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what's harder in coaching, nobodies or somebodies?

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  • what's harder in coaching, nobodies or somebodies?

    On another coaching thread Helen S said

    <<I think we first need to agree on what definess successful. Tellez obviously was able to work with some very talented athletes that did well. I think many of you could work wit Bolt next year and get credit for more world records.

    I personally feel the most successful coaches are the ones that take the nobodies and lead them to be somebodies in their lives, both in athletics and life in general. So my vote would go to numerous nameless high school and club coaches who we have never heard about.>>

    I've long wondered--not that there's necessarily a right answer--whether or not it was a better measure of being a great coach if you take everyday students who wander into your purview and make them "national class" athletes or if it's even harder to take burgeoning studs and turn them into world class?

    ???

  • #2
    My vote goes to the nobody coaches who get the best out of everyday nobody athletes.

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    • #3
      To paly this game you have to first subscribe to the notion that the sport is of nobodies and somebodies. As long as you're in the phone book you are somebody. Naven Johnson said so.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by lonewolf
        My vote goes to the nobody coaches who get the best out of everyday nobody athletes.
        I agree. Without these "nobody coaches" injecting the initial inspiration into the "nobody athletes", the "somebody athletes" would never exist for the "somebody coaches" to coach.

        It is often difficult to inspire even a talented athlete in a sport with such a relatively low profile.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by lonewolf
          My vote goes to the nobody coaches who get the best out of everyday nobody athletes.
          Agreed. Whilst there's an argument againt, e.g. improving a 'Bolt' by even a tenth of a second at world class takes coaching ability because of the already-high starting level, a HS coach has many more faculties of the athlete to deal with that are already inherent in the seasoned pro, and therefore needs to get this right - or we lose a potential great athlete forever

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          • #6
            We have had a similar discussion before. Specifically about York's Joe Newton, who has had the ability to turn nobodies into somebodies and then back into nobodies, at least as far as their post high school careers are concerned.


            P.S.
            By the way, before anyone thinks this is some anti-Newtonian discussion, I have known Joe for 40 years and he is a friend of mine. But as I have stated before I am glad I didn't run for him.

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            • #7
              Re: what's harder in coaching, nobodies or somebodies?

              Originally posted by gh
              whether or not it was a better measure of being a great coach if you take everyday students who wander into your purview and make them "national class" athletes or if it's even harder to take burgeoning studs and turn them into world class?
              As a nobody who occasionally turns nobodies (albeit some with prodigious talent) into somebodies (only one national class, but many who earned D1 scholarships, which is my greatest goal athletically (but not personally)), I would LIKE to think we trench grunts get some credit, but the question is "better measure of being a great coach" (which I take to mean in the narrow denotation of making a great athlete), and in that regard it IS more difficult to take a great athlete and make him/her an Oly champ, than it is to make some gawky know-nothing 14-year-old into a State Champion, which I have done several times. The necessary level of commitment, expertise and experience increases as the competitive level rises. Although I have seen some 'successful' D1 coaches who are TERRIBLE coaches, and who can and do take credit for successful athletes, the standard world-class athlete usually has some extremely competent coaching along the way.

              The dream of entry-level coaches like myself is to get a Donald Thomas type athlete and see what we could do. I do know some HS coaches who could have gotten him to 7'8, just as easily as his coaches did.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by malmo
                To paly this game you have to first subscribe to the notion that the sport is of nobodies and somebodies. As long as you're in the phone book you are somebody. Naven Johnson said so.
                Ah, yes, but Mr. Johnson was also a "dead man" IIRC

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by gm
                  Originally posted by malmo
                  To paly this game you have to first subscribe to the notion that the sport is of nobodies and somebodies. As long as you're in the phone book you are somebody. Naven Johnson said so.
                  Ah, yes, but Mr. Johnson was also a "dead man" IIRC
                  I still think the shooter hated those cans.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by gm
                    Originally posted by malmo
                    To paly this game you have to first subscribe to the notion that the sport is of nobodies and somebodies. As long as you're in the phone book you are somebody. Naven Johnson said so.
                    Ah, yes, but Mr. Johnson was also a "dead man" IIRC
                    No, he as a "gaspumper!"

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                    • #11
                      I have to also go with the turning nobodies into somethings.

                      That is prtetty well all we ever get to do living where we do. I am constantly amazed at what my husbnad can get out of his athletes. he recently took a 26.0 200m runner(19 years old) and now has her running 24.9 (one year with him) but that still means nothing on the world stage.

                      He has as much knowledge about almost every event as a coach who coaches top athletes but very little opportunity to use it. He spends much of his time helping to educate other coaches ashould they be lucky enough to get an amazing talent.
                      He is resigned to that because we love where we live and the kids we coach.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mojo
                        I have to also go with the turning nobodies into somethings.

                        That is prtetty well all we ever get to do living where we do. I am constantly amazed at what my husbnad can get out of his athletes. he recently took a 26.0 200m runner(19 years old) and now has her running 24.9 (one year with him) but that still means nothing on the world stage.

                        He has as much knowledge about almost every event as a coach who coaches top athletes but very little opportunity to use it. He spends much of his time helping to educate other coaches ashould they be lucky enough to get an amazing talent.
                        He is resigned to that because we love where we live and the kids we coach.
                        You are a kindred spirit my firend! I agree that making steak out of hamburger is a 1000 times more impressive than making steak into...well really good steak, you know where ya marinade it and such, maybe some fresh ground black pepper..

                        Imagine you show up at my house and i serve you steak and you say this is great steak and then i say i made it out of hamburger and then you say oh my God, thats what im talking bout.
                        phsstt!

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                        • #13
                          The first thought I had upon reading the title (as opposed to the
                          original post): A nobody who thinks he is a somebody.

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                          • #14
                            There are many parts to good coaching. One is keeping athletes excited and focused. Another is getting them physically prepared. Another is getting them mentally prepared and confident. It is usually obvious to those in tune who the good ones are.

                            Talented and untalented runners run better under a better coach. These are easier spotted in HS and college programs with no scholarships. There is not always great talent here but you will see consistent quality performances from these coaches.

                            A D1 scholarship coach who never produces and All American or individual qualifier probably is not a good coach.

                            On the other hand, McDonnell got the best talent and took them to the top.

                            Again, it is usually obvious in a given context what a good coach is. I respect the coach that makes All Americans out of 9:50 HS kids more than the coach that makes a national champion out of an 8:50 HS kid. I think that is harder and is better measure of the coach.

                            "Hmm... A postcard.... Ok, it's a deal."
                            In the sun with a popsicle, everthing is possible

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mojo
                              I have to also go with the turning nobodies into somethings.

                              That is prtetty well all we ever get to do living where we do. I am constantly amazed at what my husbnad can get out of his athletes. he recently took a 26.0 200m runner(19 years old) and now has her running 24.9 (one year with him) but that still means nothing on the world stage.

                              He has as much knowledge about almost every event as a coach who coaches top athletes but very little opportunity to use it. He spends much of his time helping to educate other coaches ashould they be lucky enough to get an amazing talent.
                              He is resigned to that because we love where we live and the kids we coach.
                              Hey mojo,
                              I'm curious about your "living where we do" comment. I'm guessing you may be referring to development of power/speed or technical event athletes, especially related to local talent base in those events and lack of indoor facilities for winter training.
                              Can you clarify?
                              thx,

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