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During your college track recruitment, were coaches keen on your running style?

Coaches weren't keen on my running style, but one coach at Baylor University didn't ask me to change and ultimately it was found that my running style was actually part of what made me so successful. It's difficult to change an athlete's running style, so unless it's creating a negative barrier, it's best to let it go.
 
Transcript: "I see him. So when I was being recruited, were coaches keen on my running Style. No, absolutely. Not every single coach. That recruited me out of high school told me, I would have to change my running style. If I ever wanted to be world class. I reach my full potential with the exception of one coach. Claude heart at Baylor University, which is where I decided to go. I can't say that I decided to go there because he didn't ask me that question. It was for me. The other reasons but it's ironic that he never asked me that question and never changed my running style. And ultimately, he told everyone later that he didn't change my running style and didn't feel it needed to be changed because I wasn't doing anything. That was limiting me. It wasn't a deterrent to me running fast, and he recognized that he also did recognize. Yes that it was different than everyone else's and I think it's a great lesson for coaches, that you don't just change and athletes running style, or you don't just Out, the idea that everyone who's successful did it this way? So that means everyone else has to do it this way. And then we ultimately found that when we had some actual studies done in conjunction with you as a committee, actually looking at my style and actually studying it and and and getting the data back that that it was, one of the things that actually made me so fast, especially over 400 meters because of the amount of force, I was able to put into the ground. Um, the amount of downforce that I create into the ground with significantly more than the average Sprinter, to a point where the US Olympic Committee had developed a model for the perfect Sprinter and they overlaid my form over the model and and I was faster and ultimately, I became the model. So that's not to say that anyone can go out and just do what I did because it's very difficult to change an athlete's running style. It's very difficult for an athlete to run in the style that they automatically run in. So now you've got to try to change. Change the running style. It's very difficult to do. So, I don't recommend that for anyone. But what I do recommend is not just changing someone, because they're different, as long as there isn't something that's actually a deterrent to them. Or if it's not creating a negative barrier to their performance, then let it go."
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Michael Johnson

🇺🇸 Sprinter: 4x Olympic 🥇 8x World Champion
I see him. So when I was being recruited, were coaches keen on my running Style. No, absolutely. Not every single coach. That recruited me out of high school told me, I would have to change my running style. If I ever wanted to be world class. I reach my full potential with the exception of one coach. Claude heart at Baylor University, which is where I decided to go. I can't say that I decided to go there because he didn't ask me that question. It was for me. The other reasons but it's ironic that he never asked me that question and never changed my running style. And ultimately, he told everyone later that he didn't change my running style and didn't feel it needed to be changed because I wasn't doing anything. That was limiting me. It wasn't a deterrent to me running fast, and he recognized that he also did recognize. Yes that it was different than everyone else's and I think it's a great lesson for coaches, that you don't just change and athletes running style, or you don't just Out, the idea that everyone who's successful did it this way? So that means everyone else has to do it this way. And then we ultimately found that when we had some actual studies done in conjunction with you as a committee, actually looking at my style and actually studying it and and and getting the data back that that it was, one of the things that actually made me so fast, especially over 400 meters because of the amount of force, I was able to put into the ground. Um, the amount of downforce that I create into the ground with significantly more than the average Sprinter, to a point where the US Olympic Committee had developed a model for the perfect Sprinter and they overlaid my form over the model and and I was faster and ultimately, I became the model. So that's not to say that anyone can go out and just do what I did because it's very difficult to change an athlete's running style. It's very difficult for an athlete to run in the style that they automatically run in. So now you've got to try to change. Change the running style. It's very difficult to do. So, I don't recommend that for anyone. But what I do recommend is not just changing someone, because they're different, as long as there isn't something that's actually a deterrent to them. Or if it's not creating a negative barrier to their performance, then let it go.