In Coaching Cross Country Successfully, Pat Tyson shares his secrets to building one of today’s elite cross country programs. While there are many instruction books on running, only Coaching Cross Country Successfully provides a blueprint to building a successful team:
• Establishing and communicating a coaching philosophy
• Tailoring training to individual and team needs
• Teaching running techniques and improving performance
• Preparing for meets and competition
• Evaluating individual runners and your entire program
• Working with assistant coaches, volunteers, and the community
As one of the winningest cross country coaches in the United States, Pat Tyson developed his philosophies of training and competition by associating with legendary runners and coaches. He was a teammate and roommate of Steve Prefontaine while he was running at the University of Oregon for Coach Bill Bowerman. Coaching Cross Country Successfully draws on this breadth of experience, showing you how to inspire your athletes and create your own tradition of excellence.
Part I: Coaching Foundation
Chapter 1 Developing a Coaching Philosophy
Chapter 2 Communicating Your Approach
Chapter 3 Motivating Runners
Chapter 4 Building a Cross Country Program
Part II: Planning and Training
Chapter 5 Planning for the Season
Chapter 6 Preparing for Practices
Part III: Teaching Techniques and Tactics
Chapter 7 Teaching Proper Running Form
Chapter 8 Improving Runners’ Performance
Chapter 9 Developing a Race Strategy
Part IV: Coaching for Competitions
Chapter 10 Preparing for Meets
Chapter 11 Coaching Meets
Part V: Coaching Evaluation
Chapter 12 Evaluating Runners’ Performances
Chapter 13 Evaluating Your Program
Pat Tyson developed his philosophies of training and competition while associating with legendary coaches and runners. He ran at the University of Oregon for Bill Bowerman, the coach of four NCAA champion teams and the cofounder of Nike, Inc. While at Oregon, he was a teammate and roommate of Steve Prefontaine, Olympian and winner of three individual NCAA Men's Cross Country Championships.
Recognized as one of the most successful cross country coaches in the United States, Tyson currently serves as head cross country and track and field coach at Gonzaga University, a position he has held since 2008. Before accepting his position with Gonzaga, Tyson held similar positions at the University of Oregon and University of Kentucky and spent 20 years at Mead High School in Washington State while developing it into a distance running powerhouse. During Tyson’s time of coaching at Mead, the Harriers achieved an impressive record of 180-8 in one of the toughest dual-meet leagues in the nation. Reaching state competition 18 consecutive years to win 12 state titles, they never placed worse than third. During that time, the Harriers had a nine-year streak when they never lost a competition. In his last three years at Mead, Tyson’s teams placed third, fourth, and fifth at the Nike Team National Championships held in Portland, Oregon.
For his remarkable work with the Mead Harriers, Tyson has been named Washington State Coach of the Year multiple times. He was nominated for National High School Coach of the Year when his Mead teams were ranked No. 1 by Harrier magazine. Tyson has produced nine Washington State prep champions and nine Foot Locker Cross Country Championship finalists. Several of his runners have placed on the All-Time Top 100 List for the state of Washington. Additionally, Tyson worked with the 2008 U.S. Olympic team during trials.
As a competitive athlete, Tyson ran cross country and track at the University of Oregon, where he competed in two NCAA Cross Country Championships and helped lead Oregon to first- and third-place finishes. He is regarded as one of the top six runners in Oregon history for the 3- and 6-mile.
Doug Binder was a senior editor for ESPNHS DyeStat. His professional sports writing career spans 18 years, including 10 as a high school and track and field writer for Portland's The Oregonian newspaper, where he has covered numerous running championships at the high school, college, and professional levels. In 2008, Binder led the newspaper’s coverage of the Olympic Trials. Before his position at The Oregonian, Binder spent three years at the Gazette-Times in Corvallis, Oregon, and two at the Daily Chronicle in Bozeman, Montana. He is a member of the Track and Field Writers of America.
In 2005, Binder documented Pat Tyson's final days at Mead High School. Those interviews sparked a friendship that endures to this day.