As promised, we’ve brought back NAU coach Mike Smith to give us insight on how his team won the NCAA Cross-Country Championships. As he did in our previous episode, Mike delivers numerous pearls of wisdom and shows how he has grown and evolved as a coach. He walks us through the week leading up to nationals, discussing the training and emotions, as well as taking us inside the team meetings.

Some of the insights Mike covers are:

  • The Importance of Recharging throughout the season and at the end of the year.
  • “If you can’t be great, be good”- Why his runners don’t shoot for perfection.
  • Listen for silence- How silence tells you the emotional pulse of the team
  • Riding the Line- The importance of knowing where your limits are.
  • Why he doesn’t do big team meetings the night before the race
  • Why his runners did 10 miles two days out from the big meet.
  • “Make it about the work”
  • The importance of Muscle Tension and neuromuscular work in getting ready for a race.

We’d like to thank Mike for his oppenness and willing to share. Thanks for listening, for more  thoughts on coaching, follow us on social media:

Steve: Twitter and Instagram

Jon: Twitter and Instagram

Resources Mentioned:

The Education of a Coach by David Halberstrom

The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts

Shop Class as Soul Craft by Matthew Crawford

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Episode 61: “If you can’t be great, be good” Coach Mike Smith after winning a National Championship
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