Over the last eight months we’ve heard from high school coaches, professional coaches, and others about how they’ve adapted their training to pandemic. One voice we haven’t heard from is NCAA coaches. The NCAA system puts some unique restrictions on coaches and athletes, and on this episode we invite on several NCAA coaches to discuss how they’re planning in uncertainty and dealing with other uncertainties like program cuts. Read more
Vern Gambetta’s GAIN event brings together top practitioners from around the globe in a variety of fields. While the presentations are world-class, what makes it special is the side conversations that we strike up. We tried to recreate that on this week’s podcast by interviewing three faculty members live from GAIN: Angus Ross, Greg Gatz, and John Pryor. Read more
Every coach has been there: an athlete makes a mistake and we sit down with them for the difficult post-game conversation. What you say can either make matters worse, or help them in the process of never making that mistake again. Over the past few weeks we’ve encountered some examples of how to do and not to do this. On this week’s podcast we share our approach on the topic, plus listener questions, thoughts on putting together a good team of coaches, and more. Read more
Every year the University of North Carolina ranks among the top universities in the Director’s Cup race, given to the university with the most overall success across all sports. They have a track record of producing repeat champions in team sports like basketball, soccer, baseball, and lacrosse. On this week’s podcast Greg Gatz (Director of Strength & Conditioning, Olympic Sports) and Jonas Sahratian (Head Strength & Conditioning, Men’s Basketball) join us to discuss how their culture and approach to training have contributed to a culture of success. Read more
If you are looking for the best throws coach in America, your journey might take you to Fargo, North Dakota. Justin St. Claire has turned North Dakota State University from a remote team into one of the best training groups in the country. On this week’s episode we sit down with St. Clair to discuss the secrets behind his success including his approach to team culture, recruiting, training, and technique. Read more
On last week’s episode we teased this week’s topic by asking our guest Dave Wollman about his views on foreign athletes competing in the NCAA system. With immigration being a hot topic in this US presidential campaign season, we thought we would take a look at foreign athletes and how they should fit into the American collegiate system. Read more
If you talk to many parents about why their kids compete in sports, one of the top answers is that it will help pay for college. It used to be that kids were encouraged to play sports to have fun, or to lead an active lifestyle. But in recent years it has come to the point that the hope of a scholarship might well be the leading reasons that American kids become involved in organized sports. Read more
As the final recruiting period for track and field approaches, there are a couple of facts that are important. Only 1.3% of male high school track and field athletes and 1.8% of female athletes go on to compete at the NCAA Division I level. Sobering numbers, so what can be done to increase the opportunities?
It starts with defining your expectations. What does the athlete expect from his or her career? Not the parents or the coaches but the athlete. Being good locally is not enough. There are a lot of former high school district, regional, and state champions working for minimum wages.
Editor’s Note: With the recruiting season in full swing, we thought it would be helpful to post some information on the recruiting process. Guest author Jim Brown has put together the following comments which are of use to throwers of all levels looking to compete at a college or university.
Question: One of the athletes I am coaching now is in the process of deciding what university to attend next year. Her parents would like her to attend a local school, but I would prefer she goes a bit further to a school with a good throwing coach. Parents that are not involved in track and field do not seem to realize that not all throwing programs are on the same level. Do you have any arguments to help convince them of this? -Coach K
I agree that that choosing a school is a decision that needs to be left up to the athlete. The athlete needs to find that school that is the best fit for them. Unfortunately the best fit for the athlete is also not always the best fit for the parents. But, and it might surprise you for me to say this, the best fit for the athlete isn’t always the best coach either. Finding a good fit means looking at more than the school’s proximity or athletics program, but also its academics, the future teammates, the city it is located in, and a variety of other factors to see what environment will allow the athlete to succeed both in sports and in life. While many people online have been quick to criticize the recent decision of American high school champion and world junior championship finalist Rudy Winkler to attend Cornell University next year, I think it is a perfect example of making a holistic choice. This young man had his choice of schools, and rather than choosing a school with a storied tradition or all-star coach, he chose a local school renowned for academics with a young coach. I applaud his decision.