I was going to leave the second half of the title off, and simply call it, “The Secret to your PR is only 6 inches”.
But that would cause a lot of curious people, especially boys and men, to click on the link expecting adult content or some LaShawn Merritt joke.
And heaven forbid, I would get a non appropriate Google ad on the page. I am in the process of removing all Google ads on this Blog, but I had to increase my web hosting plan 3 times in the past 4 years from the increase traffic. Thus the ads pay for the infrastructure of this site, and the occasional caffé machiato for me once in a while.
I pride on the fact that this site is a family friendly (no profanity). You can use profanity all you want, but not in my house.
On Changing Coaches
I’ve had athletes leave, and I have new athletes coming in all the time. It’s part of the sport.
One of the toughest challenges with new coaches is your body AND mind is programmed to the old tune. Rarely do we see success when a high profile athlete changes coaches, especially so close to an Olympic year. Remember Jeremy Wariner in Beijing 2008? VCB may be a rare exception as she hops from coach to coach.
Thus, one of the biggest factors to success is YOUR HEAD! Everything from agreeing and disagreeing with your coach, to your overall attitude, and finally your motivation.
This may sound like overkill, but I like to plan a 4 year cycle with new athletes (see my annual plan video). Why? Because I get a flood of new athletes after every Olympic cycle. Somehow, everyone gets motivated by a 9.79 or 9.69 that they witness on TV. You should have seen the flood of new athletes rush in 1988 after the whole Ben Johnson drama. And most of them never ran track before. What do you tell a College freshman music major with a PR of 12.19 for the 100 meters (and this is a guy, not a gal) who has dreams of running 10.30 in 4 years?
Your Job is to Remove Obstacles
If you followed this blog for a while, you’ve noticed I’ve tried to run parallels to the business world or just ordinary working class people. I made references to Pareto’s Principle as well as the PDCA Deming Cycle.
For those lucky to still have a job, ask yourself these questions:
- What is the role of your Boss or supervisor?
- If you a Manager, what is your role to your peers?
- Is it to work harder? So you’ll perform better? No!
You Boss’ job is to remove obstacles and politics so you can do your job better and more efficiently.
That being said, the traditional model of coaching has always been:
Genetic potential + Training – Injuries = a PERSONAL BEST performance
This is the old method.
The Magic Formula
It’s time to think outside the box, and outside of all the traditional “crap” such as the classic warm up and static stretches. Or classic 10×200 meter @90% workouts where Intervals #7, #8, and #9 are pure garbage because they have butt-lock from lactic acid. Of course, interval #10 is always the fastest with everyone racing each other.
Here is a new thought:
Genetic potential + Training – Injuries – OBSTACLES = a PERSONAL BEST performance
It is fair to say Carl Lewis excelled under Coach Tom Tellez. I have no doubt that Carl would have run fast with any coach. Of course, don’t break the egg (see the video: Jack Daniels and the Art and Science of Running). That is, run them to the ground (no pun intended) and see who is left surviving.
That doesn’t mean you should not attend a traditional seminar or conference like the upcoming USATF, USTFCCCA and IAAF seminars.
Sometimes, you just have to try new and innovative ways to clear those obstacles, instead of instilling long hard traditional training sessions. Everyone talks about secret training methods (see Asafa Powell, or Aussie PV Steve Hooker)
Of course, injury prevention is the other half of the equation. Canadian 400 meter sprinter Tyler Christopher was a gifted athlete, but injury prone. Under Kevin Tyler’s coaching (now with UKA), sometimes all he did after the warm-up was 4×30 meters and called it quits for the day!
Kevin saw the obstacles that prevented him from running faster than his PR of 46.53 (2002) to a 44.44 in 2005 (which still Canada’s national record and I don’t see any signs of it being broken anytime soon)!
So to conclude…
Your role as a coach is to unlock the potential in each and every athlete… though winning the team championship is a nice bonus, too!