Noted mentor holds advanced training for Philippine coaches, bets

By Olmin Leyba

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Dan Pfaff

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine athletics team got into the starting blocks in its preparations for the Asian Games by training under world-class track and field coach Dan Pfaff.

Pfaff, who has tutored 49 Olympians, including nine medalists, 51 campaigners in the world championships, and five world record holders, is currently conducting a two-week training for 50 national coaches and athletes dubbed “Ayala-Dan Pfaff Advance Coaching Course” at the Philsports Complex.

“The goal is to give the coaches and athletes usable information that they can apply right away,” said Pfaff, whose previous high-profile trainees included British 2012 Olympics long jump champion Greg Rutherford. “We’re planting the seeds to grow crops to continue to be the resource (of future elite athletes).”

Now on its third day, the program puts premium on scientific studies including psychology, nutrition and biomechanics, moral behavior and sports medicine.

“His (Pfaff’s) reputation precedes him. We believe he’s most appropriate to prepare us for 2018 Asian Games and we’re looking beyond immediate terms and beyond the Asian Games,” said Philip Ella Juico, president of the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association, which is organizing the sessions with the support of Ayala Corporation.

Aside from the Asiad, the Pinoy tracksters are gearing up for major tournaments this year like the Asian Juniors Championships and World Championships.

The 64-year-old Pfaff emphasized to the Pinoy coaches and tracksters the importance of passion and commitment to the sport.

“One of the goals here is to change the culture somewhat, where track and field becomes an exciting sport and we want students and athletes to get involved in that sport,” he said.    

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