Vanna White, I have a confession. I want to buy a vowel. All 5 of them. (references to Wheel of Fortune TV show. Google it if you’ve never seen the show)
I want to buy A E I O U.
Because this is my coaching mantra. And this should be yours as well when you read a manual from any of the coaching greats who have produced world record athletes.
In fact, at the beginning of every article and training manual, I want these 5 words printed on top:
Don’t expect to cut and paste Clyde Hart’s workout, or even my workouts, for that matter, and expect success. You have to adapt to the chronological age and training age of your athletes. You have to adapt to your facilities and weather. You have to adapt to your training times.
God (or your parents, or both) gave you two ears and one mouth, so you should listen to twice as much as you speak. Listen. Educate. Read a lot and go to conferences. And of course, like the X-Files TV show, trust no one and ask a lot of questions. Always ask yourself why you are doing this particular workout. (i.e. what’s the purpose of this workout?) Here are the 7 Scientific Principles of Training to get you started.
Sometimes, things just don’t go according to plan. If I have a 3x300m scheduled, and I see my sprinter labouring after 2 sets, I may improvise that workout that day on-the-spot. I’ll ask him to go do 10x100m tempo with flats and call it the day. Forget that last rep of 300m.
And you have to overcome roadblocks. I talked about that before. It’s not only keeping them injury free. You have to remove all the obstacles around them so they can succeed.
But most important of all, you must understand your athletes. Everyone is not created equal. What works for one person may not work for another. Listen to their feedback, too. Don’t just carry a whistle and a clipboard and expect to be a great coach. (**cough cough Coach Al cough cough**)