Feed the Cats: Middle School Foundations of Track

by Tony Holler
Feed the Cats: Middle School Foundations of Track


Feed the Cats is a revolutionary way of training, coaching, and teaching with an appreciation for specificity, essentialism, performance, and love. After gaining a world-wide following in Track & Field, FTC has now gained a strong foothold in American football and lacrosse. 

“FOUNDATIONS OF TRACK” is a Feed the Cats approach to track at the middle school level. This course has the most content of any Feed the Cats course produced thus far, just shy of four hours. 

“FOUNDATIONS OF TRACK” also features the best distance coach I know, Andy Derks. Andy had built a distance program from scratch in the past ten years at Plainfield North. Last year we had 25 boys sub-5:00 in the mile, ranking #2 in Illinois. 

Topics include Feed the Cats, organization, essentials, descriptions and videos of the three types of sprint practice, record-rank-publish, fundamentals of track (hurdles, block starts, and relays), meet management, distance culture, and distance workouts. 

Even though this course was created for middle school coaches, high school coaches will find it thought-provoking. The word “fundamental” is often spoken, seldom explored. 

The goal of Coach Derks and myself is to provide middle school athletes with a more positive experience. Hopefully high school programs will consider buying this as a gift for their middle school coaches. 

234 minutes of talking track!

Additional Resources

Solo Speed Training in 700 Words

The 400 is a Sprint

Feed the Cats

Courses that should be paired with this one:

FTC-101 The Speed Workout

FTC-102 The X-Factor Workout

FTC-205 Sprint the 400 (Lactate Workouts)

Or, buy the whole Feed the Cats Bundle at over 50% off!

Feed the Cats Bundle


1 Hit the Ground Running 1:25 2 No Grind 1:31 3 Happy and Healthy Athletes 1:15 4 “I Hate Track” 1:40 5 Feed the Cats 3:14 6 Do Less, Achieve More 1:59 7 Hormesis 10:15
8 Is Track a Sport or a Recreational Activity? 4:28 9 Checklist of Equipment Needs for Athletes 5:07 10 Recruiting Your School’s Best Athletes 1:39 11 Online Presence: Twitter and Website 5:44 12 Training Groups Based on Number of Coaches 9:26 13 Don’t Waste Time Getting in Shape (Training is Testing, Testing is Training) 8:36 14 Daily Long Jump and Triple Jump Work 1:42 15 Find Your Hurdlers 2:56
16 Speed Workouts 12:35 17 X-Factor Workouts 15:05 18 Lactate Workouts 13:41
19 Without Data: Training in the Dark 1:42 20 Workout Data 1:58 21 Speed Data 1:57
22 Hurdling 6:41 23 Block Starts 11:18 24 Relays 12:29 25 But When Will We Practice All the Different Events? 4:57
26 Coach’s Checklist 1:58 27 Kids Must Know Order of Events 0:00 28 The Meet Lineup Google Doc 0:00 29 The Meet Writeup Google Doc 3:29 30 Rewarding Achievement 3:51 31 Hosting a Meet 12:33
32 Intro of Andy Derks, Distance Coach, Plainfield North 1:44 33 Middle School Coaching and the “Bent Twig Effect” 4:58 34 Expectations of a Middle School Program 6:40 35 The Practice Experience 5:09 36 Starting Practice, the Warm Up 0:00 37 Speed Development 7:10 38 Circuits 0:00 39 Challenge Workout #1 0:00 40 Challenge Workout #2 2:40 41 Mystery Workouts 0:00 42 Prediction Mile 0:00 43 Weekend Homework (Non-Mandatory) 0:00 44 Sample Week 0:00 45 "Extras" 3:41 46 Final Thoughts 3:15 47 Ragged as the Road 1:12 48 Quiz FTC 216

The Coach


Tony Holler

Head track coach at Plainfield North High School. 40 years experience coaching football, basketball, and track. Member of Illinois Track & Field Hall of Fame and Co-director of Track Football Consortium with Chris Korfist


  • Head Boy's Track & Field at Plainfield North High School (IL)
  • Retired Chemistry Teacher
  • Public Speaker
  • Writer for FreelapUSA, SimpliFaster, & ITCCCA
  • Creator and Owner of "Feed the Cats"
  • Co-Owner of Track Football Consortium
  • Certified Teacher of Reflexive Performance Reset

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Course Info

Rating: (0)
Caterory: Track and Field/Coaching Track & Field
Videos: 38