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Thread: Charlie Francis and his influence

  1. #1
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    Charlie Francis and his influence

    I've listened to countless lectures from some of the top coaches in athletics. The traveling roadshow of clinicians, pro's, gurus...etc. I firmly believe many of these people borrowed their key coaching strategies from Charlie. I say this because Charlie came around before the coaches I speak of.... His athletes were already ranked high, and I'm sure these people wanted to know why, and studied the system of training.

    When I say I believe they borrowed the jist of their coaching from Charlie, I mean its' almost verbatim with some.

    What irks me is these coaches credit their mentors and influencers and NEVER mention Charlie. It's like a parade of ass kissing to their colleagues, but I just know most of the time they are standing in front of a symposium crowd, complimenting the work of their coaching friends, and how they affected their methodology, that most of them all took something from Charlie, and not in a minute amount either.

    I'm not going to go as far as saying its plagiarizing intellectual property, but darn, you'd think some of these guys would at least give a shout out or some mention of Charlie Francis. Or put him in a bibliography of a coaching paper/journal work/lectures.

    BB King died today. When I hear Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page, I hear the styles and playing methods of BB King in there, or of Muddy Waters, or Little Walter. Those musicians will not hesitate to credit their major influences.

    But Athletics is a funny business. There's a lot of egos, and a lot of used car salesmanship. There's a lot of, quite frankly, "catty" posturing and pretentiousness. People can't "lower" themselves to give credit to a guy who was outcast, even though every day at the track, that guy's coaching strategy is heavily affecting what goes on at practice.

    I hope this changes. And unfortunately, stigmatizing people causes the younger generation to maybe avoid or not seek out literature or information from the person who was stigmatized. That's also a shame, in that there's much to learn.

    I'd never say Charlie Francis was not a huge influence on the training of athletics industry/field. I don't care who has a problem with it, after all theyre probably using the same ideas.

  2. #2

    Re: Charlie Francis and his influence

    Don't forget the Steve Francis lecture notes that started on this forum, where Steve Francis mentioned that the MVP program is long to short, "but it seems that Glenn Mills is doing short to long with Usain."

    Where do you think Glenn Mills got that?

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    Re: Charlie Francis and his influence

    The entire UK Athletics revamp that was done in the four year cycle leading into the 2012 Olympics- probably the best funded track and field program in history- was entirely Charlie Francis based philosophically. Period. End of story. Anyone who denies it is an idiot.

    Funnily enough, while some coaches won't mention it publicly, everyone does privately. Everyone!

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    Re: Charlie Francis and his influence

    I wish we had "Like" buttons like on Facebook.

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    Re: Charlie Francis and his influence

    Check this old pic of CF, BJ and Angella Marie Taylor out.
    Mazda Optimist TC

    https://plus.google.com/109295581406...ts/L8euq9gEUby

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    Re: Charlie Francis and his influence

    The stache!!!!

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    Re: Charlie Francis and his influence

    Quote Originally Posted by T-Slow View Post
    The entire UK Athletics revamp that was done in the four year cycle leading into the 2012 Olympics- probably the best funded track and field program in history- was entirely Charlie Francis based philosophically. Period. End of story. Anyone who denies it is an idiot.

    Funnily enough, while some coaches won't mention it publicly, everyone does privately. Everyone!
    I can tell you what I know for sure, I don't know about running entirely Charlies based philosophy, UK got very good success running long to short over few decades way before Charlie has published any of his work also don't forget that UKA have employed Pfaff to run the show. Are you saying that Pfaff running CF Program? Having said that they do distribute samples of CF program (graphs with two and three HI workouts) during seminars for young coaches.
    To me Charlies work has influenced many younger generation coaches. Talking here about UK based coaches
    Last edited by wermouth; 05-18-2015 at 05:26 PM.

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    Re: Charlie Francis and his influence

    Quote Originally Posted by lkh View Post
    Don't forget the Steve Francis lecture notes that started on this forum, where Steve Francis mentioned that the MVP program is long to short, "but it seems that Glenn Mills is doing short to long with Usain."

    Where do you think Glenn Mills got that?
    that's why Bolt wanted to run 600m with MoFarrah (charity race, Mo wanted to go 800) because as Bolt said himself that 800 is bit too far more likely 600 as he's been doing 600s during his training sessions.
    So I am thinking that actually Glenn might be going from both ends of the speed development spectrum.

    I don't know where Mils got that from.
    I am wondering if you know, BTW where SF got that from?
    Last edited by wermouth; 05-19-2015 at 11:47 AM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Charlie Francis and his influence

    Quote Originally Posted by bmarcho1 View Post
    I've listened to countless lectures from some of the top coaches in athletics. The traveling roadshow of clinicians, pro's, gurus...etc. I firmly believe many of these people borrowed their key coaching strategies from Charlie. I say this because Charlie came around before the coaches I speak of.... His athletes were already ranked high, and I'm sure these people wanted to know why, and studied the system of training.

