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High School Personal Coaches

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  • High School Personal Coaches

    Some high school athletes have personal outside coaches/advisors who train and develop the athletes to a level far greater than the athletes would have achieved while under their team:s direct guidance. I see many positives out of athletes reaching and maximizing their teenage potential in this regard. However, there is also a flip side to this.

    What is your opinion regarding personal coaches in high school?

  • #2
    Re: High School Personal Coaches

    It depends on the coaching available at the high school in question and the vitality of the program there. IMHO lots of kids do much better being involved with a team environment and being pushed on by their peers than they would by themsleves. Great high school athletes often require special attention and great high school programs make adjustments to enable that to happen. In general, though, my bias is that personal coaches in lieu of mainstream high school experiences are socially counter-productive. Moreover, personal coaches interested in working with teenagers ought to be thoroughly investigated to be sure of their motives and expertise.

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    • #3
      Re: High School Personal Coaches

      I personally coach at a HS, and at a local club team. The two NEED to be separate! If you want to run with your club coach, wait until the summer. It disrupts most HS teams when you have individuals that take this elitist attitude. If a club coach is that married to their athlete they should offer their services to the entire team (which I have done). When you start taking the top athletes away from the rest of the team it hurts the other kids. Some athletes could be on the cusp of being a top athlete and would benefit from training with the top athletes. Lets not even get into the conflicts that arise between the club coach and HS coach regarding what meets to run, and what events they should do. It also takes away from the unity of the team (anyone who coaches young athletes knows how these kids can isolate one another). You are also giving the athlete a false sense of security by catering to them. When they get to college no self-respecting college coach would let an outside coach influence his/her program. The worst scenario I’ve seen is when the HS coach and club coach totally disagree on training/events/meets, and they don’t communicate with each other while the athlete is attending both team’s practices and meets (this is too common in NYC, and these coaches should be banned). This destroys the athlete. As a YOUTH coach shouldn’t our main concern be the athlete? The team? This elitist mentality is not healthy at the HS or youth level. The average kid may not continue running in college or post-college. The life lessons learned while on their HS team could far outweigh any performances. The only argument I can see in favor of this is when a HS team just doesn’t have the resources, and the athletes are being developed. Again, I would recommend that you share your expertise with the rest of the team so all the athletes could benefit.

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      • #4
        Re: High School Personal Coaches

        The only thing I can think of that's worse than a post written entirely in BLOCK CAPS is a very long post consisting of a single paragraph.

        There are very few people who can write a paragraph that long and get anyone to slog their way through it. You're not one of them.

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        • #5
          Re: High School Personal Coaches

          Tim Nelson (Liberty Christian, CA) and Ryan Hall (Big Bear, CA) are two examples of positive outside coaching. Neither had funded teams with which to run, and both excelled as state champions by being coached, mentored and developed by either their parent or a club/college nearby.

          My personal opinion is that there is more harm than good done when an athlete (or athletes from the same school) are coached outside of the hired coach:s guidance. I see no wrong in training outside of the school:s guidelines when done so out of necessity. However, there are very competitive schools around the USA which permit - or have permitted - the use of private coaches to "assist" the athletes (ex: a Union City, CA school), and therein lies the problem.

          Some athletes go on to become better, stronger or faster in their respective events as a direct result of this outside coaching. When I attended high school in USA, there was a kid in my section who strictly trained with a personal coach, and ended up running 4.12-8.55; another ran 1.48-4.20. Would they have run as well within the traditional confines of team training? Would they have been provided scholarship opportunities by the universities which they ultimately attended had they not had personal coaching?

          I suppose another important question to ask is this: In the scheme of things, when all is ultimately said and done, did the athlete, personally, enjoy training and competing? Will their achievements, work ethic and ability have gotten them into the college of their choice? Did they continue training and competing while in college?

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          • #6
            Re: High School Personal Coaches

            What also needs to be considered in this topic is when the athlete(s) in question are doing an event that requires specific knowledge and expertise that the HS coach does not have. If the HS coach has the best interest of those athletes in mind, and they're ego in check, they'll have the club coach, who is more likely to be a specialist, work with those kids. Both coaches need to work out the overall plan ahead of time so that the kid(s) don't get caught in the middle. Many top PVers, Throwers and RWers seek outside coaching because their HS coach doesn't have the tools and/or time to push them to the level they need. Seeking the outside help benefits these top kids and the entire team, as now the HS coach can spend more time developing the others instead of spending it all on the star athlete.

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            • #7
              Re: High School Personal Coaches

              We had a long discussion about this on the flrunners board. The bottom line is that most HS coaches welcome outside coaching 'outside' of the season (Jan - May here in FL).

              During the season it's a very bad idea, because the outside coach is more interested in individual performance, while the HS coach is looking out for the whole team's welfare.

              There is often large conflicts that put the HS coach in danger of looking like he doesn't care about the individual. In HS it really is a team sport first.

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              • #8
                Re: High School Personal Coaches

                It’s safe to assume that you had nothing substantive to add to this post.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: High School Personal Coaches

                  how's this for substantive:

                  is there an online or otherwise updated resource for personal/hourly-rate-type T&F coaches in various areas of the country?

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                  • #10
                    Re: High School Personal Coaches

                    I forgot to mention previously that the worst possible scenario is a parent who is also a personal coach !!! Highly toxic to everyone involved.

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                    • #11
                      Re: High School Personal Coaches

                      Another bad reason for a private coach during the season is that if both coaches train the athletes he may be overtrained and will pull muscles.

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                      • #12
                        Re: High School Personal Coaches

                        Epelle raises a good point about whether or not the kid enjoys his/her track experience despite having run good HS times.

                        As a general statement I think kids should participate in high school sports for exercise, development of coordination, socialization with peers, and a whole host of reasons that have nothing to do with performing at an elite level. If someone excells from that starting point and really enjoys the sport it seems reasonable that he/she will either seek out additional help or will have those doors opened. But then the personal coaching is kid driven.

                        Too often it seems like personal coaches are added when the adults (coaches, parents) are imposing some goal above that of simple participation on the kid. I would think that situation is one that would rub almost everyone here the wrong way.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: High School Personal Coaches

                          >I forgot to mention previously that the worst possible scenario is a parent who is also a personal coach !!! Highly toxic to everyone involved.<

                          While this is normally very true, there are exceptions. Michelle and Michael Carter come to mind.

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                          • #14
                            Re: High School Personal Coaches

                            Is Michael a 1) personal coach or 2)an interested parent with a lot of knowledge?
                            I dunno what their relationship is but there is a lot of difference between the two.

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                            • #15
                              Re: High School Personal Coaches

                              >Is Michael a 1) personal coach or 2)an interested parent with a lot of knowledge?<

                              It's my understanding that, at least when she was in high school, he was both.

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