In San Diego we are fortunate to have rain about every three years. We definitely are fortunate to have it rain on a recovery day, and when I say rain I mean a light misting and maybe some decent drops of rain.
That's a perfect seg-way into what I wanted to talk about. That is the ability to concede rest and recovery. On a day like this I don't want exercises that may cause loading to the legs or pressure on the human system. I'm giving both the Central Nervous System and Endocrine Sayt It's a day when forces are non-existent and the emphasis is core and body stability. We do a routine of yoga, light biking, body weight exercises, and no running of any kind.
It's amazing the ability of the human body to adapt and like Ward's law adapt to the time averaged forces that are applied to it. But it's important we don't break this rubber band of tension but allow it to recover before we start to pull it apart again.
So my goal is to update my blogs bi-monthly. I have no true reason why I can't honestly do it more often except I think it would get stale.
I've just completed my hiatus from coaching and begin my more "normal" schedule. As with coaching normal is a very loose word, because a true coach has to change and adapt on the fly. It is truly finding a balance between being grounded and having the ability to change.
So for me during a hiatus I dream of new things to do for the new year. How to improve from the previous year, see what worked, what needs tweaking, and what challenges lie ahead. I also educate myself. I try to read and discuss or look at notes I wrote down during the previous year from other coaches and athletes I've had the pleasure of speaking with.
The three books I read this year were the following:
Practical Programming for Strength Training
I always like to either use the books for references or refresh my memory from what I learned years ago in Grad school. Plus times are a changing so you need to stay up with the latest and greatest.
So on Monday Sept 30th we start the quest for Poland 2014 and for some the quest for Rio 2016. We have a great stable of athletes: WLJ 7.25m,6,91m,6,67; MLJ 8.29,8.21,8.19,8.14; WTJ 14.16m,14.06,13.89; MTJ 17.70,16.96,16.85,16.66,16.64;
I'd like to say we have one of the finest groups in the world. So please pray for our growth and success, until next time,c
Fall training is a very important starting point for any season. As with any living organism homeostasis is something that helps us from maintaining a healthy and injury free living. In athletes it is just as important. We as coaches must thrive for balance from our athletes. We train the right side or left left side according to the individual but how often do we make sure that the alternate side is trained also. I dont expect an athlete to be bale to jump 7 meters off the left and right leg. But I do expect the same balance and flexibility on the "other" leg. Whether its the dominant of non-dominant leg they must be able to create similar forces, if one leg is over working the other you will have a variety of issues come up. So make sure your balancing your trianin
Jordan's are one of my material weaknesses in the world. They in all sense of God and just plain humanity are a little in humane. They run about $120-170 and are close to half the average household income of a family in Ethiopia.
I show my Jordan's because they symbolize something I had taken for granted today. My blessings!
Most people who know me, know I was born in Korea and was adopted at the age of 3 by two wonderful people in Southern California. I grew up with a loving home and though we didn't have a lot of money we weren't poor.
I write this because of a situation that happened to me today. IT MADE ME REALIZE HOW BLESSED I TRULY AM. Even though we didn't have a lot of money or material wealth I was always blessed with someone in my life who gave me a great opportunity.
Today I was at my girlfriends house on my vacation and I was beginning to mow her lawn. As I made my third or fourth pass down the lawn in the backyard her dog ran towards the front gate. I stopped to see what she was barking at and I saw a middle aged black woman approach the gate. I turned off the mower and headed towards the women. She politely asked," can I do some work for you". I assessed the situation, she didn't appear homeless but not well kept either. I replied, "sorry but this is not my place and I'm already mowing the lawn, thank you but no thank you." She then asked, "Can I have fifty cents"? I again replied, "sorry but I don't have money one me." I knew this was a lie because in my wallet in the house I had $20. She smiled and she kindly went on her way. Me being so apprehensive I went into the house to make sure I locked the front door . For all I know this lady was a crackhead.
As she left I saw her walk down the street pushing a lawn mower and knocking on the door of a few more houses where the lawn appeared to be needing a good mow. I was so embarrassed and I went back to mowing the lawn. As I walked up and down the lawn the guilt and shame started to overflow in my mind. When I was growing up I always had a neighbor like Mr Grover, or Coach like Coach Woodward, or a Mr Eddy, or a Coach Reidmiller that allowed me to mow their lawn or make a few extra dollars, or gave me opportunities that lead me to where I am today. She wasn't looking for a handout.
