Current Debate – Self Organization and Coaching Influence


In 2008 the concept of Self-Organization was brought up as an explanation of why some athletes are successful without the guru coaches. Where did Barry Sanders get his moves in the 1990s? Clearly he wasn’t formed from 6 week private facilities or agility ladders. Currently I am interested in how one can conclude that coaching is some sort of Dark Magic to some, while it’s just getting the work in to others. With blogs like Stu McMillan sharing his opinion on what roles we have with self-organization I wonder how the IAAF biography results pages show who is on the right track. I am personally a centralist, as my stolen analogy that elite performance stemming from chaos is as likely as a big guest of wind traveling over a junkyard making a 757 jumbo jet is not going to happen. On the other hand sometimes coaches take too much credit by attaching themselves to talent. Again I am in the middle.

Being influenced by Tellez, somethings you don’t coach, like stretch reflexes. You may train the SSC of the achilles, but magic words and reading Anatomy Trains is more coaching pop science than reality. When I see a medalist from Estonia, I tend to see less pop coaching as they are still isolated from the TRX is magic viruses we see now. Henk Kraaijenhof has a saying do as much as necessary and I agree. We can extend that and say coach as much as necessary as well. It was interesting to see several comments in the McMillan blog, specifically talking about the progress (corrective exercise) we have in sport yet injuries are higher and performances in the jumping events are still stagnant. Coaching is not about magic words or cues, but developing the athlete in a way that is noticeable, even if the coach is not noticed in practice.

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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