Succeeding & Proceeding in Japan: Flo's World Championships Journal (Part II)

Kentucky head coach Edrick Floréal is serving as head coach of Team USA at the IAAF World Championships this summer. His month leading the U.S. men’s national team in East Asia began with training camp in Narita, Japan. He sent back his final thoughts from the Tokyo area before the team left for Beijing this week.

It has now been 6 days since our arrival in Japan. The athletes, coaches and medical staff are slowly becoming a team. Rivals and opponents are now teammates and colleagues. There is a "cease-fire" at training camp as the Wildcats, Gators and Aggies are united as team USA. 

Our athletes and coaches are  meticulous in their day-to-day preparation. They leave nothing to chance and no stone unturned as they make their final push towards Beijing. They wake, train, eat, train, rehabilitate, train. ... Oh yeah! sleep is nice too. Although I have learned quite a bit observing our greatest athletes and coaches, I have come to realize that they are no different than the ones we work with on a daily basis in Lexington. Hard work and dedication is the only way "to succeed and proceed."

The Japanese people in Narita are extremely hospitable and have gone to great lengths to make us comfortable. They provide us with everything we need. My Japanese communication has grown a thousand-fold. I am way beyond good morning "Ohayo gozaimasu" and good evening "konbanwa".

My daily routine as the head men's coach consists of breakfast, morning practice, lunch, evening practice, dinner and staff meeting and sleep. There is simply not enough time to shop and sight see. However I am delighted to announce that being around all of these star athletes has motivated me to return to training ... I am running well inside a 10-minute mile and lifting heavier than a 12-year-old child can.

In my attempt to bond with the athletes i have learned that they are video game experts and that an old man such as myself has no business challenging them at any video game. I continue to expand my knowledge of gummie bears, fruit snacks, Instagram, Twitter and snapchat.

The Wildcats, Kendra Harrison and Dezerea Bryant are fittingly together, deserving team USA members and as inseparable as they've always been, even though they're now in Asia, not Lexington, Ky.

Above - Floréal shows on Twitter that Kentucky's heavy-hitters - Dezerea Bryant and Kendra Harrison - are getting along just fine with rivals/friends Jasmine Todd and Jenna Prandini of the Oregon Ducks.

On Thursday Coach Flo will share his initial thoughts from Team USA's arrival in the Chinese Capital, which included witnessing a showdown between the individuals who figure to be key protagonists in one of the 2015 IAAF World Championships' most anticipated races.