I pride myself in being a Christian but more so a decent human being. I had just failed miserably. A person who was adopted by two White parents, was half Black and Korean, had made a judgement on a person and didn't help someone less fortunate. Me, with all the blessings that I've received over the last year and I was tested and I hated myself for it. I finished mowing the lawn and I was so distraught and actually had tears in my eyes. I felt so bad because I had the opportunity to help someone and I didn't want to be bothered.
The minute I finished mowing the lawn I went running through the streets like a mad man searching for the women. I found her about three blocks over and she had not found any takers yet. I introduced myself and told her I was a liar and that I was sorry. I handed her the twenty dollars and said that I wish I could give her more. From the initial conversation I didn't see her wonderful smile. Not like it matters but she was mentally challenged, which made me even more shameful. Despite her disability you could see that she was a lover of life and so appreciative, her smile and just the way she carried herself you could see every minute breathing is truly a blessing . I said my good byes and she said I was an angel and God bless. But little did she know that she was the angel and a reminder of how truly blessed I am.
The next time I'm tested will I fail as miserably as I did today? I hope not, Lord willing
This will be my last blog here in London 2012. I really enjoyed everything about the Olympics but enjoying London has been hard. As a coach you are always worried about the well being of your athletes so I really haven't been able to think of much else. So since I don't leave until Monday I will finally get to enjoy London in all its glory.
First all glory should be given to God. I know its cliche but whats cliche about the truth. It's so easy to stay in the moment and be happy when you have a guardian always protecting you.
Secondly I apologize to all family and friends to whom I haven't seen, talked to, or been around. As you see the journey to the Olympics is a difficult one. Thirdly we made history.
Jamie was the oldest American HJer in history and the way his season unfolded was definitely guided by a higher power. He accomplished all the goals I could have ever imagined and I know Jamie is not done yet, Moscow 2013 #swansong!
Will is another story. His family has made this trip amazing for me. He is the first American athlete to medal in both the LJ and TJ since 1904 and first athlete period since 1936. Truly amazing, so you see why there has to be a higher power involved.
So with this I say thank you, God Bless, and I hope to see each and every person who has supported Jamie and Will in the near future. Pictures sometimes speak louder than words.
P.S. My prayers go out to Leevan Sands; a great jumper, medalist and person. He had a serious injury during the TJ.
Getting ready to compete.
This is the 400m tube from the practice track to the stadium. Your heart starts to beat and you realize the enormity of the moment.
Where it all went down.
Its about to go down.
The Gold and Silver, Christian is a great jumper and young man, these two are gonna be on it for a long time.
Some guy who won the 200m.
Will's original inspiration and eldest brother James. Double medalist and history maker. By the way at Nando's our new favorite place.
For now there are no pictures or videos to express the sure nervousness, excitement, and euphoria I feel for tonights triple jump final. I really feel at ease because I know God has blessed us to this point and he has shown me the greatness of his power. When I left the University of Oklahoma two years ago I did not know the path he would lead me. I knew that it wasn't the right place for me but would take his guidance and he would show me a new path.
That was about two years to the day. As I sit and prepare myself for what has been an amazing experience all I can say is BLESSED! I'm blessed to be adopted by two amazing parents. I'm blessed to have a family that has supported and nurtured me. I'm blessed to have people in my life that have helped turn me into the person I have become. I'm blessed to have coaches who have helped guide me to the coach I've become. I'm blessed to work with amazing athletes, trainers, coaches, and people who have all played a role into me getting to this very stage.
Tonight we can help right history, no athlete has medaled in both the long jump and triple jump since the 1930s. I know its in his hands and my faith is strong, so I know His plan will be done. But I also see its gonna be 70 degrees and beautiful today and the sun will be shining.
Tonight Will Claye won a bronze medal in the long jump. The competition started out kind of slow, but the weather was about 60 degrees and the winds were swirling. Unfortunately we had a head wind for about each jump. We are very happy with our result because really triple jump is what truly sets Will and Christian Taylor apart. God has truly been good and his family was able to see him compete. We are now in therapy mode and we will get ready for the triple jump which starts on Tuesday and concludes on Thursday. Tomorrow Jamie jumps in the qualifying round of the high jump. So now I must come down from my high and re-focus at the task at hand. God is good.
Will, his brother and mother.
Badgers in London! 10000 meter runner Matt Tegenkamp and me. I actually helped recruit him to Madtown. Full circle.
Today was the start of track and field and Will's first day of jumping. He had the qualifying round in the LJ. Will jumped 7.99 or 26'2.75" on his first jump, fouled his second and jumped 7.86 or about 26' on his third jump. This qualified him 8th for the finals in which they were taking 12 jumpers. So not a great day but I always know he shows up when it's game time. The winds were swirling but we have to get the approach down. The event is wide open.
