Episode 44: Ernie Clark on Learning from the Best, and from Yourself as a Coach

If you want to do this, it’s going to be really hard. There’s a misconception that if you want it really bad and you try really hard you’re going to have high levels of success.
— Ernie Clark

We’re kicking off season four this week and diving into the coach’s perspective! In past seasons we’ve spoken to the parents, the players themselves, and the experts, and we are excited now to dive into the perspectives of some incredible coaches! Coach Ernie Clark was a high school coach for 14 years, a club coach for six, and now coaches at the collegiate level. He started out as a high school athlete struggling with performance, and through guidance from his coaches became a state qualifier and earned a collegiate scholarship for Track and Field. He became a national qualifier in the 400 hurdles at the University of Indianapolis. He went on to teach and coach high school athletes, breaking school records and growing multiple programs in Indiana. His athletes became 6th in the state during his most successful season, during which he realized his drive as a coach was to help athletes reach beyond what he could do as an athlete himself; competing on a higher national level, such as the USA Championships, and even the Olympics trials or Olympic Games. He became a coach at Ashland University, working alongside four-time Olympian Judd Logan, and currently coaches five national champions - including Myles Pringle. Coach Clark has been named a Regional Track and Field Assistant Coach of the Year two years in a row and was recently named Assistant National Coach of the Year. He and Kathy discuss his development from out-working to out-motivating, the massive mentality shifts he’s learned, and how his own struggles as an athlete and becoming addicted to doing a great job became the biggest factors in his growth as a coach. Ernie is not only a coach, but a sports parent himself, with two kids aged 14 and 17. If you enjoyed this episode please share and like Parenting Peak Performers whenever you listen in!