Coach Tarmo J. is a world class hurdler who holds a national hurdling record in his native country, Estonia. He competed in the hurdle 2004 Athens Olympics after years of training and knows the importance of private track and field coaching first-hand. Although he is a hurdling expert, Tarmo is knowledgeable about all track events.
Tell us about yourself.
I’ve been running track for as long as I can remember and competed at the highest levels. In 2004, I was the NCAA division II outdoor champion (110 hurdles, 13.67 s) for Texas A&M – Kingsville. I am also a 7 time NCAA All-American. I represented Estonia in various international competitions including the World Championships in Osaka and the Athens Olympics. I currently hold several Estonian hurdling records including the 110mH.
Why did you decide to become a private coach?
I understand how important a personalized track and field training program can be in an athlete’s success. Working with athletes in a one-on-one situation is the best way for a coach to help athletes achieve his/her personal best. In this situation, a coach like me can break down the most basic and specific parts of running and hurdling for athletes. When I coach track & field teams, I have less time to work with individuals because I am organizing the whole team. Also, private coaching is never boring. Each client is unique and I find it interesting getting to know each one of them.
Do you have a coaching style or philosophy?
I believe that track can be a lifestyle rather than a sport. Goals of my training program include the promotion of the sport as a lifestyle that athletes of all ability levels may use to foster success in every aspect of their life. The training system develops athletes through periodization and constantly progressing. I encourage athletes to constantly earn gratification through hard work.
Who is your favorite coach and why?
There are many great coaches in the US, but the coaches that have influenced me the most, both directly and indirectly, include Latvian coach Ludmila Olijars, who introduced me to world level hurdle training, and Canadian coach Brent McFarlene who provided me with endless ideas for hurdle workouts through literature. The coach who was there for me from the beginning until the end of my hurdler career is Estonian coach Jaanus Kriisk. These coaches are the ones who inspire me to be a great coach, because I know the difference that they made in my own career.
What is your favorite moment in your athletic career?
In 2004, while competing collegiately, I ran a personal record in the championship finals (13.67 s) and won the title. That time qualified me for the Athens Olympic Games. That was the brightest moment, aside from actually running in the Olympic games, because that was the moment when I achieved my long term goal (making it to Olympics).
Do you have any success stories from coaching an athlete?
Well, I’ve coached several international level athletes which is exciting. The biggest challenge and best success story for me was my work with a pole vaulter. He had a personal best of 4.60 m when we started to work together and now he’s jumping 5.21 m.