In Australia, there is a wealth of young MD talent. Up until the mid-teens at least, these events are often dominated by powerful 'sprinter-types'(and overage East Africans), often fueled by unnecessarily brutal VO2max and anaerobic workouts. For example, the current Australian (white) national champion fits this bill, and did PRs of 2:06.95 at 12 and 2:00.94 at 13. However, to be a long-term success at even 800m, you must encourage your budding talent to engage in continuous runs of over 20min, preferably engaging in one long run a week-anything up to an hour-at 13/14. This is essential to build the necessary base, on top of which he can utilise his natural sprinting talent.
The legendary Peter Snell, who didn't break two minutes for 800m at high school, is a great example of a runner with natural strength and overall athleticism. He was virtually forced by the Lydiard training group to engage in genuine long runs on the famous, hilly Waitarua course in Auckland. He hated them and struggled at first, but persisted, and the rest, as they say, is history-three Olympic Gold and WRs.
I would go as far as to say that, if you don't concentrate on building an endurance base, you will ultimately fail as an elite 800m runner, and are wasting your time. Americans, on the whole, are yet to realise this.