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  • #16
    Originally posted by sprintblox
    The high schoolers being recruited might not be directly thinking of 5+ years down the road, but the coach who has Olympians with lasting careers on his resume has a recruiting advantage. For example, Clyde Hart can more easily attract top 400m runners to Baylor because of Michael Johnson's enormous post-college success.
    True. However the tricky bit is someone like Lananna can point to guys like Stember, Jennings, and Brad Hauser as Olympians he has 'coached' (not sure if he actually showed up to practice when he was down on The Farm). The catch is those guys made Olympic teams either in college or immediately after. It's a nice stat to put in the media guide but, as I said in the other thread, when white distance runners end up running their best races at age 22 something is definitely wrong. Maybe I'm a pessimist, but I don't think many 17-18 yr. olds are doing that kind of analysis.

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    • #17
      College Burnout

      The comments above about Coach Jack Daniels' approach make sense. Track (especially distance runners) is more about the individual rather than a "team" approach.

      In the post-collegiate world, it is more up to the individual than anything else. They need / have support but they are the "CEO" of their own 'business'.

      Coaches matter ... a lot ... especially in HS & College. They matter in many areas, especially in guiding the athlete and helping him / her establish the priorities and self-disciplines to develop their skills.

      Maybe Alan Webb could be a good case study. He was an outstanding HS athlete .... what % of his record was attributable to coaching and what % of his performance might be attributable to the individual can be debated.

      He went to Michigan for one year .... what if he stayed there or went to a "track" college for four years .... would he have been a better, more consistent performer? Who knows? Coaches & College T&F Programs help those young, immature kids grow & develop.

      Some coaches are strong on race strategy & tactics, nutrition, training, medical oversight & the psyche of the individual. And some coaches are not .... or may emphasize only one or two key approaches. I guess 'college burnout' has the opportunity to occur ... especially with the pressure to qualify for more NCAA spots; I'd be interested in some specific examples.

      Post collegiate runners fit into a couple of categories: those that secure shoe contracts and those that don't!!! I think the McMillan Elite (Flagstaff) program (2 yrs old) is showing some good results by taking some in the second group and working to develop them. While they have to work outside jobs (part time), adidas has provided housing, travel & equipment for aspiring runners. Paige Higgins made it to the WC Marathon this month.

      But like any job .... the responsibility principally falls to the post-collegiate individual but the support system needs to be built up as any young person needs guidance, direction and some wisdom to ultimately reach their highest level of performance.

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