This past weekend, I went to the state Track and Field Clinic for Ohio.  It is held in Columbus so it is easy for me to get to. You get to network with other coaches and listen to some very smart minds in track and field as they discuss what they are doing to be successful in this sport.

I always seem to take away a lot of great nuggets from this clinic. I then go home and process what I’ve learned and see if any of it really sticks out to me. If something does, how can I then implement it into my own program?

What is really cool though is when you hear a speaker talk and he/she (we will keep it a he for this post) has a completely different way of looking about things. Initially, you think that you would never do some of the things he is saying, but the more he talks, the more you begin to wonder.

There was such a person at this clinic. He was a speed coach named Dan Fichter. He had some different views towards speed training then what mine were. But, as he talked, he started making sense.

Here’s the thing. I was open to listening to his ideas. I was open to listening to everyone’s ideas at this clinic and some I just couldn’t agree with. But Dan convinced me that there might be some merit to what he was saying.

For example, he said he doesn’t spend any time on form drills. He corrects form from the inside out. Meaning, what are the weaknesses in one’s body that is allowing for these mechanical failures. Correct those by strengthening them and the mechanics will work itself out.

I could see that working. Form drills essentially is trying to re-train the brain so maybe strengthening those weak muscles can do the trick as well.

I’m definitely going to re-read the notes I took during his lectures and see what I really want to explore and utilize for our program. Maybe this is a good lesson for life itself. Be open to hearing the other side of things. You still might not like what you hear, but at least you took the opportunity to listen.

Photo courtesy of Oxford Akademija on Flickr: