CF vs Pfaff - CF wins hands down

His presentation appears to have been exactly what he was under the impression he was there to give. And thus was not intended to provide what NAP says he was looking for.

Having spoken with Dan prior to the conference, my understanding is that he was going there to speak specifcly to Trainers/Therapist types, on acessing athletes and not to track coaches or athletes looking for his training model or workout specifics.

I did not attend the conference but
Nap’s review appears to be in line with what I understood was the goal.

As for Dan’s place in the coaching world. Nothing here requires a defense. His body of work along with his support of most any coach in search of serious help, stands up for him just fine.

As for comparing CF and DP, its not “apples to apples” Both have their strengths.

I think the comparison was referring to their over-all scope of expertise.


As well as clarity of explanation. In this regard, Charlie’s the best in the business. It’s just a gift of communication that most people do not have and is especially rare when it comes to technical fields.

[i]I think my expectation was to have another system (Coach Pfaff’s) to compare things to(CF’s Training System)

I was expecting substance and all we heard was fluff.

I wanted to hear Coach Pfaff describe his technical model of running or discuss his multi-lateral approach to developing training protocols for power speed athletes.

All I kept hearing about was bombs and terminology, no details. [/i]

My post was simply to say that Dan did not go into that seminar charged to speak on what is refered to above. I saw the outline for his presentation prior to his traveling to Edmonton.

Perhaps the pre-seminar information wasnt clear or mis-stated the presentation content, but as I understood prior to the event, he was not going to speak directly to coaches nor directly to the subject matter that the gentleman refers to.

I would liken this to going to a rock concert and expecting to hear certain songs from certain albums but the band plays something else.
Accepting this as what may have happened, it does sound like the gentleman didnt appreciate the musician as well as the tunes.

On the “CF wins hands down” assertion… While I have great respect of Charlie’s knowledge, I am at the least, equally impressed with Dan’s.

A public statement of respect for Charlie, while working in a US system that disaproves of any interaction with “he who shall not be named” is no small thing. At the same time, the statement “CF wins hands down” is far from the true measure of the 2 men.

See the outline of the seminar below. It seems to me that Coach Pfaff was supposed to be talking to coaches for at least session #1. It clearly says that he would be talking about “his multi-lateral approach to developing training protocols for power speed athletes.” Since the workshop was hosted by the Canadian Athletics Coaching Centre, I would assume that a good portion of it would be directed toward coaches - would it not?

I would also assume that any talk directed at reducing injuries, improving technique and enhancing performance would have significant relevance to coaches, involve a comprehensive explanation of coaching methodology and philosophy, and include sample training programs to illustrate how proper loading progressions would be implemented.

I don’t think it is fair to fault Nap’s assessment of the presentation - as he is a coach looking for information on how to get results out of his athletes.

The Canadian Athletics Coaching Centre
Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation
The University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta.
Monday, July 18th, 2005
3:00pm to 6:00pm: E-121 Van Vliet Centre, University of Alberta.


By Dan Pfaff, Assistant Coach, University of Florida.

In this three-hour seminar Coach Pfaff will discuss his multi-lateral approach to developing training protocols for power speed athletes. Special consideration will be paid to the integration of various forms of strength work including starting strength, special strength, absolute strength, movements involving three degrees of freedom and the use of power indices.

6:30pm to 9:30pm: E-120 Van Vliet Centre, University of Alberta.

By Dr. Anatoly Bondarchuk, Assistant Coach, Kamloops Track & Field Club

This three-hour session will cover the development of “Sporting Form.” This term refers to the top psychological and physical condition of the thrower in preparation for top performance. It will include Mr. Bondarchuk’s system of classifying different exercises in the development of throwers as well as his unique periodization concepts.

Tuesday, July 19th to Thursday July 21st, 2005.
9am to 12pm each day. Saville Centre Lounge: South Campus, University of Alberta.

Dr. Michael Leahy & Coach Dan Pfaff

Guest appearance by Dr. Anatoly Bondarchuk

This nine-hour seminar series will provide coaches with the latest insights into the analysis of human movement and human gait. Led by Dr. Michael Leahy and Coach Dan Pfaff, class participants will be instructed on correct observation techniques, abhorrent pattern recognition and strategies for corrective interventions. On Wednesday night (7pm to 9pm) there will be an opportunity for interested coaches to attend a clinical rounds session where therapists evaluate pre and post treatment performance illustrated through comparative digital video analysis utilizing Dartfish Biomechanical Software.

