Everyone Stop Dying! Lessons Learned From Untimely Deaths Part 2:Sprint Coach Charlie Francis and Dio
Lessons Learned From Untimely Deaths Part 2: Sprint Coach Charlie Francis and Dio
Charlie Francis (October 13, 1948 – May 12, 2010)
If you do know know how Charlie Francis is, you probably heard of him as the coach of sprinter Ben Johnson, the first competitor to be stripped of an Olympic gold medal for using banned drugs.
He also trained many other sprinters including Angella Issajenko, Mark McKoy, and Desai Williams.
Francis himself was a great athlete want went on to become the Canadian 100 metres sprint champion in 1970, 1971, and 1973 and barely missed the Olympics in 1972
Francis started coaching Johnson at the age of 15. So much for the use of drugs only to get results.
I remember first hearing about him from his first book “Speed Trap” and later “Training for Speed.”
This was my first realy introduction into athletic training and I remember being just blown away reading it.
It was the fist time I heard of concepts like the SAID principle and transfer.
The question that stood out to me was (paraphrasing here) “How do we get athletes to run faster, if they have never actually ran faster?”
How could you get someone to run faster, without the specific practice of actually running faster?
Francis did not advocate any running of sprints in the 75-95% of ones best time. His thoughts were that this was too slow to help improve the athlete’s time and would just make them slower of time.
Slower work below 75% of one’s best time was different enough to not transfer to top end speed.
I remember hearing about how he would listen to the athlete’s impact to determine how they were doing.
Above all he emphasized QUALITY work, not just adding more quantity. Every small detail had to be accounted for at the highest level.
In 2005 he was diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma and passed away Wednesday May 12, 2010 after a five-year battle with the disease.
I feel sad that I was never able to see him present in person.
Lessons I Learned
1) SAID Principle and Transfer
This was the first time I had heard of them outside of Physiology 101.
2) Quality over Quantity
Before this, I always thought that if you could do more, it was better. I learned that quality was much more important than quantity, although it took me several years to really incorporate that into my training
RIP Charlie. Your work will carry on and you are missed by many.
Ronnie James Dio ((July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010)
Ronnie James Dio was a heavy metal vocalist and songwriter. He performed in 5 different bands over his career including Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Heaven & Hell, and of course, Dio.
He had a voice that was unmistakeable and regarded as one of the most powerful singers in heavy metal.
Rumor has it, he is know for for popularizing the “devil’s horns” hand gesture in metal culture.
Dio Throwing the Horns
Dio died of stomach cancer on May 16, 2010.
Lesson I Learned
1) Leverage your strengths
Dio had an iconic voice and he always leveraged that in every band. You could listen for just a few seconds and know it was Dio on vocals. I learned that working on your weakness is good, don’t forget to leverage your strengths.
RIP Dio, as the world has lost one of the greatest metal singers of all time
What lessons have you learned? Please share them in the comments below
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