Angry Coach

One of my superstar athlete’s asked me today if they could play basketball this winter instead of doing track. I of course said no because all I would end up getting in the spring is a slow, injured athlete. I was curious as to why this 15 year old girl would all of a sudden want to join the basketball team, so I kept on questioning her. It turns out that the coach of the Bball team has been promising her the world if she will play for the team. Needless to say I am right ticked off and am going to have words with this coach when I find out exactly who they are (just words, I am a non violent person by nature).

This isn’t the first time I have had coaches try to steal my athletes. I don’t recruit athletes from other sports…I take what I can get and make them into champions. I think it is weak of coaches to recruit athlete’s cause they are not qualified enough, (I am not talking about certification here) to develop their own athletes.

Anyways, I just thought I would let that out. :slight_smile:

But, has the 15 year old girl expressed which sport she would rather do/play?

Fire your athlete and get a new one…at 15 she problably wants to do lots of things.


Anytime an athlete want’s to do less than optimal I let them but allways say “Adjust your goals” and then they understand you don’t get full time results investing part time.

I’ve been told that in the past, however it can be difficult - from an emotional standpoint. You accomodate, plan, in some cases, sacrifice, only to see athletes consider poor choices.

Clemson, I think has it about right. Understanding that part time investment leaves the glass half (or thereabouts) full!

Good luck, Herb.

Agreed, but be sure your emotional departure difficulty doesnt cost you in the end! You can only do so much with the time you have, invest it wisely.


She’s 15!!! Let her do what she wants and develope as an athlete. She is still developing and forcing her to specialize in only one sport that early will cause burnout if she doesn’t want what you want.

Carl, thanks.

My post was about recruiting, not about what a 15 year old wants. You are right, she is only 15, so when an adult goes up to her promising her the world if she joins the team, she is likely to buy whatever he is selling. Letting her develop as an athlete without a proper program can only result in failure. When I say she wants to join the basketball team, I am not talking about the NBA where Speed and Power are the primary ingredients to proper training, I am talking about a high school program of “beep tests” and wind sprints, lines, and all sorts of medium intensity exercises. If we wait until the athlete is 18 to start developing power, then the road is already a tough one. If we want elite athletes, then they need to specialize when they are 14-15 years old (or younger: 11-14 for girls, 13-16). What I mean by specialize is that they need to do power/speed, or endurance, not both, and nothing in between. A proper program won’t lead to burn out.

I don’t know her goals in track, but unless her goals are something like “make the Olympics by XXXX” or be ranked in the top XX by XXXX, then I think you have to let her play hoops. Ya, it might screw her up for track, ya she may get injured. But she may also find that she loves basketball and may decide that is were her future is at. Like Clemson said, let her know that it will cause her track goals to change, and if she still wants to play, let her play.

All I can say Herb is that when an athlete wants something I mean really wants something like the olympics then she will get there. If she doesn’t want it bad enough now then let her do basketball but tell that her track work will suffer severly and when she does come back that she really can’t expect anthing in terms of progress. I believe the proper course is to let her go if she wants to play b-ball and then let her comeback to the track. 15 is a young age but you are right in terms of specialization. Honestly, she has make these desicisions for herself and what she wants. I know if pisses you off as a coach bc you giving your time and energy to this person only to watch her fail (at least you think she is screwing up but in reality you won’t know for a couple of years).

What pissed me off was when my fellow athlete Alita Parisotto, who was given a partial scholership to train with Jackie Joyner Kersee’s husband Bob Kersee, decided that track wasn’t for her at the age of 18 and after two weeks came home bc she was homesick not bc she didn’t want to do track!

Well you know how the story above goes! She tried making a comeback a couple of years ago but it was just too hard after such a layoff and her talent declined substantially (I would assume it did).

I honestly thought Alita was going to be the first white girl not only to make the olympics but win it in the 100m (yes I know this years winner was a white chick!). I have never said that about any white girl or guy except her bc this is how talented she was! It was sick to see her beating her competition by 30m at the local meets! She was one of the main reasons I joined the Trail Track club! I look back now and see that although she had the talent she did not have the heart (or had too much heart to be away from her parents). Ironically, I always had the heart (never missed a single practice) but not as much talent as Alita (which I am currently try to improve)!

It sucks but what are you going to do? Whack the other coach? :rolleyes: This isn’t the Sopranos! :smiley:

If track is in her heart and she plays b-ball and comes back to you afterwards, then you know that she still loves track and she might give it up the following year! Also, she may decide to take track up seriously at the age of 22? You just never know! The one thing I do know is that if she is serious about track and comes back before the age of 30 and wants to put in the time (usually 8 years for specialization for a sprinter so she starts at 22 she can still run and improve every year till she’s 30 and even onto till she’s 35) then she will put forth an even bigger effort than she had done previously!

All you can do is tell her all you can about the kind of work it takes for a serious athlete and if she leaves make sure you guys are on good terms!

P.S. Remember BVT, you definately don’t want to turn into her!

Good luck!

Alita trained with me a few times a few years back. She seemed like she wasn’t willing to learn anything new so she stopped comming. Ya, she could have been fast.

Multisport vs specialization w/ Burn-out

Many kids I work with are constantly recruited to be on other programs. One example is I had an athlete that wanted to do Lacrosse in the spring and not swim with me. I felt he could be a very good swimmer (league all-star) and a very good lacrosse player (league all-star) but he had the chance to be state champ and all-american with his team. I flat told him if he worked 9 months with me he could do that but if he worked 4 months in the late summer and fall he could not be great. He shares three state records on three relays, owns a league record, is All-State in his sprint event the 50 yard free. Of course he isn’t Phelps but I get the second round picks and not lottery winners.

Track athletes are loved since they can jump, sprint, and throw…but their progress is based on many variables. Sure someone is fast and they join the football team to be a WR…but their QB sucks and they run the ball. Then they block for the RB and tear their ACL.

As for specializing and burnout I think just the reverse. I am so worried about burn-out we spend a lot of time doing things that are fun and yes, I am funny and interesting guy. We do a lot of general exercises and keep things fun. We bust out the Bosch boom box, and keep things interesting. When you have friends working together you can talk about rims and hubs between SPE runs. Loosing and not improving causes more burnouts. Climbing ropes and throwing medballs? Fun!

Herb----It feels nice to be wanted by someone else and hits the ego. They are recruited and now feel like a princess with prince charming promising the moon.

Have her sit down and write two paths what she thinks she can do with the track and b-ball route and the track only with her HS, college, and post college plans. If she leaves and performs great and enjoys it then you are a good guy…if it doesn’t work her loyalty better be die hard. When they come back things are great…but if she gets beat by someone and is frustrated she will understand you can’t do it all.

I would do anything to get her talent, but your given what your given and work your ass off to get to the next level.

The good ol’ ben franklin list. works everytime.

I am forced to do this sort of work with the current sport that I am playing and it is all pretty much tempo work. I am so much faster than the other athletes that I can just run relaxed through all these “sprint” drills get in a good tempo workout.

She was talented for sure, but her coach Willie Krause in Trail trained and developed quite a few elite athletes and Olympians by taking what he had and making them champs. I remember Alita talling me WIllie had them put on a roller-skate (a boot with 4 heavy wheels on it for those under 25), have them hang their leg off the edge of a stair and then lift and drop their leg as fast as they could for reps.

Regarding Willie:

whats wrong with basketball? I think if he/she is a jumper, basketball is a good cross-training tool (marion jones, bruny surin…etc did it)

Yeah, and so did Donovan Bailey…uh, I mean…bad example, scratch that :slight_smile: