Becoming a National Champion
Accomplished college coaches light up when an elite recruit expresses the ambitious goal of becoming a national champion. Some high school athletes perform at levels that would win national college championships. When athletes are that talented, it’s super important for them to find the right college coach to help them realize their goal of becoming a national champ.
In high school, Danae Rivers set indoor and outdoor Connecticut state records in the 800m, 1000m and 1600m. Additionally, she was part of two state record-setting relays: an SMR and a 4x400m relay. Danae then went on in 2019 to win an indoor 800m NCAA title for Penn State University and continued to dominate middle distance running.
In high school, Isaiah Harris set Maine state records in the 200m and 800m. He won state titles in the 200m, 800m, 1600m, and 4x400, completing an individual triple that had never been done before by any male in Class A. He then went on in 2018 to win an outdoor 800m NCAA title for Penn State University and continues to be a force in middle distance running as a Nike-sponsored professional athlete.
Logically, you’ll want to select a college coach who has a proven record in your specialty event. It’ll be useful to review the results of the coach’s past and present athletes to see how much they have been developed by the coach, including the types of competition to which they have been exposed. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure that the coach is sensitive to your training experience. Some coaches have one way of coaching year after year, and expect all their athletes to adapt to their style, even if it’s yielding negative results or injuries for some athletes. Have conversations with the coach before committing to the university to understand their training philosophy and openness to feedback. Talk to their athletes as well to get first-hand accounts of their training success and if their suggestions to the coaches have been implemented. Ultimately, you want to trust your coach and need to be open to trying new methods that could be beneficial to you at a more competitive level.