Podcast: Re-Run with Laura Schmitt


“Coaching, I would argue, is the least about the workouts. In fact, if you’re a coach, you should have phenomenal workouts. You should have a progression that takes a child, an adult, anyone—in four years, of course they’re going to get better, you just have to write it out properly. It’s written in every book, you can pick up any book, anyone can be a ‘give workout’ person. What isn’t easy, unless it is, is knowing how to connect with a person, to get the most out of them, so they can feel good about themselves…You have to be very careful about how you connect with people. We as coaches have power, for sure, the people we are coaching can be vulnerable so you have to make sure you’re not taking advantage of that or crossing the line. That’s your job, it’s not the athlete’s job. As close as the athlete comes to you, you have to know where it needs to stop, where the line is, and a mature coach knows how to do that.”

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I’ll be re-running a couple of my favorite episodes from years past in the feed this week and next and we’ll start by kicking it back to Episode 100 with Laura Schmitt, which was recorded in February of 2020 right before the world shut down. It’s one of my favorite conversations that I’ve ever had for the podcast and I’m excited to rerelease it. Laura was the longtime cross country and track coach at Redwood High School in Larkspur, California, where she was at the helm for 35 years and led some of the best teams and athletes in the state. She’s also a wife, a mom, and now a grandmother since we had this conversation over two years ago—not to mention an entrepreneur who founded a play-based preschool that’s still going strong today as well as the first treadmill studio on the West Coast. In short: she’s an incredible woman and someone I respect and admire immensely. In this conversation, we talked about running, community, coaching, family, parenting, and entrepreneurship—all things Laura knows a lot about and has had a lot of success in over the years.

Laura Schmitt: Instagram

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This episode is brought to you by: 

— New Balance. If you’re looking for a workhorse to run most of your miles in, look no further than the FreshFoam X 1080 v12. This shoe has the perfect blend of cushioning and responsiveness, it’s lightweight, it transitions smoothly, it has the most streamlined fit to accommodate a wide variety of foot types, and it holds up to heavy mileage week in and week out. The FreshFoam X 1080 v12 is available in both men’s and women’s sizes on newbalance.com or at your local run specialty retail store. 

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Music and editing for this episode of the morning shakeout podcast by John Summerford.

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