M4DE XD

MADE FASTER & STRONGER BY DAN COSSINS

M4DE XD

MADE FASTER & STRONGER BY DAN COSSINS

M4DE XD

MADE FASTER & STRONGER BY DAN COSSINS

M4DE XD

MADE FASTER & STRONGER BY DAN COSSINS

M4DE XD

MADE FASTER & STRONGER BY DAN COSSINS

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Coaches can only poach an egg

Coaches can only poach an egg

The oxford dictionary describes poaching as

 

  1. An illegal practice of trespassing on another’s property to hunt or steal game without the landowners permission

2. any encroachment on another’s property, rights, idea or the like 

This is not number 3……..When one coach starts coaching another coaches athlete (although I’m sure Suzy Dent would consider it if any of those hard done by coaches want it added)

Lets make the above definitoins applicable to athletics and the act of poaching that we hear about so much. Which by the way is something that can be reported to our national governing body and which they may investigate.

If an athlete decided to move to another coach, whether they have been persuaded  or coerced is not illegal.

The athlete is neither property or land that is owned by that coach. Simply an athlete with a limited shelf life and with a right to do what he or she pleases.

The coach has no rights over that athlete. He can own his or her ideas, but I would speculate that a coach who holds onto their ideas as being better or above those of other coaches is arrogant, ignorant, naïve and stupid, or the like.

This year, I have lost Danny Talbot, Emily Diamond, Sophie Papps, Elliott Rutter, Andy Robertson and a few others. A bitter pill to swallow in Olympic year.

I will admit to grumbling that UKA put pressure on one or two of them. But now looking back, so what if they did. If I had been doing the best job for each of them would any of them have left?

Danny left for Benke Blomkvist. A man I respect and was actually briefly helped by as an athlete. I still use one of his sessions in my own coaching very successfully. Did I poach that session, or steal it? No more than he poached Danny. 20.27 in the Olympic heat yesterday shows that to be a great decision by Danny.

Emily went back to Jared Deacon. Her coach after I first coached her as a junior. It is clear that their personalities gel much better than mine did with Emily. I didn’t notice a red lazer leaving Jared’s rifle on Emily’s back as she trained here in Bath, just an athlete who knew what was best for her in Olympic year. And I think she’s been proven right.

Sophie has decided to train with her boyfriend, Stew Challis, who has been my assistant for 3 years and helped me hugely. He will be an international coach. As they discussed her training with him before she left me I can’t think that Stew behaved in an underhand way to make her leave me. Although maybe he cooked her a romantic dinner and begged her to train with him and leave me, I doubt it somehow! Sophie has run very fast since leaving and I wish them every success in the future.

Elliott has gone to the best 400m coach we’ve ever had, Tony Hadley. One of my best friends in the sport. Why wouldn’t he go and train with the like of Matt Hudson Smith and Sadam Khoumi?

And Andy, oh the treachery of going back to be trained by his evil father who surely only wants Andy for his own personal gain and glory.

These athletes aren’t children. And neither are we. No one owns them.

Coaches have a duty of care to make sure their athletes get the best out of the sport while they can. Athletes will move to different coaches. It’s the nature of our sport.

It is my belief that athletes move too much now, and perhaps on the odd occasion a devious word from a coach has more influence on an athlete when they are feeling unsure of their current situation.

Danny stayed with me for 9 ½ years. I owe him a lot for having that faith in me. But if things had been more solid in my environment over this year, he’d never have gone, or at least he’d have found it hard to, whoever it was that that said he’d be better with Benke (if that was even anyone other than Danny himself).

It’s one of the more inane parts of our sport and frankly one of those things that keeps us behind other professional sports. Time to see them as adults, coaches, who can make their own decisions. You don’t own them, they owe you nothing and if you think they do, you’d probably be better working as a debt collector.

 

 

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