Just a thought from the offices of Vaulter magazine and the Editor.
I know this is nothing new, and it’s been around for years; I have watched it from day one all around San Diego County and now Riverside county. I’m sure that you have people or preying types in your area as well.
One day we heard a coach say, “I wouldn’t want to coach at that school, they have no good pole vaulters.” And then he actively searched for a coach that was leaving or an athlete that was coached by club and had no school coach.
Another story from a parent came across our desk and there are many. The athlete, already a 15’ pole vaulting boy, jumped with his club and was doing obviously great. So the wanna be coach decided to become the school coach at his school to try to gain attention from his peers with a great jumping boy. In the end, the athlete liked his club coach and enjoyed what they had going and tried to continue through his last two years.
The injected coach wouldn’t have it and tried with all of his might to ruin the athlete to only leave when the athlete and program were in ruin. Did he stick around and try to build on the program? Did he build any of the other athletes around him as a coach and start a program? He left, and when he did, he left athletes and parents in a rage with letters to our office.
You can find these guys all over Southern California; they are the knowledgeable ones with a card ready to hand out. They haven’t built a program and 90% of the time the program they have is a mess. More proud of everyone else’s kids that he stole then his own athletes. Posting pictures, sitting in the stands yelling, and trying to make everyone else around him see his importance.
“They are always trying to be nice and try to out work everyone around them at meets that are not their own. Always there to run up and save the day!”
But they have a knack for telling the athletes and the parents exactly what they want and need to hear. They are the first to stand tall and stick their chests out when they take your already coached athlete and call them their own. Once the sweat, tears and hard work are all done, they come in to save the day. They are always trying to be nice and try to out work everyone around them at meets that are not their own. Always there to run up and save the day!
I guess it’s hard; it takes time, patience and perseverance to build a program. It takes knowledge, discipline, and a desire to go into an area where there is nothing and make something out of that area or high school. Some want to take the easy route and walk in when the work is done. This is nothing new in society; you see them every day in the work force.
So a word to wise, watch out for the nice guy. The guy with all the answers and a plate full of useless knowledge to share. Why all of a sudden did they come in to view after being in the area for so long. Ask around, look into the area’s that he just left and the kids that he just coached. Dig deep, find the pictures and follow up on the stories of his newly earned success.
In the end, you will find there is more to the story when you pull the curtains back.