TRAINERS / TEACHERS / COACHES – THE HOLY TRINITY OF SUCCESS IN TRACK AND FIELD

Kenta Bell is one of the most knowledgeable athletes in the sport when it comes to his event ( triple jump ) and also has a basic grasp of what is required in most other technique events as well. In 2007 he and Dwight Phillips went to Houston to train with the very reknowned and respected coach, Tom Tellez. At on point in the training process Kenta referred to something that he had learned from another well known coach in the sport.. Tellez’s response to the reference was, ” He is a good teacher, but he can not coach !”. More recently this summer at the World Championships in Berlin,  talking with John Smith, who coaches Carmelita Jeter, as he and I were deep into “coach speak”  the topic came up again.
Brooks, Carmelita is really pissed at not winning the 100.
John, that’s a good thing !
I know it is. I am glad she’s so upset, now we can move forward. Now I can start to put my coaching skills to work.
Really ? What the hell you been doing up to now ?
I been teaching. I have taught her the mechanical things she needs to do. She is a very smart woman and really
understands all the concepts we have been working on. Now I got to put her head back together in such a way as her body
will do what it is capable of doing.
John, the one thing I picked up is her impatience during the drive phase. Seems like she is anxious to look up and see
where she is in the race and cuts her drive phase short as a result.
Yeah, you’re right, but there is some other s…t we also have to address. If I get her to do a couple of technical things I have
been teaching, you are going to see some very special s..t out there.
You just put your ass up for grabs. It’s out there now. If you can coach, then you can motivate and guide her into doing
these things that you want her to do. As a coach, you have to be able to put Humpty Dumpty back together again after the
great fall and have him come back bigger, badder, bolder and better than ever.
Yep. Watch me ! You know what ?
No, man,….what ?
I get sick and tired of guys out here getting all this play and when they can not coach their ass out of a wet paper bag..
I told you what Tellez said about —– ? He said the guy can teach but he can not coach.
You know I know Tom from way back when he was a coach at UCLA and I was an athlete there. He’s right. There are too
many of these guys out here who can not coach but get all this recognition and reputation as coaches. Coaching is an art.
Teaching simply means that you know the science and explain that to the athlete. If you have a real good athlete who is
self-motivated, then you will get success. But these guys never develop anyone They take people who are already talented
and hungry and teach them the science and that’s it. They can not motivate anyone. They do not have the people skills to
inspire any one. In too many cases they are too intimidated by the athletes to discipline them and effectively guide them.
Man,…I could not agree with you more. But there is one more piece to this thing.
What’s that ?
Trainers. These are guys who recruit very good people who already have major accomplishment credentials. They get them
on campus and give them workouts. Science is absent unless the athletes already have it in their gene pool.
So we have now have trainers, teachers, and coaches ? Is that what you are saying ?
Guilty as charged.
Well let me tell you one thing right now as we are sitting on this pole vault pit in the shadow of the Jesse Owens Olympic
Stadium in Berlin, Germany. I can do it all ! And in a few days you will see it.
John,…. John, you ain’t got to prove s..t to me. I know what you can do. In your case, been there done that. However, that
being the case,  do not write a check with your mouth that your ass can not cash. What we are talking about
here is the Holy Trinity of track and field…., training, teaching, and coaching. Anyone who can do it all by definition takes
on minor diety status in my eyes.
Don’t you worry about what my ass can cash. You just make sure you are paying very close attention to Carmelita’s next
races.
Done. Now let’s catch the shuttle back to the hotel and get some of that spcial ice cream with almonds and mango sauce.
Done !
Broks T. Johnson
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