In this episode of On Coaching, we discuss the amazing book Athletics: How to Become a Champion by Percy Cerutty. Cerutty was the coach of Herb Elliott who was the 1960 Olympic 1,500m Champion and held the world record in the mile at 3:54.
In How to Become a Champion, Cerutty wrote a classic text that coaches of any sport should pick up. It’s not about the workout details, but instead about what coaching means and how to develop individuals as people. Jon and I rarely read a ton of books, so it’s rare when we geek out on one particular text. This book is deserving of a deep dive
Some of the highlights include:
“Anything that conspires to make us stronger, freer, more resilient, conquering, all that trains us to endure, to sustain suffering, that calls on our best qualities, continually– is conditioning.”
“Athleticism, in my view, is not a sport: nor a cult: it is way of life”
“I am an apostle of the now– the everlasting present. Do today all you reasonably can– in your training, your affairs. Do not attempt to see the end of the road. Keep your ends or goals in mind, but direct your brains to the solving and satisfactorily doing of all that your hands, or feet, find to do today.
“In conclusion, and to repeat, the belief, adamant in my teachins, is that the athlete must be developed in the end, so that he be entirely self-reliant, self-dependent, able to know instinctively and understand his nature, personality trends, and his requirements in exercise and training, from day to day, month to month…That he instinctively, by inner divination, senses his strength and ability and the ebb and flow of both.”
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