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  • Peter Miller

SGG episode #41: Casey FitzRandolph believed, committed, and won Olympic gold.



Coaches are important educational leaders in our schools, communities, and universities. The Sport and the Growing Good (SGG) podcast provides embedded, front-line insights on winning and positive development. The SGG podcast can be heard here and on all major podcast platforms.

Casey FitzRandolph is an Olympic gold medalist, world champion, and one of the great speed skaters in history. A native of Verona, WI, Casey’s journey is inspiring for competitors of all sports and instructive for all coaches and leaders. Casey gained widespread fame and admiration on the world stage, but his success was the result of years and years of hard work, sacrifice, and belief. In this SGG episode, we discussed:

1. Gaining early inspiration from Eric Heiden.

2. Coach Bob Corby.

3. His parents’ remarkable support and commitment (and their cool family van).

4. Setting the goal to win Olympic gold at a very early age – and a willingness to do whatever it took to get there.

5. Coach Lyle Lebombard – who was both “old-school” and “cutting edge” – and emphasized technique in becoming one’s best.

6. The importance of having an elite training facility in Wisconsin, the Pettit National ice Center.

7. Hard working, tight-knit Wisconsin families being well-suited for speed skating (e.g., Eric Heiden, Bonnie Blair, Dan Jansen, Chris Witty, Kip Carpenter).

8. Learning a lesson from every situation – and getting better after his first Olympics.

9. Being welcomed as a training partner and friend by Mike Ireland and Jeremy Wotherspoon, top Canadian skaters. “We shared blood, sweat, and tears.”

10. “At the end of the day, this is all about getting to our personal best.”

11. The critical importance of instilling belief.

12. Finding advantage over competition on the mental side. Three aspects: a) visualization; b) relaxation; c) perspective.

13. The current state of coaching in youth sports.