Kenya is an athletics powerhouse with legendary athletes final etched on this planet’s historic past over their safe performance. And as noteworthy as these names stay smartly-liked, Irish Patrician Brother Colm O’Connell remains a notorious figure.
O’Connell’s feature in Kenyan athletics is out of the ordinary. The 800m world memoir holder David Rudisha owes his note success to O’Connell. It is O’Connell who learned his abilities when he modified into as soon as 15 years old and nurtured it.
Why Is Colm O’Connell In type In Kenyan Athletics?
Interestingly, O’Connell is a native of Mellow Island and joined St Patrick’s High College – Iten in 1976 as a instructor. He modified into as soon as then a younger man mature 28.
He grew to become the college head in 1986 and is credited for shaping the lives of athletic giants from Rift Valley.
The likes of Olympic medalist Wilson Kipketer, Wilson K Boit, Mike Kosgei, Peter Rono amongst others passed through his palms.
A stroll through the college an extended time later has fond memories of these helpful athletes. They each and every comprise a memento around the college inscribed with their names.
It is at St Patrick’s that the Patrician Brother took his athletics instructing to a fresh level. Coupled with resilient athletes he took a leap of faith in them and they did now not disappoint.
Ten years after his preserve in Kenya, he headed out with his elite crew for the Summer season Olympic Video games. Surprisingly, he returned with 9 medals – including four god medals.
And O’Connell has never forgotten how appropriate it felt when his first mentee, Peter Chumba ran barefoot and won on the global stage.
“We had a boy called Peter Chumba, he ran bare-footed,” he tells the Irish Instances. “He won. That modified into as soon as the main time I believed, ‘Our success has long past beyond Iten.’”
Colm O’Connell’s First Olympic Champion
After years of relentless instructing, Peter Rono gave him the main Olympic gold medal in the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
In 1986, Rono clinched a silver medal in the 1,500m bustle in Athens. And then, he outdid himself in the Seoul Olympics by winning a gold medal.
Soon after, the likes of Wilson Kipketer below O’Connells’s stewardship did so smartly that they won gold medals. Kipketer and five assorted O’Connell’s mentees introduced abet gold house.
Kipketer, an excellent 800m memoir holder has a sensational memoir with O’Connell. The Irish coach picked him out of nowhere and moulded an athletics broad who shook the enviornment by clinching world titles.
Kipketer broke the enviornment memoir four times. All this, O’Connell says is because Kipketer took his advice seriously on what running is all about.
What Is The Secret Within the abet of Colm O’Connell’ Coaching Success?
It is dazzling straightforward and uncomplicated to prefer, he says. For every and every of his mentees, they’ll present you that O’Connell’s greatest project for them is mental energy.
This is a gospel he has preached for greater than three an extended time that he has coached athletes in Kenya.
“I’d say it’s the mental location of radiant ‘what is running?’, ‘what is it to carry out this sport?’” he says.
For him, winning doesn’t total the equation however being an astute athlete does each and daily.
And in his mind, Rono who gave him the main Olympic gold medal remains particular in his coronary heart. He says seeing him bustle bare feet modified into as soon as a helpful message to aspiring athletes.
“It’s now not about winning, however to delight in to be there each and every morning, or each and every evening, running on the grass, without shoes. So, here’s why he contrivance lots to the younger generation, and he contrivance lots to me too.”
This present day, O’Connell’s name is linked to 25 World Champions and five Olympic medalists.
Brimin Kipruto, Mathe Birir, Rono, Rudisha, and Kipketer are his comely students who soared in the Olympics.
He adds that realizing the assorted wants of his trainees made it a hit in the end. Attributable to of us are assorted and so are their expectations.
Colm O’Connell’s Philosophy
The Irish coach focuses now not honest on winning however on challenging future generations. And this mindset has labored for him so smartly that wins consistently come abet.
This cements his legacy because the Godfather of Kenyan athletics. And it’s a ways encouraging for a man who arrived in Kenya with none instructing data – he easiest learned all about it by default.
When he first arrived at St Patrick’s High College, he modified into as soon as so green however being an assistant to Peter Foster – Brendan Brother – made the overall distinction.
Foster modified into as soon as the note coach at the college then and he picked O ‘Connell no topic all odds.
The Patrician brother learned immediate and as noteworthy as he could per chance and by 1976, he modified into as soon as a fully-fledged coach.