Archive for Thursday, April 8, 2004

New coach provides new direction

April 8, 2004

Basehor-Linwood track

and field coach Leroy Scharnhorst doesn't have much coaching experience, but he does have a plan.

Scharnhorst got his first coaching experience as an assistant under Basehor track coach Paul Brown last year.

This year Scharnhorst is taking over as head coach and is implementing a five-part plan for gradually training his track and field team over the course of a whole season.

"I did some research, and I put together a program called periodization," Scharnhorst said. "We start out fairly relaxed the first week, including fun things like basketball and volleyball just so they don't have to be running in circles the whole time."

Scharnhorst's plan will move the Bobcats through five stages, beginning with the pre-competitive stage, where they're at now. The intensity of the training will gradually increase through the competitive stage and all the way into the final "peaking" stage, where Scharnhorst hopes they'll be during the Kaw Valley League Tournament and playoffs.

"The program's geared so that as the workouts get harder they'll be in better shape so they won't even notice, really," Scharnhorst said.

At this stage, Scharnhorst is keeping the training fairly light and keeping the mood light off the track as well. During Tuesday's meet at Lansing, pole vaulter Joe Finch had finished his events and was laying on the bleachers wrapped in a heavy blanket, with his head resting on a pillow. Scharnhorst approached him.

"Joe, try to relax," he said with a straight face. A moment later he broke into a broad grin as everyone around him laughed.

Scharnhorst isn't worried that the light mood will hurt the team's discipline.

"They've been reacting well to everything," Scharnhorst said. "They come out and we have their workouts printed out for them, they look at the workouts and do them. It's a disciplined group that follows the workouts, and me and the other two coaches spend our time going around and working on technique."

Brown is still with the team helping out and said the transition to having Scharnhorst as the head coach was smooth because of his experience the previous year.

"I just basically handed him all the paperwork," Brown said.

Scharnhorst used to compete in the hurdles, the 400-meter dash and the 200-meter dash and said he had a long-time love of track.

He said filling out the piles of paperwork had actually been the biggest challenge for him so far in his first year as head coach.

"Everything else is easy," Scharnhorst said. "Just go out and help them."

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