This is a MUST listen episode. In this weeks On Coaching with Magness & Marcus, we bring in NAU coach Mike Smith to talk about team culture and training. In this wide ranging and deep episode, we dive into a number of topics. Starting with how Mike took over a team that was the defending national champion to what mistakes in training we all make as a coach. There are so many worthwhile explorations in this conversation, including:

  • The reason Mike took his team to play Laser Tag the night before the biggest regular season meet of the year.
  • The idea of balancing tension and energy.
  • Why a coach should be the passenger in the car, whsipering directions, instead of the driver.
  • How elaborate racing plans set us up for failure.
  • The best way to get in a flow state during racing.
  • How expectations impact our training and racing.
  • The most crucial part of team culture is a sense of belonging and having a role.

Mike’s list of books coaches should read:

Above all, this conversation with Jon and Mike made me a better coach. Their are priceless nuggets of information sprinkled throughout the 90 minute conversation.

Thanks for listening, for more  thoughts on coaching, follow us on social media:

Steve: Twitter and Instagram

Jon: Twitter and Instagram


Other Resources Mentioned:

The Science of Running Book

Study on Academic Stress being related to Injuries in Football players

Peak Performance and “just manageable challenges”

Kenny Moore’s Best Efforts

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    1. Christy Westover on October 29, 2017 at 2:29 pm

      I can’t remember how I stumbled upon science of running, but I’m so glad I did. Thank you! I’m a newbie high school coach and I get so much out of every article and podcast. When Mike mentioned at the end of the podcast that there was some new coach out there listening and learning, I said out loud…me!! Thanks again for what you do.

    2. Ali Husain on November 21, 2017 at 6:38 am

      After hearing the interview i am big fan of Mike Smith. He seems absolutely selftless and has a awesome culture for their athletes to thrive.

    3. Glen Wilburn Jr on October 5, 2018 at 6:42 am

      Our HS coach has Med ball and weight workout after a hard grass or track workout.
      We also take every Tuesday off running and do a hard biking or water workout.
      It seems like we struggle at race day every week. Please help. Asst. coach

    4. The Run Express | 27 Nov 2018 – Run Expression on December 14, 2018 at 11:41 am

      […] in a row. At the helm is coach Mike Smith who believes much of their success can be attributed to sustained focus on building the right culture for their program. It certainly seems to be paying off. A little closer to home is the North […]

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