Friday at the Long Beach Convention Center I presented at the Perform Better Summit. This was the third summit for me this year. I did a didactic presentation on Foundational Leg Strength and then an hour practical learn by doing session. This was a mixed audience, not the normal audience I present to. Many personal trainers, an area where I have no experience, I am interested in coaching, injury prevention and rehab, I think that is where I have been most effective. None the less, got some good comments and meet some interesting people, some good questions. My biggest concern at these affairs is the huge emphasis on exercises to the exclusion of why. We do not need more exercises, we need focus, it is more than an exercise. It is the context the exercise is used. That is what I stressed.
The next day, a highlight of the trip for me was the “Know it All Clinic” at Carpenteria High School. It was a great day; I got to see people I have not seen in years. The goal of the clinic was to raise money to help pay for John Larralde’s hospital bills. By that measure it was successful, but I think for John and all of us the outpouring of support in terms of old friends and colleagues gathering together was most heartwarming. One of the highlights was to see John O’Malley, one of John Larralde’s and my best friends who came all the way from Oregon for the day. It sure was fun revisiting the moon landing in real time. (John Larralde in the middle in the picture and John O’Malley on the right) I got to sit in with the sprint group, what a great group. It was chaired by Brian Fitzgerald, the coach at Rio Mesa High School a super coach who has developed numerous great high school sprinters. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall in the other groups to hear the wisdom of the other great coaches in attendance. One of my elementary school classmates, Jesse Martinez was there, I had not seen Jesse in years. He is now the head the Head Coach at Santa Barbara high school where I used to coach. We reminisced about how I would trade my mother’s salami sandwiches for his grandmother’s burritos. My mouth waters when I think about it. I could go on forever. I was honored to give the keynote address. When I stood in front of this audience I was humbled when I saw the great coaches I was presenting to. It just reminded me what a great sport Track and Field is and how deep my roots are in this sport. These coaches are the heartbeat of the sport and keep in thriving at the high school level. Their knowledge and dedication is inspirational.