Every summer for the past 25 years, the LA84 Foundation has hosted free Cross Country clinics to all coaches, parents and athletes. Surplus monies generated from the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympic Games laid the framework for this local charity foundation which has benefitted more than 50,000 combined participants through the Cross Country and Track and Field clinics since the 1990's.
The LA84 Foundation offers grants to a variety of programs and also provides coaches training for soccer and volleyball as well. To this day, the '84 Summer Olympics is the only one of its kind to generate a positive revenue. More than 35 years later, that surplus continues to provide positive opportunities for the local prep coaching scene.
With the COVID-19 pandemic bringing an abrupt end to the 2020 outdoor track and field season, and with mass gathering restrictions still in place, O'Rourke and the foundation have turned to online webinar clinics this summer! With the inconsistency of uncertainty grasping us all, the online clinics allow a nice change of pace for all involved.
We caught up with O'Rourke, the iconic track and cross country announcer who also serves as the meet director of the Mt. SAC Cross Country Invitational:
"We still feel there is a need for clinics that offer hands-on learning experiences, especially for the new and inexperienced coaches, so we plan to offer those once again when the circumstances allow. The new Mt. SAC stadium facility is the perfect venue for those types of clinics with the new track, full practice track, five classrooms and two weight rooms all included under the stadium seating.
these Zoom Webinars may have opened up some new avenues to pursue. We can make
top coaches, doctors and experts from virtually anywhere in the world available
both on a one-time and continuing basis. We can create coaching groups that can
meet on a regular basis. There are many options we would like to pursue in the
The clinics are hosted on Wednesday evenings, starting at 6 p.m., with past sessions now accessible online to view at any time, this allows all of us much needed interaction with the sport and fellow coaches.
On June 24, the theme was 'Staying Together in Disconnected Times." Trabuco Hills boys' head coach, JT Ayers and Foothill Tech's Ken Reeves had almost 175 participants view their session.
Ayers provided valuable insight on how to utilize social media to promote your program along with a more inclusive approach to connecting and educating his own athletes and parents.
Reeves, the most
successful cross country coach in state history, Reeves also
provided additional information on how to keep athletes, parents and all
participants in touch during these frustrating times of social distancing.
You may the last two presentations below:
- Video link for June 17, 2020: https://youtu.be/GKTxokQjcPs
- Video link for
June 24, 2020:
The LA84 staff will resume with their webinars on July 8 and July 15 with Dr. Jeff Messer. Messer is one of the leading authorities in the nation on training endurance athletes.
course of two sessions, he will present: "Why We Do (i.e. physiological
rationale) and What We Do (i.e. threshold running, long runs, hill repetitions,
etc.)" with the first part taking place on July 8. We have seen
him present several times in the past and always walk away more impressed as he will also share and provide you, personally, with the materials he utilizes in his persentations.
On July 22, O'Rourke sits down to discuss the status of the upcoming season with Rainer Wulf and Vicki Lagos. Wulf is the CIF-SS Commissioner. Lagos serves as the CIF-LA Section Commissioner.
State commissioners have set July 20 as the date to determine the status of the 2020-21 athletic calendar. By then we will have a much clearer idea of where we are in regard to the scheduled fall sports season.
to visit the LA84 Foundation at: https://la84.org/coaching-clinics/
free opportunities for all but you do have to sign up in advance.
Click here to sign up for the July 8 webinar, Wednesday, 6:00pm - 7:30pm