It seemed that Webb had figured it all out and now had the kind of momentum that could not be stopped. But in 2008 he crashed to earth again, failing to qualify for the Beijing Olympics.
The following autumn, after another bad year interrupted by injury, Webb abruptly left his longtime coach, Scott Raczko, and moved from Virginia to Portland, Oregon, to join Alberto Salazar’s Nike Oregon Project. A few months before that rupture occurred, I had the opportunity to interview Steve Scott.
I first asked him what he had learned as a coachScott is now a coach at Cal State San Marcosthat he wished he had understood when he was competing. Scott talked about how his athletes treated their big races as though they were judgment day and how this self-imposed pressure made them miserable and restricted their running.
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