List 3 things that you must have for a successful track program?
- dedicated athletes
- a great coach
Good and reliable sources; books/forums,… etc.
- A track.
- Wisdom and judgment (for the coach). Coaching isn’t just knowledge, it’s both science and art.
- Faith (for the athletes). If an athlete doesn’t believe in the program all is lost.
- Consistency. Stability and dedication over time can produce big results.
I’ll say a dedicated coach. lol
Your reasoning behind this? There have been many great programs from age group to Olympic level with little or no funding. At the highest level they include Charlie’s Optimists, Pfaff’s Tri-Valley Athletics, Racers and MVP in Jamaica. They may have gained funding later on but they all produced before that.
Does money help? Heck yeah, but I wouldn’t say it’s a requirement.
Interesting because me and some other like minded coaches are starting a club program, and Charlie’s principles are probably some of the best in terms of building the program. The coaching really doesnt come into play until a lot of things are in place.
Volume of athletes and a solid development program (see Edmonton pdf)
We are starting young, putting on youth track camps, getting 13 year olds to join our groups, avoiding specializing, medball jumps, accelerations, learning the skills of long jump, high jump, shot put, hurdles, ect… We are getting new athletes weekly. With this growth year after year, for the next 10 years, if there isnt any success than your development model sucks.
Don’t exclude anyone
We charge a club fee, yet its not mandatory. We allow volunteering, from parents or athletes to cover fees. We would never not allow someone to join our club and practice. And this is an important factor. We also dont exclude anyone due to talent, if they want to show up and practice and put the time in for themselves we dont discourage anyone. So many times I’ve seen coaches turn down athletes because they didnt think they were talented enough. Hell, it happened to one of my current para athletes, the head coach at the university thought it’d be a waste of time to coach him, so I picked him up. Now hes likely going to be carded, going to pan am games, potentially going to the paralympics. What a loss for that stupid coach that was too good for this athlete.
Once a volume of athletes and a solid development program is in place there needs to be a core team of dedicated coaches. Coaches who pursue education and share ideas and respect one another. We have a core group, a throws, sprints, jumps and distance coach. We all share the same objectives and openly share training ideas and respect each other. I can’t express how important this core group is. This is where successful programs can be ripped apart. Coaches feuding over stupid details, over athletes, over training ect…
Sady said it best too, patience. The plan outlined above will probably take 10 years to actually start to produce top level athletes. But its really that simple.
2- good coaching
3- support (AD, trainers, etc)