Success of an Athletics Coach: Indepth Review of the Effects of Certification on Asian sprinting

>> December 08, 2011

This article is guest blogged by Sam Goldberg, one of the top decathletes in the United States in 1970's, coach track and field since 1970's, and a head coach of decathlon's 100m, 400m, 110mh and 1500m events at America's National Decathlon Training Centre.

PREFACE

I would like to preface my qualifications as a coach for TPE's sprinters with comments from the IOC's Dr. Tim Noakes, a founding member of the International Olympic's committee's Olympic Science Academy”, fellow in the American College of Sports Medicne, Director of medical research council/UCT research unit of exercise science and sports medicine-Sports Science Institute of South Africa and South African National running coach. And, with the comments posted on the IAAF official website, by internationally known sport scientist and coach Professor Dave Costill.
www.iaaf.org/news/Kind=2/newsID=36622.html

The comments of these emminent sport scientists which follow emphasize the notion that successful coaching is ultimately more art than science, that correct scientific knowledge of athletic activities follows rather than leads correct practice and that scientific understanding is less valuable then successful performance established through successful practice. Thus both experts ultimately support selection of coaches with a history of successful practice over merely certified coaches .

Comments by Professor Dave Costill
October/2006 “Dave Costill, an emeritus professor and founding director of the Human Performance Lab at Ball State University, where many of the top exercise physiologists in the US got their early training: “Coaching...a mix of art and science. As Costill once said the sports scientists usually discover what coaches already have figured out from years of trial and error in training athletes”. “said Costill, who was both a coach and a scientist during his career, and science usually lags behind art in understanding or discovering the keys to human performance” “So, while the secrets of sporting ability may be eventually explained in the laboratory, they are usually discovered during the time coaches and athletes train to improve their times, pushing the limits of human performances
http:..www.iaaf.org/news/Kind=2/newsID=36622.html (Jim Ferstle for the IAAF)

Comments by Dr. Tim Noakes:
4/28/2008 “As an Afrian from the Dark Continent with an interest in Kenyan running I am able to confrim that there is not a single exercise testing laboratory in Kenya that is used by the best athletes and their coaches. Thus the best runners in the world do not have access to laboratory testing(at least while they remain in Kenya) so that they are not trained according to some laboratory-based protocols” “Could it be that their coaches know that to be the best in the world an athlete needs to run at a certain speed in competition(not a particular V02 Max or blood lactate concentration) and to achieve that speed he or she need to produce certain performances in training” “Great coaches should no be defined by their ability to produce one or two great athletes, rather they should be rated by their ability to produce many great athletes over many years”.
Http://www.letsrun.com/forun/flat_read.php?thread=2412208&page=38#ixzzlelVebcSy

Asian championships 2011: Su Bingtian (L, 10.21), Eriguchi (C, 10.28)

ON THE DECLINE OF ASIAN SPRINTING 
(Under Certification From 2009 Through The End of 2011)

A.) Introduction of Certified Sprint Coaches into Asian Athletic Associations Since 2004

Since early 2000, while the call from Asia's national associations for the hiring of certified sprint coaches gradually increased, utilization of previously successful non-certified coaches began to be phased out most notably in China, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

Since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the number and authority of active certified sprint coaches both domestic and foreign have continued to rapidly increase and take control of training procedures in China, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

B.) Results of Certification on Asian 100m sprint performances (2009-2011)

From 2010 thru 2011, 92% of all men's 4x100Relay team members from Japan, China, Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan posted slower annual 100m times compared to their 2009 times;
a.) Of 20 individual sprinters only 1 PB posted since 2009.(Ka Fund NG/Hong Kong /2011).
b.) Of 20 individual sprinters only 1 tied his 2009 PB (Wen-Tang Wang/TPE/2010-2011).
c.) Of 20 individual sprinters 18 or (92%) continually ran slower then their 2009 performances.
d.) Of 20 individual sprinters most continually ran between 2/10th to 1/10th slower then their 2009 time.

From 2010 thru 2011, 80% of all top 2 ranked Open men's 100 m sprinters from Japan, China, Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan posted slower annual 100m times compared to their 2009 times;
a.) Of 10 individual sprinters only 2 posted improvement over their 2009 PB's.
b.) Kowatsura, (Japan) posted a 5/100th improvement over his 2009 PB (10.35 to 10.30).
c.) Kotani, (Japan) posted an 8/100th improvement over his 2009 PB (10.28 to 10.36).
d.) Of 10 individual sprinters 8 or (80%) continually ran slower then their 2009 times.
e.) Of 10 individual sprinters most continually ran between 2/10th to 1/10th slower then their 2009 time.

All results are based on reviews from both the
a.) Official IAAF.org (athlete bio's)website and
b.) “All-Athletes.com” website

C) Conclusion

The question arises as to the practicle value of selecting and employing coaches who receive certification without the need to successfully produces high powered athletes and results as a requirement for certification over successful coaches with proven results with or without certification.

It should be remembered that the American coaches who originally created the vast majority of the current material used to establish certification on sprinting, both inside and outside of America, possessed no such certification beyond their own successful coaching experiences and perhaps their traditional US college educations. Thus their expertise was almost solely developed as Prof. Costill mentioned “during the time coaches and athletes train to improve their times, pushing the limits of human performances”.

*photo by Yohei Kamiyama / Agence Shot

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