Steve Augustine, center, receives his certificate from IAAF RDC Director Lenford G. Levy and IAAF International Consultant Oscar Gadea
JULY 10—Steve Augustine—a 1996 Olympian and the territory’s 400m Intermediate Hurdles National Record holder now has another athletics laurel—an IAAF certified Level I Instructor—earned during a course held in Puerto Rico.
Augustine who is among five of the territory’s 15 track and field Olympians currently involved in the development of the sport, returned to make his contribution about 18 months ago and began working in his specialty, the hurdles.
“Basically, we went through each track event, each field event and learnt the approaches of how to teach young athletes to execute those events,” Augustine explained. “The long and short of the course was to train you to be an instructor which means you have to be able to demonstrate, have the theoretical knowledge of the sport in order to be to train someone to do the activity.”
With his wealth of Olympic Games, World Championships, regional and Collegiate Championships experience, Augustine said the course was an eye opener. He said in past years, the average person could simply walk off the street and identify talent, but those days have long gone. There’s the aspect of talent development he explained.
The Olympic Hurdler said it takes someone with a bit of training to physically come out and identify where talent may exist and committing to developing that talent. He said it’s a lot more than having someone run this or that, but one must have an understanding of what they are trying to achieve. One has to understand what it takes for them to achieve what they are trying to achieve, which is where a lot of the problems come in, because it is not just a matter of running harder, faster or being stronger. There’s a lot more that goes into it than just than he noted.
Augustine added that if a coach is trying to get an athlete to a certain standard, they must be able to identify what it takes to achieve it. If it is in the Long Jump for example, one must know the basics, be able to demonstrate the techniques and be able to identify what the athlete is doing wrong or what needs tweaking to make them a better athlete.
“The theory we did in class was to understand how you go about identifying talent from a very young age,” he noted. “It doesn’t mean that you come out and you simply pick the fastest person out there and you work with them. It could be that a child shows some ability in vertical or horizontal jumping or whatever it may be, and you take that child and work with them over the years and by the time they are a teenager or in their early or mid 20s, they reach their potential.”
Based on the IAAF model, Augustine said the course was designed to help potential coaches to become IAAF Level I certified.