Golden Coachman has run 800m in 1:46, earned NCAA All-America honors, All-SEC honors, Olympic Trials qualifications, and advanced degrees all while serving in the United States Army (13 years and counting!).
He's run 60-mile weeks in Kuwait and Iraq and managed to train speed and endurance in 120-degree deserts and 100%-humidity Alabama summers.
In this short video, Golden discusses the importance of training where you're at - both as a physical reality and as a mindset. He shares with young athletes how he developed this mental skill - and how letting go of expectations based on past performances or desired outcomes has allowed him to do the kind of work that creates strength and speed and has kept that strength and speed sharp for over a decade. Golden's train-where-you're-at mindset looks at performance as a process -- and crucial to that process has been his acceptance of the conditions of the present moment and working with them to the best of his abilities.
1:46s don't happen overnight, and Golden reminds the athletes he coaches that when he first started running the 800, he ran 2:20s and 2-teens, eventually running 1:51 and breaking 1:50 at Wallace State. He deployed to the middle East for a year after that 1:49, training alone, without a track. He had to be patient in building the speed back when he returned for another year at Wallace State before transferring to Mississippi State. In addition to representing the MSU Bulldogs, Golden Coachman has run for the Alabama Striders, Huffman High School, Wallace State, and now Birmingham's own Cahaba Distance Project.
Margaret Smith, Ph.D. works with individual athletes and teams of all sports and all levels from elite youth to professional in Birmingham, AL, in addition to working with the United States Army ROTC Cadre out of Fort Knox. She has coached and competed in NCAA Division I Cross Country and Track at ACC and Big 10 schools. Now that she's in SEC country, you can reach this TarHeel born and bred at email@example.com or on Twitter @DrMargaretAS.