The Canadian Athletics Coaching Centre has made this unique opportunity available to coaches by providing access to nine hours of a thirty-hour program directed at medical practitioners. Coaches will join leading medical personnel in the seminar component of a broader applied biomechanics course that teaches trained medical professionals how to assess movement in elite athletes.

Come and witness what medical professionals are learning and understand how you can improve your athletes’ performances through an enhanced understanding of athletic movement and integration with applied medical practitioners. No serious coach should miss this opportunity to learn from some of the world’s leading practitioners.

I dont fault his read of what happened. However I disagree with the idea that because he didnt get what he wanted/paid for, its somehow DP’s fault and then the huge misleap in logic that this is somehow proof that DP is far lesser the coach as measured against the icon of this board.

There is a disconnect between what is advertised, what DP related to me that he was supposed to speak on as well as what group he was speaking to, and who the event was actually being marketed to, let alone the profit motive of charging $400+ CDN for the event.

If I had spent that kind of money and not gotten what I was expecting, my accessment would be perhaps even harsher.

The promotors in this case would appear to be the culprit? Perhaps looking to entice the greatest possible attendance without regard to matching presentations with interests?

I, as a young coach with limited experience in the art of track and field, went to the conference to learn better ways to improve the speed and power potential of my athletes, from a world renowned coach. I came with certain expectations, as I would hope the presenter would. Regardless of who invites you, your work, and presentation are your own. Why is a coach not allowed to be responsible for his work or performance, we are not debating character or his willingness to share with others, just on his presentation of the material.
I never defend my athletes for a poor performance because they are self sufficient and responsible, more times than not they do not perform well, because they did not prepare well. And when I run around defending them it makes them feel insecure and weak because they believe I can not allow them to stand on their own (they need my protection). I never do that.
I do not believe coach Pfaff or CF need any ones protection, I thought both of them would have taught us that by now!
I was simply making an observation of my experience at attending both symposiums.
I also don’t understand why one guy/gal can’t be better than another? That is what motivates us to improve.
In my experience of being part of many coaching interactions, in many different sports, CF is the best I have ever encountered, hands down. I’m not even a track guy, and I learned more from him about training than I have from any one else.
Moving from theory to practice can be an incredibly difficult thing to overcome especially for young coaches. So many ideas, so much information, it is hard to see the road through the trees. It takes a special ability to see through all that, and a certain confidence to choose a path that will lead to success. Great coaches have that ability, and CF is one of those.
Of course if I’m writing this, it is my opinion!

Cut the crap! This entire thread is about bitchin’ because the High Performance Symposium didn’t live up to your expectation. And has really little to do with an objective evaluation of both coaches!

This is similar to other track forums on the net complaining about Charlie products. Just a dissatisfied person bitchin’.

Nothing wrong with bitchin’… just stop trying to pretend you are doing an objective evaluation. Because you’re not! The last sentence in you last post summed it up best:

“Of course if I’m writing this, it is my opinion!”

That is all it really is…an opinion!

Assuming you can problably lay blame to the promoters about 70% of the time for lackluster seminars, the remaining 30% really does fall on the speakers shoulders.

When we hold seminars we go over EXACTLY, in detail what we are are planning on doing.

DP and Co. got paid, thats a fact. Also note that since it was an Athletics Canada event, I most likely (as a Canadian taxpayer) subsidized part (if not all) of the costs of that seminar.

Dont kid yourselves, promoters and speakers alike know exactly what responsibilities they have to their respective audiences at large.


Bitchin? LOL

Ya, I would be bitchin too if I paid 500 dollars for a seminar and felt I didn’t even get near my money’s worth! I believe Nap is giving his opinion of the CF Seminar Vs DP seminar. In what I’ve read so far there is no comparison. CF wins hands down in the seminar department. This doesn’t mean Dan Pfaff isn’t a great coach or comparable to CF. What it does mean is that CF’s presentation of his seminar and his training methodology is better than DP’s hands down! Maybe this is due to the fact DP doesn’t want to share all of his info or any of his useful info? Just a thought.

What I do know is that the time I spent under Nap as a learning S & C coach taught me a great deal of that profession. In fact, I know the material he read and that is how I got involved in S & C. I introduced him to this website and to some of CF’s seminar videos when I was in Edmonton and his Jaw dropped as did mine. We never knew what kind of Mad Genius Coach Charlie Francis was until we read Speed Trap, CFTS, and watched his Vancouver Seminar tapes. In fact, that is the reason we went to the CF Seminar in Vancouver in the first place! Nap knows his shit! We he hears BS and reads BS he calls it BS. I myself Call em Like I See em. Sometimes we debated whether certain stuff was worth buying “Sports Speed by Dintiman/Ward” which I told you Nap was garbage and other stuff like GPP Essentials/Vancouver Seminar tapes/The Vancouver seminar itself. All I can say is that there was no debate when it came to CF’s stuff.

