COACH ED POIRIER|
Years ago even before I started developing KidsRunning.Com, I noticed Coach Ed. At that time, I spent my weekends attending youth events and as coaches go he stood out. Always focused, constantly encouraging, and forever surrounded by a team of young runners. Eventually, I approached him and asked if he would like to write a youth running column. He agreed and he has been with the site since its onset.
- Carol Goodrow
Carol Goodrow interviews Coach Ed
1. What makes a great youth coach?
Great youth Coaches focus on developing individuals instead of winning teams. There should be no "bench sitters" in youth sports. If anything the less talented athletes need more support and coaching help than the stars. Youth sports should focus on participation and fun. Coaches should tell all athletes to do their best. Not "try" their best. When an athlete does their best they have accomplished something much more important that winning. Coaches need to instill in their athletes an appreciation of the sport, respect for fellow athletes, and knowing that their efforts, and dedication will bring rewards. Everyone wins with that philosophy.
2. Why do you enjoy working with our young kids?
I have over a hundred stories that would bring tears to your eyes by hearing about children accomplishing things they would never had thought possible. I can not think of a greater gift for a person than to be able to inspire a young child.
3. Where did you get your training and where should others get their training?
I studied under my first coach Bill Wynn and started coaching for Providence Track Club a year later first their 50 person woman's team and then both women and men (100 total athletes) for 5 years. I moved on to coach men & women for "New England Multi Sport" a 150 adult triathlon & Track team for 5 years, then 3 more years coaching Venezuelan men. During the 13 years I worked with various college coaches from Brown University and Providence College to hone my coaching skills. In 1996 I started the Jaguar Youth Track Team at the Attleboro MA YMCA as a volunteer. I received USA track & field coaching certification from the USA Olympic training center in 2001.
4. Who was your inspiration as a coach?
I owe my start to Bill Wynn the assistant Coach at Providence College and head coach of Providence Track Club. I started my own athletic career at 30 years old. I, like many other adult runners, read the running books and magazines a coached my self into injury and mediocre performances for a year. Then I joined a track team and everything changed. Bill helped put my training schedule together and in a year I was off winning races, running injury free, and improving at an incredible pace and enjoying the sport even more. I knew I wanted to be a coach and be able to help people reach their potential. Bill took me under his wing and helped me get all the coaching instruction I could from the top college coaches in New England.
5. How would you do things differently?
As far as coaching youth athletes I wouldn't change a thing. I think I had to mature a lot as person to be an effective youth coach. I was a highly competitive athlete and as a coach I demanded a lot from the adult athletes I coached. When I made the decision to try coaching youth athletes I wanted to make sure the best interest of the youth athlete as an individual always came first. My own competitiveness had to be shelved. Fun, participation, education, respect of the sport and of fellow athletes is the focus on my youth team.
6. Tell me your highlights of your great career with youth running and/or Kids Running.
Too many highlights to write down. I get to see miracles happen every time my team gets together. Highlights of writing for kidsrunning.com is getting a reply form a kid or a parent saying thank you for helping and caring. Life doesn't get any better than that. I am so fortunate.
7. How has your work with kids has evolved? Are you more into it than you were or are you winding down?
The YMCA I started my youth track team from as a volunteer in 1996 offered me a full time position in 2003 helping youth who struggle with health risk from inactivity and poor nutrition. I am more involved with youth than ever. I lecture in schools and the programs and activities I have developed in the community have influenced thousands of kids to get active, and eat smarter. Winding down? Don't think so.
8. Future Plans:
Keep doing what I'm doing. As far as writing is concerned, who knows? I may start putting my notes together and see where that takes me.
Fitness Background: Former fitness instructor Boy's & Girls Clubs of America, Executive Committee Member of Massachusetts Partnership for Healthy Weight, PAC Youth Healthy Weight Program coordinator for MA Alliance of YMCAs, RI Special Olympic Event Coordinator. Appointed to Wellness Promotional Advisory Board under Massachusetts Commissioner of Public Health
Track coach: Y's Jaguar youth track team since 1996, Venezuela amateur team 1994-1999, New England Multi Sport 1989-1994, Providence Track Club 1984-1989. Currently a columnist for Runners World Magazine's Web site www.kidsrunning.com and consultant to New York Road Runners" Learn to Run" youth training program. Contributed to the book Kids Running: Have Fun, Get Faster & Go Farther.
Athletics: 1982 to 1992 Nationally Ranked Amateur Triathlete. Over 100 age group victories, 6 overall titles.
Running: 9 time RI Masters Olympic gold medallist, 7 times named to USA Masters All American Team, 3 time New England 1500m Masters Champion.
Education: Advance training from USA Olympic Training Center San Diego. Rhode Island College Communication Major.