When your job is to coach elite athletes in track and field and help them achieve the most they possibly can, every day that you go to work is incredibly rewarding. That’s why I consider it such a privilege to work with some of the best athletes in the world at the National Training Center in Clermont.
Most people probably realize that competing in any form of athletics is hard work and requires a lot of dedication and commitment. From high school sports all the way up to the highest levels, there are millions of athletes who push their bodies and their minds to the limits, all so they can excel and hopefully win when they compete.
At the National Training Center, we have athletes from all over the world training in sports like track and field, swimming and soccer. In addition to my coaching work, I also manage the track, which involves a lot of planning and scheduling.
On a typical day, the athletes have time on the track from 9:00 am to 11:30 am most Mondays through Fridays, plus some occasional weekend activities. After that, the athletes participate in weight training from about 11:30 am to 2:00 pm. It’s definitely a full day.
Reaching the level of an Olympian, or any world-class athlete, isn’t easy. You have to be willing to push yourself mentally and physically every single day. You have to be disciplined enough to “live” your training regiment, which includes practicing the right way, following a specific nutrition plan and getting enough sleep. I coach athletes to achieve their goals through this level of commitment and discipline.
I have been fortunate to coach two athletes who are currently in the running for the 2018 World Athlete of the Year award in track and field. This is a prestigious award given by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). On the men’s side, I’ve worked with Noah Lyles, who is unbeaten this year in five starts in the 200m, including the Diamond League final. On the women’s side, I’ve coached Shaunae Miller-Uibo, who is from the Bahamas. She’s unbeaten in 15 races this year, including a 200m/4x100m double at the IAAF Continental Cup. Shaunae and Noah are among 10 nominees for the award, and the winner will be announced at the IAAF Athletics Awards in December.
For the public, the NTC offers memberships for those who want access to the facilities, including the aquatics center and the fitness center, which has weight training and cardio equipment, fitness classes and a locker room with amenities. And for members, there’s a good chance you’ll be working out alongside some of our athletes.
Another fun thing we do for fans is hold professional track meets twice a year, in April and May, which are open to the public. There are many fans out there who have been involved in track and field, or even participated in high school or college, and they enjoy our meets.
It’s such a great opportunity to coach here because we come in contact with athletes and coaches from a variety of Olympic sports, especially track athletes, swimmers and soccer players. We’ve had professional rugby teams in from Great Britain, and we work with quite a few colleges as well. It’s an exciting place to be every day!