“Can an athlete be a world champion without a coach?” Essentially no, it is not possible; in order to succeed at the highest level the athlete is going to need outside feedback, direction, and support. This question was raised and answered in Sean McCann’s chapter on his Theories of Optimal Performance. After reading the entire chapter I thought as though I agreed with this notion, elite athletes still need a coach.  But upon reading an article in the New York Times on Ryan Hall, an American marathon runner who is running the Chicago Marathon on Sunday, my views on this idea are no longer certain.

There aren’t many athletes that have chose to compete without a coach, therefore according to the article there is not much evidence supporting or disproving the idea. Hall makes his own training schedules; assess his own progress, and runs alone almost all of the time.  His idea is that with his strong Christian background, by training without a coach he can become closer to god, and that in essence god can be his coach. Although I am not Christian or religious for that matter, who is to say that god will not provide him the feedback, direction, and support that McCann discusses as pertinent to success.

Although his communication with god is not verbal- looking to a higher power is capable of providing him with the support and the direction he needs. Will this idea impart long-term success upon Hall? Can god in fact be Hall’s coach?

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