Strength Performance Network

Bill Bowerman is a legend in track & field coaching. He was the coach at University of Oregon for many years and one of the founders of Nike. He ideas and thoughts have had a huge influence on my coaching from the time I first heard him speak as a senior in college in 1968. Yesterday I was fortunate to have my good friend and colleague, Jim Radcliffe, head strength and conditioning coach at University of Oregon visit us in Sarasota. As always when we get together we ended up talking about Bowerman and his ideas, so I thought I would share these thoughts from Bill Bowerman. If you are interested in learning more Bowerman the man and his ideas I recommend Bowerman and the Men Of Oregon by one of his former runners, Kenny Moore. It is a great coaching book and explores the dimensions of the man.

"Victory is in having done your best. If you've done your best, you've won."

“It is quite simple to observe that great middle distances runners have usually been medium to just above average in height, slightly below average in weight, slight of build, with well-defined musculature. They also usually have a somewhat lower pulse rate than average. But to select runners purely on the basis of these characteristics would probably result in little more success than choosing them by the color of their eyes and hair.”

“Champions and potential champions must have an abundance of energy and tenacity. They must be willing to stick to workout procedures that would seem grueling to the average person, to perform them in fair weather and foul. Furthermore, they are eager, not only to defeat opposition, but to push themselves to full capacity on the competitive field.”

“My method of devising a training schedule (specific assignments for workouts) is not very different from a physician's method of arriving at a prescription for a patient. The first step is diagnosis, becoming acquainted with the patients or athlete's abilities and disabilities. The second step is an assessment of what improvement can reasonably be expected and what specific recommendations are needed. The final step is a period of trial and observation to adjust the "dosage" or training schedule to optimum levels for the safest and most rapid improvement of condition.”

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