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UK Athletics

blog spot: uka futures programme - dan cossins

Danny Talbot
Dan Cossins coached Danny Talbot to this summer's European U23 Championships (above)

11 October 2011

Dan Cossins is coach to sprinter Danny Talbot who made his Aviva GB & NI debut at the 2010 IAAF World Junior championships in Canada and was selected this summer to represent the Aviva GB & NI team at this summer's European Under-23 Championships and IAAF World Championships in Daegu.

Watch out for more blogs from UKA Futures Programme coaches on www.uka.org.uk 

Blog Spot: UKA Futures Programme

User AvatarPosted by Site Administrator at 11/8/2011 12:44:39 PM

Dan Cossins is coach to 19-year-old sprinter Danny Talbot who made his Aviva GB & NI debut at the 2010 IAAF World Junior championships in Canada. He was selected this week to represent the Aviva GB & NI team at this summer's IAAF World Championships in Daegu.

When I wrote my last blog Danny was in a bit of a purple patch and our thoughts were on super fast times in big races, but while the last two months have been anything but a disappointment, Danny’s fast improvements were always going to tail off at some point, so the sensational performance we were expecting did not materialise.

Our main aim for the year was to win a medal at the European U23’s in Ostrava and despite Danny pulling out, in my opinion, his best 200m performance of the year (20.71 into a minus 1.4 headwind), it was only good enough for fourth. James Alaka’s performances in the Czech Republic were very impressive and he is proof - despite some of the cynical views of some British coaches - that America does offer a good base for some British athletes to go and improve.  Danny also gained a silver medal as part of the 4 x 100m relay, and despite our disappointment at the individual I think it’s important to remember that it was his first international medal.

Perhaps the most exciting news of late came this week, when it was announced that Danny was selected for the 4 x 100m at the World Championships. The 24 hours surrounding selection highlighted to me how strange and changeable the life of an elite athlete can be. I spent a good hour on Sunday preparing two possible build ups to the World University Games, each one appropriate for the different days that Danny could have been travelling to China (Monday or Wednesday). As it transpired, he was expected to leave this Monday, the day of World Champs selection, and it was only around half an hour before he left for Heathrow that he got the call from Tony Lester to say he was needed in Daegu. Danny and I had a brief conversation about whether a World Champs relay spot or an individual 200m spot at the World University Games would be more beneficial, but in the end, we both agreed that the experience of going to our sport’s second most important Championship the year before the Olympics was the better choice.

After his destination was determined, I then set about writing a plan leading up to the World Championships. Danny will be doing a couple of weeks of harder speed and speed endurance work along with strength work in the gym (mainly to protect his fragile hamstrings) and then the work will taper down to the heats of the 4 x 100m. The main challenge I found in writing the programme was trying to predict when Danny would be expected to do relay practices and how this would affect the schedule I’d written. In the end I told Danny that relay practices would take priority and to replace my track sessions with any practices that were planned. Obviously it would be counterproductive to fit in hard relay practices and all the track work I would deem to be optimal if he were preparing for an individual race.

Other than that exciting news on Danny, most of my other athletes are winding down their seasons, so I am turning most of my attention to refining all the many ideas I have on how I am going to improve things going into Olympic year. I have some thoughts on how I am going to pair track work and weights routines differently for optimal gains and adaptation, so the next few weeks I will spend putting it all down on paper. Less than a year out from London, exciting times lie ahead!

The UKA Futures Programme underpins the World Class Performance Programme (WCPP) and was borne out of the restructure of UKA’s WCPP and the drive towards more targeted support for athletes and their coaches.

The Programme targets young athletes with the potential to deliver global medals for Britain in the future.

Athletes and their coaches will be supported in their individual development plans allowing for more flexibility and individual discretion around distribution of resources. 28 coach-athlete pairs have been included in the 2010/11 Futures Programme.