Athletics has always been one of the Olympic sports with a multitude of disciplines. These are divided into running, jumping, throwing and multi-sport race. The women's and men's marathon are one of the disciplines held on the street, outside the stadium as the actual site for athletics. Together with other running disciplines, the marathon is one of those that has been part of the competition program since the modern Olympic Games in 1896. Hardly any other sport is as varied and versatile as athletics. Personal athletics needs include only, or rather exclusively, clothing. The athletics shoes are important and can have the decisive role. As a very individual athletics requirement, they are quite different for each discipline. This also applies in part, but not extremely, to clothing in the running disciplines. The so-called race clothing is also a fashionable decision here. It is often specified by the manufacturers, who in turn are the advertising and contractual partners of the individual track and field athletes.

Athletics in clubs and schools

Anyone can run, jump and throw from home. Anyone who enjoys the basic features of athletics becomes a member of a sports club. As a rule, this is the local multi-discipline club in which the athletics department is one of several or many. The training takes place almost without exception outdoors. Girls and boys very soon realize where their strengths and weaknesses lie in athletics. Whoever has no weak points in any of the disciplines decides in favour of multi-sport races. For women this is the heptathlon, for men the decathlon. Athletics offers such a variety of competitions that every interested athlete can find a suitable discipline. The basic prerequisite for this is a general enthusiasm for sport. At school, athletics has always been an integral part of the sports program. Here, sneakers and suitable sportswear are enough for athletics requirements. In contrast to voluntary membership in a club, literally everyone must participate in athletics as a school sport. This automatically results in a very strong performance gap between those who love athletics as their sport and those who prefer cooking or making music to doing sports. If the school physical education teacher is also a trainer or trainer in the local sports club, then he can promote the talents discovered at school in the club and train them in discipline.

National and international athletics

Although athletics is an amateur sport, many top athletes around the world earn their living from it. They are all members of their respective national associations. In Germany, this association is the DLV, the German Athletics Association based in the Hessian city of Darmstadt. In the DOSB, the German Olympic Sports Federation in Frankfurt am Main, the association is a member of the EAA, the European Athletic Association in Lausanne and the International Association of Athletic Federations, the IAAF with its headquarters in Monaco. In federal terms, the German federation is divided into regional federations, which are largely identical with the federal states. There the sports clubs with their respective athletics departments are full members. The individual track and field athletes indirectly belong to the association at state level via their sports club. They practice their sport under the guidance of certified coaches and instructors. Due to the wide variety of disciplines and competitions, they are referred to as discipline trainers. A trainer in the discipline of running will hardly be able to offer qualified training in the discipline of jumping or throwing; the same applies vice versa.

Athletics training â€" varied and multi-faceted

Until it comes to a discipline-specific training, the training is very general. The experienced trainer must recognize as early as possible which discipline suits the individual athlete best. In addition, the daily training routine also includes cross-discipline training. The trainer has many possibilities to make the athletics training varied. Coordination leaders, ladder hurdles or cone hurdles are training aids for completely new exercises that loosen up the daily training routine. Ball games such as football, handball, basketball and volleyball are always welcome training alternatives. Each training afternoon is a new challenge for the trainer. In contrast to other sports, athletics can also be practiced outdoors in the afternoon. There is hardly any overlap with school sports, as is the case with indoor sports in the school sports halls. The first disciplinary specialization of the young sportsmen and sportswomen begins at this stage of club training. In any case, a well-run and structured sports club has discipline trainers for the four areas of running, jumping, throwing and multi-discipline races. They first train in the competitions within their discipline, for example high and long jump, discus, hammer and javelin throwing as well as shot put, or also the numerous running competitions. They are divided into short, medium and long distances, hurdles and relay running.

Athletics on television â€" the World Championships as a sports highlight

In the years with an odd final number, the World Championships are organized by the IAAF. They are one of the world's sporting highlights with a very large television presence. The Diamond League is a series of fourteen athletics meetings. All individual results are added; the winners of a total of thirty-two women's and men's disciplines receive a four-karat diamond worth almost one hundred thousand US dollars as a prize. These top events are complemented by many competitions, meetings and invitations. In addition to the so-called open-air season, there is also the indoor season. All these events are reported on television and on the Internet all over the world. The athletes earn their living as semi-professionals or full professionals, comparable to the sports of golf and tennis, with athletics.

Athletics as a school sport competition

Athletics is one of the outstanding sports at the national competition of schools “Youth trains for Olympiaâ€. In the federal states, the schools determine their national champions for the respective competition class, who are eligible to compete in the annual national finals in Berlin. There, a weekly event is held to decide which school and its track and field athletes will be the national winners in the individual disciplines. Many of today's top athletes have achieved their first successes in their school days this way. The further sportive way in the sport association leads then into the national squad, further into the federal squad up to the selection team of the German Athletics Association. The special thing about athletics is the measurability of each individual performance. This becomes particularly clear in the multi-discipline competition, in which the number of points achieved determines victory and placings. Athletics, today more than ever, is one of the most attractive sports within the Olympic competition program.