This morning I had the privilege of interviewing legendary sprint coach Tom Tellez for a sprinting round table I’m putting together for IAAF’s New Studies in Athletics. I’ve been working on compiling this thing for some time now and I think it’s really gonna rock when done.
The first time I really had a chance to meet Tom was when he spoke at my companies clinic at the Olympic Trials this summer. I was really impressed by his knowledge, energy, and passion for the sport. If you were there or have seen the DVD of his long jump talk, you know that Coach Tellez did run-run-jump drills continuously and showed more vigor than men a quarter his age. He is legendary not only for the athletes he coached (Carl Lewis, Leroy Burell, Mike Marsh, etc) but also for his coaching family tree (Dan Pfaff, Vince Anderson, and John Smith all mentored under him).
At first glance, many my generation and younger might dismiss Coach Tellez as being ‘old school’ just because he’s a silver fox. Nothing could be further from the truth though. The man’s information is timeless and scientifically sound. If he was a piece of technology, analysts would call him ‘future proof‘ because his results and his methods have stood the test of time and are still highly sought out decades after he first began coaching. What really sets him apart is his knowledge, especially in applied biomechanics. In my interview this morning I asked some very thorough questions and he never once flinched and could have seemingly gone on and on about the particular aspect of sprinting mechanics. All the while, his language was clear, precise and worded for the ‘every man.’ So here’s to Tom Tellez….a pioneer in our sport who continues to contribute at the highest levels.
On a related note, as soon as I get Tom’s answers transcribed I’ll put up parts of the round table answers from the panel.