Saturday, June 5, 2010


I recently read an editorial piece on how a coach should be willing to give credit to whom they learned certain things from. I agree with the concept of giving credit to the people to whom a person has learned from, and think it is very important to clarify who is giving good information, rather than claiming it for yourself entirely, as a coach.

I always laugh at something they taught us in college, that as a student if you steal an idea, it's called plagerism. If you steal an idea and use it after college, it's called teaching. We all steal parts and pieces from other teachers, taking what we like, and building our own methods.

This concept actually made me take a step back and think about the people, coaches, athletes and figureheads I've had the privilege of learning from. I agree that who you've studied under is a big determinant to your success, and a major contributor to your thinking as a coach.

With this in mind, I thought I might share the coaches I've been blessed to be coached by, study next to, and learn from, because I agree they have helped to make me a qualified and confident coach.

Mike Holman
Jay Dirksen
Greg Welch
Peter Reid
Joe Friel
Bob Seebohar
Adam Zucco

Wow, when I look at this list, I really feel blessed. If you're a triathlete, you probably won't recognize the first two names on the list, but they were my high school and college coaches for cross country and track. Mike Holman serves as the Head of Junior Development for USA Track & Field, and Jay Dirksen continues to be the highly successful Head Cross Country and Distance Coach for Track, at the University of Nebraska.

A few other great names which people wouldn't recognize necessarily, would be Lydia Kualapai, who was my English Comp teacher at Nebraska, who taught me the value of writing and communicating effectively thru words. My teachers in the unfortunately now extinct, Physical Education Department at the University of Nebraska. They helped build the foundation of teaching strategies I use these days with all my presentations, lectures, coaching sessions, my TriJuniors Team, and how to effectively challenge and meet a vast array of abilities and skills when working with many individuals.

One of the forgotten groups of people we learn from as coaches is our athletes. I've always had the approach that I should consider learning from the athlete, seeing how they do, and not necessarily applying my beliefs of limitations on them.

I'm excited about the years ahead, and who else I will cross paths with, and learning much more from.

Coach Vance

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