How coaching brought Anet Coetzee back to running
01 January 1970
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You’re listening to Old Mutual Live, I’m Brad Brown, it’s awesome to have you with us. Thanks so much for downloading and listening to this podcast. Don’t forget as well, if you wouldn’t mind leaving us a review or a rating on iTunes, it really helps us get in front of more people. So if you wouldn’t mind doing that for us, it would be hugely appreciated.
Let’s chat some running today and pretty excited to welcome our next guest onto the podcast to just talk about her running journey and what she’s doing now. Some of her goals and aspirations when it comes to running. We head to Heidelberg today and it’s a huge welcome to Anet Coetzee. Anet, welcome, thanks for joining us.
Anet Coetzee: Thanks Brad, thanks for having me, it’s a pleasure to chat to you.
BB: Anet, you grew up in a running family I believe. I did too, I used to watch my dad run and I think once you grow up in a running family you’re destined to run yourself. It was pretty much the same for you wasn’t it?
AC: Yes, it all started when I was nine years old. My mom and her sister, they were runners. So I started running with them in the afternoons. Just for fun, just to try it out. Then when I started school, I really showed potential in the track. Then I started running track, it was really a family thing.
A love for the 800m
BB: As far as racing on the track and the middle distance races, you really love those. You probably prefer those than the longer things I’m sure?
AC: Yes, the 800m is my favourite event. When I was in Grade Eight I won my first SA medal in the 800m, so I really liked the fast races. Then from then on I won numerous SA medals on the track from the 400m, 800m and relay. But it was only in 2007 that I won my first SA Title at the SA Junior Championships. So I really like the fast races.
BB: It must take a lot of work and time and effort to be able to perform at that level, I know you also decided at some stage you’d had enough and you took a bit of a break. But talk to me about the strains and the stresses of what it takes to perform at national level, from a junior perspective. There’s lots of parents that listen to this who have kids who are pretty good and there’s lots of pressure on athletes at that age.
AC: Yes, after achieving my ultimate goal on the track in 2007 I stopped running. Because I wasn’t interested in it anymore. It was really hard work and I wasn’t dedicated to go on. Running is real hard work and it takes a lot of dedication.
You have to train six days a week and it was difficult to be motivated. But I started coaching in 2010, then I felt something was missing in my life. So I started to train with my athletes. Now I’m really doing good and running again.
An early love developed for coaching
BB: You’re running and coaching, tell me about the switch to coaching. As a youngster, you were coached by your stepdad, Willie Engelbrecht. Tell me a little bit about that relationship, it must be pretty tough being coached by someone who is so close to you. Did you thrive under that or was that a bit of a struggle too?
AC: No, I thrived under that. He’s my role model and he really helped me to achieve my goals. In my high school years in the 800m, he coached me for the first year in u14, then I won a Silver Medal there. Then later on in high school, also a few medals there on SA Championships.
BB: You’ve found a bit of a knack for coaching, you’re getting some great results. You’ve got some good youngsters that you’ve been able to help. What do you love about coaching?
AC: I’m not your typical coach, I train with my athletes. I try to set an example for them and to be an inspiration to them. Coaching is one of my passions in life. My coaching philosophy is to teach my athletes to be the best they can be and to love the sport of running. Hard work and dedication will get you where you want to be. I believe anyone can run, you just have to train for it.
Then the best part of coaching is to see my athletes develop over time. From there a non-runner, to winning SA medals. It’s a real passion. I will coach for as long as I can and giving back to the sport of running. Just to name a few names, I had Caleb Beukes, he was the u13 SA Cross Country 4km champion in 2013. He won a few SA Medals also on the track on the 3 000 and so on. Then this year, Danielle Verwoerd, she was an u13 girl, she was the SA Champion in the 800m. She ran a really good time, 2:13 for an u13 girl, so that’s really good.
BB: I’m sitting looking at that time, 2:13 for 800m at u13, I’m going to challenge anyone listening to this to go run 800 and it doesn’t matter who you are, if you can run it in 2:13. That’s a phenomenal time for that youngster. I think that’s a name we’re definitely going to have to look out for in the future.
Being back in the competitive running mix
Let’s talk about your running now and what you love doing now and what you’re training for, do you still race? What’s the story?
AC: Yes, I recently joined the KPMG Running Team. I’m taking my running a little bit more seriously. The SA Cross Country Champs is coming up on 10th September. I would really like to finish in the top five in the senior women’s race, the 4km.
Then we have the Spar Ladies races coming up, the one in Jo’burg and Pretoria, I will be racing there. I’m slowly progressing to the half marathon, I would really like to run it under 80 minutes if I can. Then a long term goal for me is to run a marathon, also under 2:45. Then maybe in a few years a Comrades maybe, if I can top ten finish in the women.
BB: Brilliant, Anet, I find it interesting, you’ve made the progression from running the shorter stuff on the track to then the 10km, looking at possibly the half marathon and only beyond that marathon and Comrades. Do you find that athletes, particularly young athletes try and go too far too soon?
AC: I think so, yes. You have to be a little bit older in order to run further. I think your mind is also stronger when you’re a little bit older. You can endure more when you’re a little bit more experienced in the running.
BB: Anet, congratulations on what you’ve been able to achieve from a running perspective. I know you’ve got some big goals coming up. But also congrats on those youngsters and keep doing the work you’re doing there, I think there’s going to be some names coming out of Heidelberg that we’re going to hear lots of in the future, well done.
AC: Yes, thank you, running is my passion and I’ll do it for as long as I can. So I’ll do my best, thank you Brad.