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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Michael Dooley dares to be different

Michael Dooley dares to be different

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1 Michael Dooley dares to be different on Wed Jan 07, 2015 9:44 am


Any keen follower of the Australian sprinting landscape would be aware of the impressive results being churned out by Michael Dooley and his squad. I get the impression Michael is one of these guys who likes to let his results do the talking. You don't hear much about him but the results of Ella Nelson, Elly Graf, Jarrod Geddes and Jake Hammond speaks volume for a training program that obviously delivers. Athletics NSW have an excellent article about Michael on its website.

Dooley’s definitely different

Athletics NSW Administrator
7 January 2015

Dooley’s definitely different

As a sprints coach Michael Dooley is different. And he’s not afraid to be different.

A proponent of the short to long training method pioneered by controversial Canadian coach Charlie Francis, Dooley has copped criticism from some quarters.

But the results he is achieving is now making plenty of people sit up and take notice – and is winning him plenty of respect.

One of Australia’s greatest coaches Peter Lawler said he was ``inspired’’ by Dooley’s courage in sticking with his ideas while many other coaches followed a long to short program.

And he has certainly won the respect of another of Australia’s great coaches Peter Fortune who has mentored Dooley in recent years.

Fortune said one of Dooley’s greatest attributes was the great care he demonstrated for his athletes.

And his athletes have repaid that care with unwavering loyalty to their coach.

Traditionally Australian sprint coaches have designed long to short programs for their athletes. Athletes undertake a tough winter running longer reps at a lower intensity. In the competition part of the season their reps are short and of higher intensity.  Under a short to long program, athletes do the reverse, running short reps early in the year developing speed and gradually lengthening their reps as competition gets closer.

Dooley was voted Athletics NSW’s sprint coach of the year in 2014 and deservedly so.

He dominated the open sprint events at the NSW titles. His athletes finished first and second in the open women’s 100m; first and third in the women’s 200m; first and third in the men’s 200m and second in the men’s 100m.

In a stellar 2014 three of Dooley’s athletes won selection in the Australian team to contest the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow; four represented Australia at the World Relay Championships in the Bahamas; and two represented Australia in the Youth Olympic Games.

But in typical Dooley fashion he gives all the credit to his athletes and accepts none himself.

As a youngster Dooley was a sprinter with the St George Club and in later years he represented Illawong in Masters events. But by his own admission he was ``no great shakes.’’

He took up coaching when his kids joined Little Athletics and he later started his own squad.

Commonwealth Games representatives Ella Nelson, Jarrod Geddes and Jake Hammond and Youth Olympic Games representative Samantha Geddes are among the kids he has developed over the years.

None of the quartet was whiz kids in Little Athletics but under Dooley’s guidance they have developed into some of the top sprinters in Australia.

His success with these athletes has attracted the attention of established athletes and in recent years Elly Graf, Laura Turner and Jessica Thornton have joined his squad.

For all three it has resulted in Australian representation at various levels.

In his formative coaching years Dooley paid his own way to the US where he linked up with Francis and later top American coach Dan Pfaff. ``It was a wonderful experience to learn from such experts in the field of athletics,’’ Dooley said.

``I have always loved running and loved watching people run fast. I am very passionate about athletics and my athletes share that passion. It is fantastic when athletes achieve their goals. The look on athletes’ faces when they have achieved their goals makes coaching such a great job. ‘’

Early last year he further developed his coach education, travelling to Jamaica to watch the methods of Usain Bolt’s coaching staff.

Endurance sprinter Matt Sommers was Dooley’s first national champion, winning the Australian All Schools 400m in 2004. Since then many quality athletes have passed through his hands. As well as the aforementioned Australian representatives, they include Emily and Anthony Costello, Jasmine Everett, Zach Holdsworth and Kylie Strong.

Highlights of 2014 for Michael Dooley’s squad:

•Four athletes Ella Nelson, Elly Graf, Jarrod Geddes and Jake Hammond represented Australia at the International Amateur Athletics Federation World Relay Championships in the Bahamas. Each athlete ran in the 4 x 100m relay.

•Three athletes Ella Nelson, Jarrod Geddes and Jake Hammond competed for Australia at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Ella ran in the 200m and made the semi-finals and ran in the women’s 4 x 100m relay that finished 5th in the final. Jarrod competed in the 200m, 4 x 100m relay and also the 4 x 400m relay which finished 6th in the final. Jake competed in the 4 x 100m relay.

•Elly Graf and Laura Turner ran for an Australian women’s 4 x 100m relay at the Tokyo Grand Prix in Japan. In addition Laura ran in the 200m event at this meet.

•Ella Nelson finished the season with the 2nd fastest 200m time only just behind Sally Pearson. Jarrod Geddes and Jake Hammond finished the season with the 2nd and 4th best 100m times respectively.

•Sam Geddes and Jess Thornton were selected to represent Australia at the Youth (Under 18) Olympic Games in Nanjing, China. Sam competed in the 100m and finished 3rd with a pb of 11.69 seconds. Jess competed in the 400m and won with a pb time of 52.50 the 4th fastest time this year by an Australian.

•In the NSW Open Championships Elly Graf was 1st, Ella Nelson 2nd and Sam Geddes 5th in the open women’s 100m. In the women’s 200m Ella Nelson was 1st, Laura Turner 3rd and Jess Thornton 6th. In the men’s 100m Jake Hammond was 2nd. In the men’s 200m Jarrod Geddes was 1st and Jake Hammond was 3rd.

2 Re: Michael Dooley dares to be different on Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:24 am


Dooley has copped criticism from some quarters.

Jealousy and envy will do that.

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