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Jay Johnson (JJ): We’re really excited to have Dr. Jeff Messer of Desert Vista High School joining us here on High School Running Coach for the month of August 2014. Jeff, thank you so much for your time.
Dr. Jeff Messer (JM): My pleasure, Jay, I appreciate the opportunity, as I always do, to spend some time with you. Always a privilege, and I’m looking forward to this interview.
JJ: Yeah, I am too, we’ve got a lot to cover, you’ve done a great job getting us your training plan, which is extremely detailed, so we will spend quite a bit of time talking about the training. But as we’re asking all the coaches as part of High School Running Coach, let’s first start off with what is, and there might be more than one of these, but can you give me one or two elements of your, either your training philosophy or something specifically you do in your program that you think you would see in all programs? Or I’m sorry, all good successful programs.
JM: Well, I can think of a number of things, Jay, that I suspect or I conjecture are common to the better, and certainly the best programs in the country. Certainly, I hope Desert Vista can be included in that conversation at this point in time, but among those characteristics or qualities, one is structure/discipline. I think it’s important to have structure in training, I think it’s important to have structure in expectations, and I think structure is something that particularly high achieving young student-athletes seek. And I think in general they will embrace structure, and they’ll rise to the expectations of accompanying structure. So I think structure in a program, and it can be as simple as structure in the training plan, I think that’s an important component. Maybe a more important component, and it may be even the most important component, I don’t have evidence to support that statement, but maybe the most important component is simply to convince young student-athletes about their self-worth, and how great they can be, and how limitless their achievements can be. [Read more…]
What follows are two excerpts from the 82 minute interview Coach Soles did with Jay Johnson. Members can listen to the interview and read the full transcript of the interview. Click here to view Coach Soles’s training summary.
On program success and dealing with doubters and parents:
Doug Soles: I think there’s a lot of basic commonalities: Dealing with parents, just trying to make sure that everybody understands the direction that we’re going. We all deal with that. That’s one of the number one things when I talk with other coaches, it’s funny because they look at me like “oh, you sometimes have issues with parents?” Just because you’re successful doesn’t mean you’re not dealing with people that have questions or decide that they ran a 5k once and so they obviously know more about running then you do. I think the most important thing is to really own your program. This is what we do. This is what we have. And this is what we offer for the kids. And if people don’t like that then they have to go do something else. That’s one of the number one questions that I get from high school coaches when I talk with people through email or in person, is how do you deal with the craziness that sometimes the parents will have? And I think the most important thing is to just be honest, be upfront, and own your program. This is what we do. Don’t shy away from that, don’t start wavering, “okay, now this parent is upset so we’re going to start to change things to this.”
Doug Soles: You have to really look at what the most important thing is for you and your program and what’s the most important thing for the kids. [Read more…]