This post is in honor of the birthday of one of my heroes (I don’t have many) – Sir Roger Bannister who is 87 years old today. He refused to believe in barriers. He broke the four-minute mile barrier while training one hour a day during his residency in medical school. He opened the floodgates within a short period of time three others broke four minutes proving the artificial nature of barriers. Read more
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. Read more
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Every so often Vern Gambetta, a mentor, colleague, as well as contributor here on HMMR Media, comes to Oregon on business. We always find time to grab a cup of coffee and chat – for hours and hours. What I enjoy most about Vern is he’s honest, transparent, curious, and humble. He has more questions than answers, but much of what he does know, I do not. I always leave our coffee talks having learned and questioned more about the art of coaching than from any conference, clinic, or continuing education course. When he was in town recently our discussion centered around culture in athletics. The good. The bad. And the ugly. Read more
Recently, I came across this exquisite investment article which discusses a phenomena called the Babe Ruth Effect and its application to financial portfolio management. The central takeaway from the article — “that the frequency of correctness does not matter; it is the magnitude of correctness that matters” — hit me like a lightning bolt of truth. The statement awakened a clarity about a variety of elements related to track and field, including training, coaching, as well the industry of the sport itself. What follows is my attempt to inspect how and why we could apply the mental model of the Babe Ruth Effect to these areas. Read more
An undeniable law of existence is that there is an expiration date to everything. You see this wisdom express in every text of spirituality across the globe. In Judeo-Christian traditions this truth is succinctly discussed in the the Old Testament in Ecclesiastes 3 which is commonly known as the “A Time For Everything” chapter. This truth is a focus in Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Native American traditions as well as numerous others. Many philosophers, scientists, and artist know this as well. The inescapable intelligence of term limits is a deep enteral wisdom. Why then it is common practice to coach with an open ended timeline? Read more
Growing up just outside of Chicago in the 90’s meant professional “sports” and “team” were synonymous. We had the Bulls, Cubs, Bears and Blackhawks. The Bulls had one of, if not the, most iconic athlete of a generation in Michael Jordan. But what cemented Jordan as the greatest of all-time was not only the individual accolades, it was the six team championships he helped the Chicago Bulls win. Read more