Track and field is one of the most iconic sports in the world. It has been a part of the Olympic Games since its inception in 1896. Over the years, the sport has produced some of the most legendary athletes and coaches. In this article, we will take a look at some of the best track and field coaches of all time.
1. Percy Cerutty
Percy Cerutty is one of the most renowned track and field coaches in history. He trained several Olympians, including Herb Elliot, who won the gold medal in the 1500m at the 1960 Rome Olympics. Cerutty is known for his innovative training methods, which included barefoot running and hill training. He believed in developing the whole athlete – physical, mental, and emotional – and often used Zen meditation to help his athletes focus.
2. Arthur Lydiard
Arthur Lydiard is widely regarded as the father of modern running. He was a New Zealand coach who is credited with developing the endurance-based training program that many athletes still use today. Lydiard was a coach who inspired his athletes to believe in themselves and push beyond their limits. He coached many of New Zealand’s greatest athletes, including Olympic gold medalists Peter Snell and Murray Halberg.
3. Bill Bowerman
Bill Bowerman is the co-founder of Nike, but before that, he was a successful track and field coach at the University of Oregon. Bowerman coached several national and international champions, including Phil Knight, the future co-founder of Nike. He is known for his innovative training methods and a simple yet effective coaching philosophy – “If you have a body, you are an athlete.”
4. Dan Pfaff
Dan Pfaff is a Canadian coach who has produced some of the most successful athletes in the world. He has coached several Olympic medalists, including Donovan Bailey, Ato Boldon, and Dwight Phillips. Pfaff is known for his technical knowledge and his ability to adjust training programs to suit individual athletes. He has a holistic approach to coaching that focuses on both physical and mental preparation.
5. Tom Tellez
Tom Tellez is one of the most successful track and field coaches in history. He was the head coach for the U.S. track and field team at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, where the team won 43 medals, including 13 gold medals. Tellez coached several Olympic and world champions, including Carl Lewis, Leroy Burrell, and Joe DeLoach. He is known for his attention to detail and his ability to work with athletes to develop their strengths and weaknesses.
6. Glen Mills
Glen Mills is the head coach of the Jamaican track and field team and is regarded as one of the best coaches in the world. He has coached several world and Olympic champions, including Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake, and Asafa Powell. Mills is known for his focus on technique and his ability to develop athletes’ speed and power.
In conclusion, track and field coaches have played a pivotal role in the development of some of the greatest athletes in the world. From Percy Cerutty to Glen Mills, these coaches have inspired a generation of athletes to push beyond their limits and achieve greatness. Their dedication and commitment to the sport have left an indelible mark on the history of track and field.