    When I say I believe they borrowed the jist of their coaching from Charlie, I mean its' almost verbatim with some.

    What irks me is these coaches credit their mentors and influencers and NEVER mention Charlie. It's like a parade of ass kissing to their colleagues, but I just know most of the time they are standing in front of a symposium crowd, complimenting the work of their coaching friends, and how they affected their methodology, that most of them all took something from Charlie, and not in a minute amount either.

    I'm not going to go as far as saying its plagiarizing intellectual property, but darn, you'd think some of these guys would at least give a shout out or some mention of Charlie Francis. Or put him in a bibliography of a coaching paper/journal work/lectures.

    BB King died today. When I hear Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page, I hear the styles and playing methods of BB King in there, or of Muddy Waters, or Little Walter. Those musicians will not hesitate to credit their major influences.

    But Athletics is a funny business. There's a lot of egos, and a lot of used car salesmanship. There's a lot of, quite frankly, "catty" posturing and pretentiousness. People can't "lower" themselves to give credit to a guy who was outcast, even though every day at the track, that guy's coaching strategy is heavily affecting what goes on at practice.

    I hope this changes. And unfortunately, stigmatizing people causes the younger generation to maybe avoid or not seek out literature or information from the person who was stigmatized. That's also a shame, in that there's much to learn.

    I'd never say Charlie Francis was not a huge influence on the training of athletics industry/field. I don't care who has a problem with it, after all theyre probably using the same ideas.
    I, too, have long been annoyed at the avoidance of crediting a highly influential individual in a particular field and of course in this case, Charlie. Personally, I don't miss any chances to acknowledge his impact on my coaching philosophy. There are some coaches who don't mind using his concepts without any mention of how they acquired such knowledge-I guess we are to believe they came up with such original concepts on their own long after CF had written his books, recorded videos, given clinics. There are coaches who either manage to leave Charlie's name out or just don't reference anyone else's work in their own writings. There have been some UK athletics graphs put out a few years ago that looked like straight copies to me yet Charlie's name was conveniently not mentioned while others were mentioned in the same article. Some people in general seem to believe they will be better respected if they try to display "their work" as being truly original. Anyone reading Speed Trap will have no problem finding who influenced Charlie yet sadly that is not the approach that a number of other coaches take.

    For those of us who attend a large number of clinics, read articles etc. and I'm sure that includes many here, you see Charlie's influence in so many coach's programs-it's easy to spot even if, unfortunately, not sourced. To your guitarist point-agreed and Carlos Santana frequently mentioned BB King as being a major (if not the major) influence on his style as do many other musicians. In some fields acknowledgement is part of a sort of honor code but some coaches don't want to admit that all of their concepts are not originally their own.

  10. #10
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    Re: Charlie Francis and his influence

    This will be old hat for long time members; that said, I do not grow tired in stating that as someone who dove as deep as one could possibly dive into Charlie's work, primarily at a distance as I only met Charlie in person once and exchanged a handful of private emails with him, I truly believe he had all things sprint training/speed development figured out, no stone left unturned, in the 1980s.

    I've gone on to extrapolate so much from Charlie's detailed expounding on L-S and S-L that contributes to global training load management that has yet to exist in most other sport disciplines. My Applied Sprint Training book continues to sell to a global audience and be sure that I made it my number one point of order to credit Charlie in the initial pages.

    Regarding UK Athletics leading up to the 2012 games- I spent two weeks with Dan Pfaff prior to the London Games. A truly great guy with access to a boat load of data, he has a really impressive eye for minute biomechanical variations occurring in real time, and he has an incredibly robust network of global specialists.

    During that same period I was with Lloyd Cowan for a month assisting him and his crew with mechanical observation/coaching, trackside therapy, massage, weights and so on and it was really interesting to see the drastically different approaches of Cowan and Pfaff as well as to spend time and talk with the athletes from each crew and hear their thoughts on the coaching.

    I spent quite a bit of time around athletes from each crew, prominent names (Christine Ohuruogru, Dina Asher Smith, Anyika Onuora, Greg Rutherford, Steve Lewis...) Not surprisingly, every athlete I spoke with from Pfaff's crew was cerebral/analytical in their own right. Whereas, every athlete in Cowan's crew that I spent time with, including many junior athletes, were clearly more drawn to an intuitive/emotional connection to Lloyd's coaching style.

    I can say from observation that none of Lloyd's crew, and clearly Pfaff has his own system, were following a Charlie influenced program. That said, one of the female hurdlers in Lloyd's crew, who I believe was a common wealth champ in years past, told me that her best season ever was one in which her coach at the time used a program heavily influenced by Charlie; however, she told me that her coach was one of those who tended to try new approaches every season so that period came and went.

    That said, it seems that Kevin Tyler and co are very much influenced by Charlie.

    No doubt, however, and as has already been stated by others here, is the fact that dozens of "accomplished" coaches were influenced by Charlie in one way or another and fail to provide credit where credit is due.
    Last edited by James Smith; 05-18-2015 at 08:55 PM.

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