Advertisement

TV20 Sitdown: UF track and field and U.S. Olympic coach Mike Holloway (Parts Three & Four)

Gator head coach to lead U.S. men in Tokyo
Updated: Jul. 16, 2021 at 11:35 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -The opening ceremonies of the summer Olympics in Tokyo are a week away, and the anticipation is building for the track and field events that will decorate the second half of the games. Leading the U.S. men’s Olympic team will be Florida Gators head coach Mike Holloway. TV20 Gator Insider Steve Russell concludes his sitdown interview with the head coach of not only team UF, but Team USA.

(Steve Russell):

“I would imagine being an Olympian, it always was for me growing up, something special. Is it still that way for the athletes and the coaches?”

(Mike Holloway):

“Absolutely, it was the pinnacle of our sport. This is what people strive to be more than anything else. The trials are hard to watch because you have the tears and the excitement of the people that make the team, and the tears and sadness of the people who don’t. So fourth place is the worst place to be in at Olympic Trials. And then with these new rules, people think they made it and they didn’t, it’s made it complicated but the excitement of being an Olympian is not lost on anybody.”

(Steve Russell):

“With the Olympics in track there are individuals who do individual events But then you have an Olympic team. How do you mesh the two together?”

(Mike Holloway):

“It’s no different than being at the collegiate level. We have to take care f the individual events. In track and field, what you do in your individual event helps the team. So the goal is if you’re a 200 meter guy, we’re going to run the 200, the shot put will take care of itself. You can’t be in the 200 worrying about the shot put or vice versa. And at the end of the day, the meet ends with the ultimate team competition in the relays, so you start with the excitement of the 100 meters on the first weekend and ends with the relays so it’s constant build and then a bang at the end.”

(Steve Russell):

“A lot of these athletes have trained for a long time, they have their own coaches. I like what you said in terms of I’m just trying to make sure they do the right thing. Do the athletes expect that from the coach in this sport?”

(Mike Holloway):

“And if they don’t, they should. It’s not my job to make technical changes. It’s the old adage, you dance with the girl you brought, or else you go home alone. So whatever you did to get here, just do that and you’ll be fine. I tell my team that here at UF, just come here and do what you did to get here and if you trust what you did to get here you’ll be fine. It’s the person who gets to the ultimate level and wants to make changes, that’s what gets them in trouble. So my message to the USA team is remember who you or, remember who your coach is, remember the plan you guys put together, trust that, and you’ll be fine.”

(Steve Russell):

“We have seen extraordinary things at the Olympics where athletes make that next step and do something really good an extraordinary. Do you expect that from some of these kids?”

“Oh absolutely. It’s the Olympic Games. I just remember growing up and we would go out and play basketball. And if two or three good guys show up, the games were OK. When 15-20 good players showed up, things went nuts because everyone wanted to be the showcase. At the Olympic Games, it’s the same deal. You have hundreds of great athletes there, and everyone is showing up to showcase their talents to show the world they’re the best. People compete hard and great things happen so I don’t think it’ll be any different this year.”

(Steve Russell):

“I know you didn’t lobby for this, but you are the coach. What’s the best thing about doing this?”

(Mike Holloway):

“Me being able to help young people and their coaches reach goals and dreams. Being able to oversee that to make sure they get everything they need to be successful I mean being in the trenches with them, watching them warm up, walk into the cauldron, see the excitement of athlete and coach, and go through the process of winning these medals, it’s just amazing. I’ve been able to watch it before as an assistant with the Olympic Games. We don’t even get to go into the stadium anyway. We’re usually in the back watching it on a big screen. But sitting in a tent in London watching the women break the record in the 4 by 100. Stuff like that, those things never go away.”

(Steve Russell):

“Let’s hope they don’t, let’s hope Mike’s team does well. It’s been our pleasure to talk with not only the Gator track coach, but the U.S. Olympic coach for track, Mike Holloway. Coach, thank you, I appreciate your time.”

Copyright 2021 WCJB. All rights reserved. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.