedule page at
  3. We attempt to compensate for our lack of funding by working the concession stand at home basketball games in the winter. We can always use a few more adults to lessen the burden on those involved.
  4. Learn more about our sport. Click here.
  5. Follow our updates at this site and at Twitter, a free service where you can sign up to have updates sent to your home page and/or your cell phone. Go to, get your own username and sign up for "TidesTrack" updates!