Friday, July 12, 2013

Coach Sweeney's Corner on Breaking Out Post-Collegially

Nick Symmonds and Will Leer turned in great performances yet again in the USATF championships this past weekend and Matthew Elliott, a non-professional runner, finished fourth in the 1500. In the wake of these results, Pacers' coach Dustin Sweeney had some thoughts on how to break out post-collegiately when you're not of a high pedigree:

"Once you get a sponsor, you're put on the map and the Catch-22 is that you have to have early success to get on that track. You have to run well in high school to get the attention of a good college program which makes it easier to get the attention of a sponsor.

The thing is that as soon as you graduate college, your stock drops. Its either really high or very low. That's a problem because you have to run extraordinarily well to get a sponsor after college. And the tragedy is that a lot of kids in the middle will stop running.

But what it boils down to as that people develop at different ages. Nick Symmonds, Will Leer, and some of our runners show that you can achieve great success later in life without that pedigree. Look at the guy who finished fourth, Matthew Elliott. He's just a school teacher who had a 4:42 mile in high school.

The thing is that running is the oldest sport in the world and in some cases the simplest. The athletes  with the best sponsorships are pampered with fancy equipment like underwater treadmills, and great athletes give up running because they think they need that level of support to succeed at the professional level, but  you don't necessarily need that to be a great runner."

No comments:

Post a Comment