Chapter 6: Making Pop Proud…Running on Hot Coals

penn-relays-jesse-owensOne of the things Coach Riley told Jesse was to “Run as if you’re running on hot coals.”  When I think of that, I think of someone running desperately, allowing their feet to make contact with the ground only for a millisecond, and then pushing off as forcefully as humanly possible.    Notice how Jesse’s right foot, pushing off,  is perpendicular to the ground.

Coach Riley could have said, “Don’t run flat footed,” or “Give it everything you’ve got.”  But leave to Coach Riley to conjure up the image of hot coals.  And having that image firmly planted in his consciousness kept Jesse consistently ahead of the pack.


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