According to the Harvard threads every coach of every team here should be fired ðŸ˜‚ðŸ˜‚ðŸ˜‚ðŸ˜‚ðŸ˜‚
Enjoying this thread.
But I will say coaching can have a significant effect. When my program was going downhill (as was I personally) in my last few years there, I at one point brought in a recruiting class of 31. Two years later three were left. Not the best three, either. If the coach is out to lunch it's easy for athletes to "disappear."
But I will say that some of the teams with the best competitive success get a significant attrition rate, for reasons that previous posters have mentioned. Persistent injury is huge...but if you're truly going for championships, you're going to get injuries!
The Ivy teams seem to have a lot of camaraderie, and many back-of-packers still seem to hang around for four years; but Ivy financial aid is independent of being on a team, so it wouldn't surprise me to learn that attrition rates approached 50% for them, too.
I think it has to do with the fact that most college coaches run a shortsighted burnout program. They run their kids into the ground and scratch their heads why it's not working.
The running is brutal, the results are poor and plagued with injury, so it quickly becomes very not fun and any reasonable person will have had enough and quit.
The attrition rate for most programs should be 90%, but that's a testiment to the strength of character that these kids have to be able to endure that kind of punishment.
I have been a part of a program that "did it right" by the athletes, had a very low attrition rate, a very positive team culture with happy athletes. I have also been a part of a "meat grinder." I have also been on staff with a program I would say fell somewhere in between. From this experience, the greater the meat grinder, the greater the degree of "success" on paper via metrics like conference place, NCAA place, number of all-Americans, etc. The program that "did it right" by the athletes with a very positive team culture was terrible performance-wise. Take away what you will from this children..."If it were easy, everyone would do it..."
I think in college some people cannot handle that they are "just another runner" and not a "star" like they were in HS. For some of the guys they cruised all the way until the state meet, and for many of the girls they never saw real competition unless they ran Footlocker or Nike.
For me I kinda liked not being the #1 runner or being expected to win races. It was a bit of a relief that I was free to just run to the best of my ability knowing that even my best wasn't going to win any meets or many races in track.