In April 2005, I was fortunate to meet with John Smith, head coach and co-founder of HSI.
John is also the former UCLA Track and Field head coach, and has coached several world famous athletes that spans many decades, including some of my heroes.
My track club, Metro Athletic Club, was in Southern California competing in a series of track meets, notably the Mt-SAC relays.
If you are familiar with Eurosport, they hosted several series called “The Sprinters: Inside the Competition with HSI” and “Inside the Training with HSI”. You can browse some of the videos here, courtesy of Eurosports and Blip.tv for hosting the videos.
We had the opportunity to ask any questions, and of course, I asked a lot of questions, especially about injuries. One of his star pupils, Maurice Green, has been plagued with a series of injuries after dominating the 100 meters for many years. Maurice is a 3-time World 100m champion (1997, 1999, 2001) and Olympic Champion (2000). He also won gold in the 200m in 1999 WC. He has a tattoo with the inscription G.O.A.T, meaning the Greatest Of All Time.
John said there are only 3 reasons why an athlete gets injured:
1. when there is an imbalance
2. when the athlete is tired (i.e. over training)
3. when the mind wants to do something the body does NOT want to do
As an over-40 year old running 400 meters with chronic Achilles problems, I asked myself “Why am I always getting hurt?”:
a) are my lower legs strong enough? do I need to strengthen my shins?
b) am I doing too much? too much volume?
c) does my body still want to sprint 400 meters? Maybe I should take up golf or yoga?
I’ll be referring to this article when I go in depth about Achilles Tendinitis. In the meantime, if you are injured, ask yourself those 3 questions.