Dr. Jeff Messer is one of the most successful high school coaches of the 21st Century. He has won more state cross country titles than not including winning the 2016 National Coach of the Year. In 12 years he was involved in coaching 11 State Championship teams. Jeff is also the head of the exercise science department at Mesa Community College. We have a great discussion on building a team, what your goals should really be and how important things like sleep and nutrition are to a successful high-level athlete.
:45 Background as a runner
1:52 You stay on top of all the latest science, what came first the love for that or the love for coaching?
2:52 Coaches may be looking at a research paper how do we know if the research paper is actually a good paper and good research?
4:15 What is your success in cross country as a coach?
5:15 For a high school coach who doesn’t your science background, how can they become better educated?
6:18 Some coaches know the science and can explain everything. Some don’t know the science but can tell you what works for example. How important is it to know the science or not?
7:30 If you were giving advice to a newer coach. What type of general advice do you have in what is important in building a program?
8:37 You talk a lot about how the goals are not the time, but the process is the goal. What does that mean?
9:57 What areas are part of the process?
11:41 Often times the athletes we are working with are high achievers, including in the class. How do you stress the importance of sleep to these student-athletes?
14:10 How much sleep does a 16-year old who runs 50 miles a week need?
15:15 How often do you run into students who are not getting enough sleep?
17:10 If you have an athlete that will run in college and another runner who has no desire to run in college, do you coach them differently?
19:07 The question I get most often from parents is about nutrition. Can you discuss what the latest research says?
21:16 For a coach who wants to give something out to their parents on nutrition, what resources do you recommend?
23:12 What is the biggest mistake athletes are making with nutrition?
24:33 Often times you will have an athlete not making the gains they should be in racing and workouts, what do you do to break down what is going on?
26:53 Can you discuss role of iron?
28:45 What should the Ferritin levels be?
30:34 How is the coaching with Jessica Tonn going?
32:17 You have had several successful high school runners who went on to success in college and as a professional. When you have an athlete who you know has that potential, do you handle them differently?
34:22 Sarah Hall had Tweet about running too much in high school, how do you feel about that?
36:38 You have an athlete coming in as a freshman who has a lot of potential, what is your progression over four years of high school.