Tracking Flatow

Tracking Flatow

Alexandria Poh

El Estoque: Could you describe your approach to coaching this year as opposed to last year?

Coach Flatow: That’s interesting because what I would like to think is that I’m fundamentally consistent between the two years and that the things that are important to me stay consistent. For example, I make sure the athletes are still learning and enjoying themselves and that they stay healthy. Also, the area of focus is on their own individual improvement and not just winning. I think that I probably understand the Monta Vista athlete a little better this year, and that I understand the pressures you guys are under a little more. I wish to address those better than I did last year. Monta Vista’s a special place, so hopefully this year, I get to know my athletes better than I did last year.

EE: Could you describe some of your core beliefs?

CF: Athletes are really student-athletes; they really need to be able to be both. I think academics do have priority. However, you can do more than just academics. Track and field is a great place to learn persistence. I think that’s important because everything in life needs a lot of work. If you’re writing a book, you can’t finish that in a week. Or if you’re starting a company, you can’t do that in a week. It took me seven years to get a solid company going. Track is a great place to learn that because you can have successes, failures and injuries but you’re rewarded for hard work after a long period of time. My hope is that the athletes can discover this on their own with my help. It’s really a series of steps making them discover in themselves their own drives. It’s not external; they have to find it in their hearts that they want to work hard, and if they find that desire in running or track, it can become something they can take in to the rest of their lives.

EE: Were all the new coaches hired this year or last year?

CF: Well, last year we had Matt McKay, who is a Monta Vista [graduate]. [He] joined me last year and heís been with me ever since. And then we added some new coaches this year.

EE: What made you decide to hire new coaches this year?

CF: Well, I had an opportunity to get some really good coaches. We’ve hired [Erica McLain], one of the best triple jumpers in the country. Scott [Blomquist] is a really good sprinting coach. We have a lot of kids here and I want to be able to treat them well and not just throw them out there and say, “Figure it out, go run fast.” I’m always looking constantly for ways to improve the team as well as ways to improve myself. I take education courses to try to learn new things. Never stop learning no matter what [and] no matter where you are.