The only question that remained was, “When’s his next seminar? When’s the Vancouver tapes 3 and 4 coming out? How much do you think it would cost to get him out here?”

The point is this, CF’s seminar is the best I’ve attended and Nap; however, when it came to Pfaff’s seminar Nap felt like it was almost a complete waste of his time and money"

In conclusion, my opinion is that CF’s material and seminar revolutionized the way I think about training and how to train athletes. I have never heard DP’s stuff being mentioned, even videos for sale! Hell if Dan Pfaff starts giving away some of his knowledge in future videos/DVD’s or seminars and I feel that based on that knowledge he was a intelligent coach then I will give him the same credit! So perhaps DP is a great coach but just is not a great presenter; in which case, he should not be doing seminar’s until he gets that problem fixed. I would love it if DP could get his training methodology on paper and DVD in a presentable way so that we could compare these 2 brilliant coaches. But until that happens my vote stays with CF. Also, I think coach Jay Shroeder may be have some revolutionizing ideas! I’m not sure, only time will tell but at least I have something to go on when I watch his DVD’s and although it may not revolutionize sprinting methodology it may however revolutionize football training methodology. I can say the same for the WSBC in their usage of bands. I am still not convinced of bands but it is revolutionary and if it works as some have stated then Louie Simmons is an intelligent man for incoporating it into his Powerlifting schemes. Also, WSBC does have a free training template that you can compare other Powerlifting techniques to! There are various Olympic lifting training videos out there, 1 does stand out as the best but I did learn from all of them, making them all worth the money.

My point through all this rambling is that no matter what you compare stuff to, as long as you have 2 methods to compare on paper you can ascertain which of the two is better! And also, if both are worth buying! So to reiterate, DP’s seminar right now is not comparable to CF’s bc either DP doesn’t have anything to jot down on paper (which means he sucks as a coach and this is highly unlikey seeing how he coached many olympic athletes!) or DP has not been able to get some of those ideas onto paper bc of time constraints, difficulty in intpretating his methods bc although he might understand what he wrote down on paper others might not, and finally the guy has not decided to reveal his secrets. In any case, nothing is absolute fact in life but we do base our decisions on assumptions and previous knowledge; therefore, I can only conclude by what I have seen so far is that CF is superior to DP not only in classroom (seminar’s) but also in terms of hands on (from what I’ve seen in some of his DVD’s and by this website and peoples experience with CF in personal training sessions which they also discuss on this website). Now the seminar stuff I am biased, I admit that bc of the knowledge I have acquired in CF’s DVDs, attending his seminar, and the usage of his website; therefore, when and If I can ever experience a “hands on seminar” with DP where he reveals more of his training methodology (thereby skipping the seminar component bc Pfaff apparently sucks in this department) I can then and only then change my viewpoint on who is the better coach. In terms of the seminar I trust Naps opinion bc I know him, I can’t speak for anyone else. BTW, if you have Dan Pfaff in your backyard and only had 30 hours before he left, wouldn’t you want to spend the majority of that time (say 24 hours) to know his training methodology that led to all those olympic athletes or would you be more concerned with how to assess and prevent injuries (say 24 hours)?

For those interested in Pfaff…

Im thinking of going to my mother land for this one. Right on the beach alot of drinking and hopefully some good parties :slight_smile:

You have made an uninformed decision base on one dissatisfied customer opinion. Simple as that…

Charlie’s info and knowledge is sound. However, I can’t compare (no do I need to…) him to Dan Pfaff (or John Smith or Tom Tellez for that matter) because I don’t have information on their training programs the way I do Charlie’s

The point is I looked at this thread to find out the reason “CF vs Pfaff - CF wins hands down.” Come to find out that this was just an opinion of a dissatisfied individual that attended a seminar that included Pfaff.

On the other hand if the person was satisfied with the info given by Dan and able to give an unbiased comparison of both then it would hold merit! END OF STORY!

Why do you think Nap is biased? He went to the seminar to learn from coach Pfaff and apparently he didn’t learn a whole lot. Nap also doesn’t follow CF’s program to a tee bc he has his own thoughts on certain aspects. Nor do I follow CF’s program to a tee bc I have my own thoughts on things. Nap was open-minded to Pfaff before the seminar; afterwards, I wouldn’t blame anybody for being biased.

