The past five years I coached at the NCAA Division I level here in Portland. This year, however, I am happy to report I have left the NCAA system. Why? In a word: burnout. No, I am not burnt out on coaching — I still have 5 more years until I retire! — rather I am burnt out on watching athletes burn out. From my experience, the heart of this variety of coaching entails an attempt, in vain, to prepare young men and women distance runners to compete at a very high competitive level for nine months out of the year, four years in a row. It is a fool’s gambit and athlete burnout is a guarantee.
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