Every time you hear Clyde Hart speak at a conference, he provides incredible insight as well as humour to coaching 400 meters sprinters. Sometimes you leave the room with more questions than answers. This is good, as coaching should be a discovery on what works (and what doesn’t work) for your athletes.
If you live in the USA or Canada, be sure to attend the 2008 USATF National Podium Education Project to hear him speak.
A series of four keynote presentations throughout the weekend was launched by Clyde Hart, coach to 400m legend Michael Johnson. In this he explained how his coaching philosophy had been shaped by his experiences visiting Europe – “the coach always striving to be better through using what works; taking on board the ideas of others and shaping them to develop these on the track – which is on our lab, while using the athlete as the number one learning tool’.”
Clyde commented, “You don’t get to be a good coach without being a good thief” and in answer to his own question: Are we coaching any smarter than we were 25 years ago? Well,’ he continued, “we only have a bigger vocabulary!”
Clyde finished with a challenge to all delegates “There’s no such thing as peaking – if you can’t see the top (of the performance), how do you know where the peak is?
Interesting comments, especially the last part about “peaking”! The quote is more evangelistic rather than specific, and is taken out slightly of context.
If he was being specific, then maybe that explains why we often see Michael Johnson or Jeremy Wariner running 44 low in April or May.
But to train “long to short” as Clyde Hart does, you really need to “peak” for your event with the proper speed workouts in place.
In addition, you need to be able to handle the pressure of multiple rounds, and you need a few key meets to be exposed in “pressure cooker” situations. No training can replace that feeling.