Apparently, Pfaff will be in another seminar very soon and I believe there will be some forum members attending that seminar so lets wait to see if the results are the same.

Look man, he said:

“my expectation was to have another system (Coach Pfaff’s) to compare things to(CF’s Training System), to see the validity and vulnerability of some of CF’s concepts of trainig. Which at times can seen to err on the side of causion vs push the envelope.”

He goes on to say…

"I wanted to hear Coach Pfaff describe his technical model of running or discuss his multi-lateral approach to developing training protocols for power speed athletes. "

“All I kept hearing about was bombs and terminology, no details.”

So therefore…

CF vs Pfaff - CF wins hands down

His bias was based on a preconceived notion about what he expected from the seminar!

Now come back in another two weeks with another question!

I know one of Dans former athletes (now retired) and he and I have discussed the differences between the two programs (to the best of our knowledge). They both have merit. Since they both worked with different athletes we can assume that they learned different ways of coaching each individual athlete. Still, the contents of the human training envelope (that which the organism can invest into training), is basically the same for everyone. How the contents of each envelope are used might vary, but successful programs always end up having common factors, if not in the numbers, it is in the philosophy of the coaches involved. From what the original post here discusses, it seems to me that Dan was attempting to give more of a philosophical talk rather than a numbers talk. This is where I began with Charlie’s program…“less is more.” and I went from there.

I have also talked with one of Dan’s former athletes who left Dan (never to be heard from again as far as results were concerned), for another coach. He left because Dan was too busy. Perhaps Dan was too busy to adequately prepare for the seminar, which is no real excuse, but it is at least understandable. What I would have liked is for Nap to give us more examples of the “fluff” that Dan was speaking about. Perhaps Nap was napping during the seminar and missed the one point that would have brought it all together and made him say “ah-ha! I get it now.” Furthermore, did, Nap stick around afterwards and ask Dan specific questions? Anyways, this is all just my opnion so in saying that, nobody can say if I am right or wrong because hey, it is all relative. :smiley:

So if I goto a Dan Pfaff seminar and I am told that I will get top secret information and then later don’t get any info on any of his olympic athlete’s programs or training methodology but rather, “bombs and terminology” and I decide to say, “That seminar sucked big time”! Does that make me biased? Ya, I guess so, AFTER THE SEMINAR.

I could go ahead and waste my time talking semantics with you but I just don’t think you would ever conceive of the notion of what “unbiased” means and furthermore, that “You say he was biased bc he had a preconceived notion about what he expected from the seminar”. But your contention is that he was biased before the seminar bc he was going to compare CF’s material versus DP’s material and when he didn’t get any material whatsoever then that makes him biased? When he didn’t get anything to compare then how can be biased?

All he is saying is that the Seminar sucked bc he didn’t get a chance to compare Dan Pfaffs, “technical model of running or discuss his multi-lateral approach to developing training protocols for power speed athletes”, which was supposed to have been discussed. I would consider the CF and Pfaff seminars as comparing apples to oranges, but wait a minute, there are no oranges! :eek:

BTW, that reply took 5 hours but I didn’t know that was a set time limit on replies! :rolleyes:

Actually this is more objective than anything else in here that relates to the programs…Thanks!

i was actually at the seminar… there were plenty of practical examples given… i’m biased as i was also helping some of the presenters during the week.

anyway… he gave general and specific examples of

  1. how to integrate various aspects of training… speed, accel, speed endurance, strength, power

  2. how and why he’s made methodlogical errors in the past and how you may be able to avoid them

  3. how to evaluate athlete readiness (for that particular session and upcoming sessions)

  4. how to get through injury/plan B type of situations and still be ready for the big show

  5. how and why he’s done testing and how (and why) that has changed over the years.

  6. how to evaluate the need for work capacity training in athletes

  7. how power and speed indices develop from collegiate-to-national-to-world class athletes.

  8. how to approach peaking types of situations and what other similar training systems have done.

  9. motor learning concepts and ideas and how to integrate them with various training theories.

i would say that if you went in looking for a “this is how you should train from Monday to Sunday” in gen prep, special prep, comp, and peaking it wasn’t that type of talk

hope this helps…

Thanks KTolbert! Having seen Dan present myself in the past I was kinda surprised with some of the reports given by other attendees :confused: . What you listed above is more along the lines of what I got out of past seminars. Thanks for the insight. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the input all, I have been to many seminars and find few that make any impact. Last weekend I went to a swim clinic and found plenty of great tidbits of wisdom. My beef is that not enough good track coaches present.