On a side note, the Olympics are all about walking. I've walked about 6-7 miles a day here in London. It sometimes takes longer to take a taxi or train and with it costing about 20 quid (pounds) to go about 6 miles its also cheaper. The food has also been amazing here, again I've ate Nando's a few more times and went to an Indian restaurant and it was amazing.
Tomorrow we have the long jump finals. It really is the first step of a two step journey we've taken this year. I feel Will is so disrespected in the LJ so we have a little chip on our shoulder. He was 9th at World Champs last year and 4th indoors, yet he is never ranked in the top ten. This will be the first time when he doesn't have to do the triple jump qualifying round the morning of the long jump finals. I know we are very ready to do something great. Hopefully this time tomorrow we will be one step closer to our goals.
The double decker bus!
A work of art?
Warming up before we get to the big stage.
The Olympic Stadium from the coaches eye!
Burn baby burn!
So the opening games have come and passed and we are just getting our last sessions in before we start competition on Friday. We have had great sessions since we arrived in England and its kind of scary how well it has gone. Jamie had a great practice and boomed over a nice bar in practice and Will looks faster than he ever has and his nagging injury from trials is for the most part gone. So you know why I'm ready for this thing to get started.
A real interesting look into the dynamic of Will and I, is we are more than just coach athlete. I train him and look out for his well being, but I've invested a lot of time and myself because he's more like family. I don't ask anything in return except a pair of Jordans each year because his success is the most important thing. Its amazing to be on a journey like this with such a special person and his family is amazing. As you saw in the previous pictures I'm staying in James's house, Will's eldest bother. James played football at Cal but was born in London. He is who will wanted to be like when he was a kid. He and his fiancee have gone out of the way to take care of me. Since I've been here they got me a temp phone, filled the house with food, and check on me daily. They re truly amazing people but I would expect nothing less from Will's family.
The other night was James' fiancees birthday and they had a party with a DJ and food and the whole nine. The food was amazing and the DJ played great music, unfortunately I knew most the music word for word so they were oldies but goodies. At the part Will was able to see his grandmother, aunts, and some cousins he had never met. They were so excited to see him. Zia, James fiancee and her friends are amazing women. They can cook like no other, are always checking to make sure the house is spotless, and checking to make sure you are well taken care of. This is not what was amazing, but the fact they are successful business women, veterinarians, pharmacist, doctors and lawyers. Pretty impressive and it was a fun and a festive night and allowed me to relax and not think about the Olympics for a little while.
Anyway, the days are counting down and our first prelim and final is Friday and Saturday. From here on in I get to make sure Will gets treatment, and we go through our script for the first day. On a side note, Nike has been amazing. They set-up treatment for the athletes and even hooked me up finally with a field band which I've wanted for months. But of course when I got my band, Will had to trump me and get a limited edition see through one. The only thing better is if it was gold.
Today we had a morning practice and didn't do anything technical but worked on keeping our power speed component. It was a nice workout and I looked at it in the regards of not doing too much because I knew Will would be standing for hours in the opening ceremonies.
I have decided to stay far away from the chaos and chill at the house. I really never have been much into standing room only crowds and really the Games in all its glory is all about the athletes.
Again USATF has to be applauded they did a great job with the practice facilities. Like in Birmingham they are top notch and can get everything we need to do in.
My flat in London is great. The place is owned by Will's older brother James Smith. I found out yesterday that James was recruited by my college coach Mark Napier at Wisconsin, which makes it a truly small world. James and his fiancee Zai are two amazing people. They opened their doors of their 3 bedroom flat for me to stay during the Olympics. The place is about a mile or so to the Olympic Park, close but far enough away from the chaos. It is 100 meters away from the railway so it is very convenient and from what I'm told a lot better than accommodations of a lot of my peers. The nights before Will competes he is going to be staying with me. It will allow him to have a peaceful nights sleep and enjoy a low key quiet stress free setting.
Today was also the first time I took the wrong train. Luckily I saw my mistake and corrected it before it became a huge problem, but the machismo in me did not allow me to ask for directions. My brother-in-law told me to add video but I will wait to do that once competition starts. But he also prayed for the success of my athletes so I'm feeling the video I show will be a great one (gold medal stand possibly) but now it truly in God's hands, which I have true faith in.
The flat. And some funny looking keys that look like they are from Alice in Wonderland.
I noticed I didn't have any pictures of me actually in and around England. So I decided to take a picture in front of my favorite store and like the words say, Like a BOSS!
There are so many people from so many different places. It really is an amazing experience. Multicultural at its finest.