An Interview With Rameshon – Coaches and Management Companies (RunOne etc) Posted on May 11, 2018
By Pramod Kukanur
Instagram of Flexifitness:
Picture 1 – Rameshon – From Athlete to Head Coach of Flexifitness
With the advent of management companies, some runners have resorted to seek help or assistance from them. Athletes may want it for managing them so that there is a win-win on both sides. Coaches here, a number of them are not favourable of it as there are reasons for it. One person who can discuss in-depth on the topic is Rameshon, himself, as he has trained with the help of sponsors, some shoe companies paid him in cash and some in kind (products like shoes, tights etc). He was sponsored by Nike, Brooks and Adidas in his competitive days.
What are your thoughts on top runners that you have developed?
Some can do a very good time in 1-3 years and some could do it in 10 years time. The most important thing is to keep improving. A log book, reflection on training and races to improve etc must be in place by the athlete to keep improving and there must be innovation by the coach, and the athlete is ready to apply it.
To develop top runners is very easy, from my experience. Just give me some quite genetically endowed athletes, who are hard working and I can, and have, developed athletes very fast in few months time, using Physiological principles in coaching.
For example, I trained Daniel Ling in year 2006, and in 3 months, he came in top 3 in Stanchart Marathon that year itself. In year 2007, he came in champion. The question matters is to do with after that what is going to happen.
My answer to this is a runner’s very high level motivation and being very independent, not necessarily working with a coach, is going to bring the athlete to further heights. I did my 2hr 24min 22sec national record for marathon with a sustained high level of motivation to actually go for Olympics.
Having a coach, can be very important as no one can monitor well as much as the coach. One’s friend may not help in monitoring as there is knowledge and experience needed in coaching an athlete and I am thankful to George Gandy (university coach) and my coach (Alan Guilder) for assisting me to attain my goal, although they were not around to help me in being near to assist.
Do you allow athletes to leave you?
Definitely, so long they want to improve to another standard, especially the men’s side, as the competition is more in overseas, not in Singapore. Most of the coaches in the overseas have degree in Physiology. So, they can collaborate with me as I cannot be there. I have told some athletes to do this, but some find it hard. Some leave and it is normal as in life there comes a point that we move on. That does not mean that we are not friends.
Are your athletes, Ashley and Evan, still training with you now?
They are not training with me now. For Flexifitness, they must annul any contract and they should ask the management companies to discuss terms and conditions with us first. Right now, we are not in favour of any management companies to look after our athletes, unless the management companies discuss their terms and conditions with us and not with the athletes. As for Ashley, I have told former President of Singapore Athletics, Tang Weng Fei, that he should go to another coach in overseas, and I was okay with it, as there could be collaboration between coaches. Then, Tang Weng Fei knew that I was not a possessive person.
Are you in favour of management companies?
Again, my answer is no, as usually elite runners, are managed by these companies. What I mean by elite athlete? One must be able to do, for example, 2hr 30min, for a marathon race, and below, according to Sports Physiology books, and one can claim that they are elite. In Singapore, a sub-3 hour runner is given a status as an elite athlete. This shows how backward we are in knowledge. People like Mo Farah etc may need management companies to handle their races, prize money, etc. But for a normal good runner who is not of elite calibre, he or she should not take a management company to manage things, as it is not necessary. For a start, the one who can really manage an athlete is actually a coach. Even better is if the coach has a lot of experience in monitoring and selecting the best race etc, one should rely on a coach. These are my thoughts.