I’m trying to understand your post. You ran with Desi, so you were there sometime around 2013-2016. So 6 years later you’re still talking to kids from your old high school that you never ran with? Odd.
You mention your bad soccer coaches. So did you run cross country or play soccer?
I don’t know how long you’ve been on here but if you go a few years back there are dozens of threads where coach soles has attached his name to something “controversial” about his program. He doesn’t seem like one to hide behind anonymity.
I have no dog in this fight, but it seems to be based on one athlete's experience. You would imagine that in this day and age, people would come out the woodwork if there was even a hint of (the current definitions) of impropriety.
This part is so obviously a lie - what an absolute crock of sh!t. Typical - if you can't attack the message, attack the messenger.
Everyone knows Doug Soles overtrained his athletes at Great Oak. It's well-documented that they ran too many miles, did too much high-intensity work, and (almost) without exception failed to progress in college.
I dont think he is a bad guy, competitive yes but so are a lot of HS coaches. These athletes had bad experiences, lots of people do with high school sports. If you are at a school with a nationally successful team in any sport it is likely that they work really really hard and a lot is going to be expected of you if you. Those Great Oak teams were so fast because the kids worked their asses off, ran more miles and harder workouts than everyone else. If you push the limits with teens a lot are likely to get hurt, but with dozens of kids behind them to take their place the machine keeps rolling.
Also, all of these amazing high school programs now are from wealthy suburbs which only increases the likelihood of parents and students complaining about how someone did them wrong. I would hate to coach and teach at one of these places.
Yall just complain about the same 4 programs every season. Great Oaks, Manlius, Newberry Park, and way back it was all Saratoga bashing all the time. It gets old real fast. We Texas coaches do it right.
I like this post, but I don't think it should factor into anyone's conclusions unless it's verified that they actually ran for Soles. An anonymous post isn't credible evidence an article by an established publication. Although, if RunnersWorld or Stinger didn't verify/lied about stuff like freshman girls doing 19 miles on Mondays, I'm ready to write off the entire article and call for the author to be fired. With that said, I'd hope that RW/their authors/editors have enough journalistic integrity to make sure the scathing article they're writing is pretty much bulletproof, so I think it's a huge mistake to ignore the claims made in the article because of an anonymous messageboard poster. The article says they interviewed "Researchers, parents of athletes, a dozen running coaches, and nearly two dozen young women who participated in top high school running programs in the United States", so I'm erring of the side of them making a good faith effort to tell the truth.
I'm gonna make another post that's critical of the article, but since that post got a lot of upvotes I wanted to say this separately.
Are we going to discount a piece of journalism from a decent publication with named sources because we have an anonymous post on a message board? What seems to be true based on so many reports here and elsewhere across so many programs is that very successful girls/women’s programs often push things right to the breaking point in terms of training and athlete weight. Some athletes do just fine, but there seems to be a lot of collateral damage in both the short and long term. Some programs approach the line, but don’t cross it and others cross over for sure and there is an abusive and coercive atmosphere. There is a lot of gray zone. Of course this is not an issue unique to GO and Soles. Same thing is playing out as we speak at Colorado and many other places. How to strive for excellence in performance in the short term and promote long term health and progress is the essence of great coaching.
While absolutely true that GOAlum is unverified and very possibly fact, yes, a this point I would definitely discount a "piece of journalism from a decent publication". Of course, the definition of "decent" could be up for debate. At this point, I have seen so much false and incorrect reporting that I do not trust it much (understatement). But, that is about the journalism. Regarding the topic, I don't disagree with anything you wrote (you always have a solid take, even if I don't 100% agree), and if it appeared that I am in favor of getting results and wins over the health of kids, then that would be my bad (because I don't). Like you, I am interested in the development of soon-to-be adults, and find your last sentence to be excellent.
After finishing the article, I think it was super well written/researched. I don't think it unfairly criticized Soles, although some of the claims against him seem a little far fetched. It gives Soles's pushback on some things, and mentions multiple runners disagree with bad framings of him. There isn't just one story being told of him by a biased source, there's a lot of accounts brought up for and against a lot of people.
I think you and I agree on the fundamental issue. It’s really hard to be a successful coach in terms of competition outcomes and not be demanding of hard work, discipline, and austerity in many respects. In the current environment it’s not easy for even very virtuous coaches to pull this off without some disgruntled athletes, parents, etc. The difficult issue is how to discern the malignant coaches from those who are appropriately demanding. Was Soles himself over the line? No easy answer.