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The news of Dan Pfaff and Derek Evely leaving for the UK invoked some thoughts and discussion.
The UK is doing something right. They are luring quality coaches from other countries with proper salaries and benefits into senior management positions.
Unfortunately, it’s leaving a void in the Canadian coaching system, especially at the High Performance Sprint Centre.
We already lost Kevin Tyler, who was also the personal coach to 400 meter sprinter Tyler Christopher. When Kevin left, Derek Evely took over.
But now Derek Evely is the director of the Loughborough University Performance Centre and Dan Pfaff became the director of the Lee Valley Performance Centre.
And I’ll bet the UK isn’t finished stocking their shelves.
Lee Evans going to Nigeria
Dan Pfaff isn’t the only American coach going overseas. And the UK isn’t the only country plucking good talent.
Former Olympic Quarter-Miler Sunday Bada is upset that top Nigerian 100 meter sprinters are running 10.5 while the rest of the world is running sub-10 seconds.
Barring a last minute change, Lee Evans will become the technical director of the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN).
From All Africa.com:
"An American coach can strengthen our areas of strengths; which is the sprints, the humps and hurdles, where we have not been doing too well lately.
"So, there is a need for a paradigm shift from the present order to a more dynamic team," he reasoned.
Donovan Bailey, Dan Pfaff prior to Atlanta 1996
Dan Pfaff has a stacked resume, but he is probably most famous for being Donovan Bailey’s coach. Others make a big deal over his involvement with Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery.
This is one of my favourite videos from the CBC Archives which was filmed after his 1995 World Championship victory and prior to his 100 meters Gold medal in Atlanta 1996.
It’s 15 minute long, and the best (subliminal?) one-liner was Donovan saying to the camera “one last shot of juice” with a smirk on his face. (He always has a smirk on his face, except when racing) You can interpret that any way you like.
The take home message about Donovan was his mental preparation with mind games, as nothing bothers him. If you recall the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Lindford Christie caused a lengthy disturbance over his disqualification during the Finals. Even in the 4×100 meter relay, Ghana created a delay from their DQ using ineligible runners. In both cases, Donovan kept his composure, and brought home two Gold medals.
Focus is the key, as always.
100 Meter breakdown
The video also breaks down a 100 meter race into 4 segments:
- reaction time to gun
Interesting video… any thoughts?