Exit 4


I was driving from Burlington Vermont to Boston last night after thanksgiving and made a split second decision. I was ready to go home after a long day and saw a small sign telling that the Robert Frost Farm was exit 4. Many times when driving long distances all over the country a small historical area is on a major interstate but requires you to take a small detour. I saw the sign and then turned off last minute and decided to find it on my own without a GPS or smartphone, as I wasn’t driving my car and the reception was poor. I arrived and of course it was closed, all I wanted to do is read the sign, and drove back after a few minutes. My curious mind content, I dove home and thought about what inspiration he had to write some of the most famous poems in modern history.

Ironically later I drove and saw many cars driving to the shopping malls to get ready for Black Friday so they can camp out the night before. I can’t believe the irony of what happened last night. I drove off the path a bit but eventually came back to the normal route minutes later while others acting like lemmings were following something else for Black Friday. The choice is very analogous to what was going on in coaching. The balance between innovation and conventional must be there, and often you must make decisions on your own when needed. I think Henk Kraaijenhof said it best that any one sprint school is dangerous. Often what a coach finds to be the reason why they are doing great things is at the end and this is not a true account for what has happened. Many times I find myself wanting to be different for the simple desire to be innovative. I don’t think you can be innovative in sprinting without risking losing out the benefits of conventional approaches. I think you can refine and evolve what is out there, but sweeping changes never work. Gravity, the human body, and the events have not changed.

For example I still include bilateral squats, including the front squat. Following current trends how does one work racking the weight of a clean when the a single leg exercise of current trend is the primary lift? Like my earlier post of the effect of taking out a conventional exercise, the ripple effects will not be felt initially…leaving the athlete in a dead end down the road.
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Carl Valle

Carl Valle

Track & Field Coach
Carl is an expert coach who has produced champions in swimming, track and numerous other sports. He is one of the foremost experts in the fields of nutrition and restoration.
Carl Valle

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