As time went on, we found different supplements to be more valuable than steroids….We found that using the whole complex of vitamin B could help add 3-4 meters to a throw. -Anatoly Bondarchuk
No matter how glamorous something seems to be we must look at the context of the results. For example Bondarchuk has been used as an example of superior techniques but when we look more clearly at the reality of training and results the Russians are not superior as the total medal count the olympics says the opposite. When I brought up the facts that Bondarchuk was not the most successful coach at the olympics in terms of medals gained, the quick response was to dismiss swimming medals, as their value is less because the sport allows for more success. This is true, meaning track is more pure and absolute, but less influenced by coaching as running is natural. It is harder to create absolute results but that is not the argument. James Smith focuses on the fact that Swimming is easier to garner success, yet his own hero Bondarchuk plays in the realm of Hammer, a wonderful event that is rather obscure. We all know who Bolt is but who won the gold in Hammer for women this past Olympics? Not to many in the world would know this answer. The real debate is Russia and other countries of the East being superior to the West. When showing how American Swimming dominates Russia (swimming) the response was to attack swimming vs track to change the argument and distract the readers. James Smith states
No question that all information must be closely scrutinized; however, we must not forget that Bondarchuk has created more world champion and Olympic medalists than any coach, of any discipline, in the history of the Olympic games.
Note he never said Athletics or Track and Field. When Doc has 46 medals he simply attacked the sport as a way to defend his lack of accuracy on facts. If he is saying that Bondarchuk is the greatest athletics coach then he must realize that Don Babbitt is a note worthy coach in the throws coach as he has had more success in all the throws at the world class level. With 36 articles and three book chapters for various publications around the world, James Smith has little to offer in why he is not aware of his success like Dan Pfaff and Tom Tellez. Remember, Don has two athletes that have thrown further than Bondarchuks. 16 golds to one in the shot at the olympics for the US. No Russian in the top 10 but one Italian and one Swiss.
I urge readers to try to learn from everyone and you will find a lot of other countries besides the US, Russia, Germany, and Bulgaria to learn from. Instead of drinking Berry Bonderchuk Blast Kool-aid (It is insulting to dismiss great coaches from other countries when the facts are clear when American Football is your employer) let’s drink from every one we can. I say with dramatic pause. Al Vermeil is finer choice for education of a preparation coach.