Skuj: to tell you the truth, when I first saw your post, I thought you said coaches would take “0%” credit. I realized you said 10 a bit later on. So by then I thought, oh, sh*t! But I still didn’t like 10% anyways so I thought, what the heck… And, if I thought, maybe I’ll pinch him a bit in a butt (nothing sexual intended) but shouldn’t have insulted so hastily. So I apologize for that.
But you know, 0%, 10%, 25%... First of all, it’s absolutely silly to mathematically put any value on coach’s influence. Or 15? Why not 17? Or 16.8? How did you measure that? So for that matter, I would still buy Lorraine’s “100% physical and 100% mental” formula. And what the hell is this “very important 10%”? To me, last I checked, 10% is 10%. It’s like, and this is one phrase I hate in English though I have used it numerous occasions myself, “one of the best”. Now what the hell is that? I thought, in my dictionary, “best” means on the top, one and the only. How many bests do you need to have? 100,000? How valuable is that then?
Let me tell you a couple of stories that might reflect my coaching philosophy: When Naoko Takahashi hurt herself and couldn’t run Seville World Champs marathon, she put herself in a very risky position to get selected for Sydney Olympic team. How it happened, it was reported, is; when her training was going so well (and I heard this first hand from the insider that, had she ran a marathon at that point, she would have broken 2:20) that coach Koide took out for a “celebration” dinner. It was in Boulder and it got chilly at night. She didn’t have enough warm clothes that she caught cold and had to take a couple of days off from her training. Afterwards, she tried to catch up and ended up training too hard and hurting her leg. They decided not to start on the day of the race. Afterwards, Koide publicly stated that he would take the full blame for that incidence going all the way back to that unnecessary “celebration” dinner.
And here the reason why I left my dream job. Our head coach at Hitachi got a bit pressured after not being able to show expected results in 2 years, he had athletes do a time trial run (predetermined time) and eliminate whoever not making that predetermined time. One girl missed it by 2 seconds and he fired her. Of course, writing was on the wall and things weren’t quite working out but this did it. To me, coach’s job is to motivate, develop and peak athletes. If the athletes can’t make the desired progress, it’s not because the athlete wasn’t talented enough, or motivated enough—if the athlete wasn’t motivated, it’s because the coach didn’t motivate him/her enough. This is simply because the coach wasn’t doing the job. I wouldn’t settle for 10% or 25%. It’s, to me, like you saying, “Well, I’m accountable for 10% of this; and the rest is not my job description…” That’s a typical American MBO. I thought Dr. Deming took us away from that in the 90s!? Of course, he taught that to Japanese in the 50s that is still very much alive even today in many different venues.
You simply can NOT place a percentage on coach’s job/influence on athletes. Once you do that, as far as I’m concerned, you are limiting yourself. And I don’t care who it is; Jack Daniels, almighty coach Canova, or even Arthur Lydiard for that matter… I don’t believe in it. And I don’t believe Arthur would have ever agreed with “coaching by MBO” either. I don’t mean to insult anyone, though some people might want to see me, or anybody else, insult others intentionally. But the difference of an opinion wouldn’t have to end up with an insult (so sorry Skuj!).
And on the closing note; you voted me for the poster of the year last year, Skuj? I’m touched! Regardless of what others, or you, might think; I still sorta like you. You are a character. Remember, I did invite you to that Boulder launch event with Snell and Dave Martin last year (wasn’t gonna pay for you though), didn’t I?