Legendary coach Pat Tyson covers all aspects of building a great cross
country program. Offering real-world advice for coaches, Coaching
Cross Country Successfully includes valuable insights on developing
athletes, maximizing performance, training programs, recruiting runners,
race strategies, and meet preparation.
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In Coaching Cross Country Successfully, Pat Tyson shares his secrets to building one of today’s elite cross country programs. While there are many instruction books on running, only Coaching Cross Country Successfully provides a blueprint to building a successful team:
Establishing and communicating a coaching philosophy
Tailoring training to individual and team needs
Teaching running techniques and improving performance
Preparing for meets and competition
Evaluating individual runners and your entire program
Working with assistant coaches, volunteers, and the community
As one of the winningest cross country coaches in the United States, Pat Tyson developed his philosophies of training and competition by associating with legendary runners and coaches. He was a teammate and roommate of Steve Prefontaine while he was running at the University of Oregon for Coach Bill Bowerman. Coaching Cross Country Successfully draws on this breadth of experience, showing you how to inspire your athletes and create your own tradition of excellence.
Introduction Part I: Coaching Foundation
Chapter 1 Developing a Coaching Philosophy
Chapter 2 Communicating Your Approach
Chapter 3 Motivating Runners
Chapter 4 Building a Cross Country Program Part II: Planning and Training
Chapter 5 Planning for the Season
Chapter 6 Preparing for Practices Part III: Teaching Techniques and Tactics
Chapter 7 Teaching Proper Running Form
Chapter 8 Improving Runners’ Performance
Chapter 9 Developing a Race Strategy Part IV: Coaching for Competitions
Chapter 10 Preparing for Meets
Chapter 11 Coaching Meets Part V: Coaching Evaluation
Chapter 12 Evaluating Runners’ Performances
Chapter 13 Evaluating Your Program
About the Authors
Pat Tyson developed his philosophies of training and competition
while associating with legendary coaches and runners. He ran at the
University of Oregon for Bill Bowerman, the coach of four NCAA champion
teams and the cofounder of Nike, Inc. While at Oregon, he was a teammate
and roommate of Steve Prefontaine, Olympian and winner of three
individual NCAA Men's Cross Country Championships.
Recognized as one of the most successful cross country coaches in the
United States, Tyson currently serves as head cross country and track
and field coach at Gonzaga University, a position he has held since
2008. Before accepting his position with Gonzaga, Tyson held similar
positions at the University of Oregon and University of Kentucky and
spent 20 years at Mead High School in Washington while developing it
into a distance running powerhouse. During Tyson’s time of coaching at
Mead, the Panthers achieved an impressive record of 180-8 in one of the
toughest dual-meet leagues in the nation. Reaching state competition 18
consecutive years to win 12 state titles, they never placed worse than
third. During that time, the Panthers had a nine-year streak when they
never lost a competition. In his last three years at Mead, Tyson’s teams
placed third, fourth, and fifth at the Nike Cross National Championships
held in Portland, Oregon.
For his remarkable work with the Mead Panthers, Tyson has been named
Washington Coach of the Year multiple times. He was nominated for
National High School Coach of the Year when his Mead teams were ranked
No. 1 by Harrier magazine. Tyson has produced nine Washington prep
champions and nine Foot Locker Cross Country Championship finalists.
Several of his runners have placed on the All-Time Top 100 List for the
state of Washington.
As a competitive athlete, Tyson ran cross country and track at the
University of Oregon, where he competed in two NCAA Cross Country
Championships and helped lead Oregon to first- and third-place finishes.
Doug Binder is the editor of DyeStat, the internet home of high
school cross country and track and field. His professional sports
writing career spans 18 years, including 10 as a high school and track
and field writer for Portland's The Oregonian newspaper, where he
has covered numerous running championships at the high school, college,
and professional levels. In 2008, Binder led the newspaper’s coverage of
the Olympic Trials. Before his position at The Oregonian, Binder
spent three years at the Gazette-Times in Corvallis, Oregon, and
two at the Daily Chronicle in Bozeman, Montana. He is a member of
the Track and Field Writers of America.
In 2005, Binder documented Pat Tyson's final days at Mead High School.
Those interviews sparked a friendship that endures to this day.