What are the key elements to building a successful high school team?
Buttler: It's hard to quantify in three minutes or so but, I think in this sport, first of all, you've got to identify the kids that are willing to work hard. If you're looking for a kid that just relays upon the talent that God's given him and doesn't work for it, and doesn't work hard, he's (she's) not gonna flourish in this sport.
For instance in my freshman classes when I taught PE one of the things I used to do to see if I want them on my team was put them on the pull-up bar. You get a kid that just gets up on the pull-up bar just pumps out ten real quick jumps off; he didn't have to stop but he just did because ten was an A and that all he wanted to do. Then I get a kid who does one struggles at two, really struggles and barely makes it at three pull ups, that's the kid I want.
1. So number one is they've got to have a mind to work.
2. They've got to learn how to buy into the whole team thing because that's a transformational concept, you know going into families, business, countries, into communities, and you know if they're just out there to get stats and want to be on a team so they can get good times and get a good college they can do that in any other sport, my sport that's not gonna be encouraged.
3. If you're out there to help your teammate, if you're out there to make somebody better, then that's another quality I see to building a successful program.
The Three Elements of A Successful Program
First thing is talent, the next number two is talent, number three is talent. You've got to have kids that have some kind of aptitude for running, have some kind of fitness, have some ability there.
It's sad because we have a lot of kids that have a lot of talent that don't develop their talent they just rely upon it, and they don't work hard and they just waste it. The most successful kids you see out there, especially in cross country and track, are kids that not only have the talent but they've been willing to put in more work . . . to be better.