News : How far can an unknown coach who was not an elite athlete go?
Ángel Luis Clemente Remón was a mediofondista who at the age of 25 had a serious illness removed. Today, at 37, he is an entrepreneurial coach who has created his own club in Alcalá de Henares (Cervantes Athletics) but he is still a stranger. How far can these people go? Do they have a cap?
-And how far can a stranger who has not been an elite athlete go as a coach? -he asked Ángel Luis Clemente Remón that, at 37 years old, he could play that role.
“I don’t know,” he answers, a young man with an entrepreneurial face, with eyes that bulge out of his eyes, these people must always be listened to.
– But – he adds – I suppose it will be a matter of the desire that I put into him and of the luck of finding an athlete that allows me to reach the top
– And are you looking for it?
– No, not as much as that. But it is true that we have created an athletics school in Alcalá de Henares and that sub 23 category athletes are reaching me and among them there are people who have a lot of quality.
– You were a good runner.
– I left 1’50 ”in 800 and I was runner-up in Spain under 23 on the indoor track which, for me, was important, but no, the elite was not reserved for me: quality did not give me.
– How is that accepted?
– It looks fast. I trained with people like Higuero who was touched with a wand. And, although you did not stop trying and although we are all proud, you see that no, that you will never get there.
– And is that hard?
– But it’s something that happens to most. Reaching the elite is made for very few. That is why perhaps what bothers me the most is that there are kids with very high potential who, to help the family, cannot dedicate themselves to this, because then you will always be left with that question: How far could they have gone?
– But you did your best.
– Without a doubt. I started when I was 15 years old and, when my time came to go to train at the Blume and I saw that I needed an hour and a half to go and another hour and a half to return home to Alcalá de Henares …, I could have said, ‘I left this ‘but I preferred to say,’ let’s try it ‘and insisted.
– Didn’t you have the feeling of wasting your time?
– Was it your prime?
– I showed that everyone always wants to go further and I can not regret anything. Unlike. Those years allowed me to learn a lot.
– And what did you learn?
– I was part of an elite group. I was able to travel, I was able to compete. That is valid for me today, because I know the sacrifice that must be made. I do not demand anything that I have not lived. I’m not saying anything that can’t happen.
– And what can happen?
– I will always remember that In five weeks I went from watching the Seville World Cup on television to training at La Blume with the best. I was 15 years old. It was the most shocking day of my life. Who was going to tell me?
– And who then decided the end: athletics or you?
– I had a serious illness. He was very anemic and it was found that it was because he had a tumor in the large intestine. They had to operate on me, removing half of my intestine to clean me. And when I recovered, I disconnected, I was afraid of having anemia again and I understood that high performance sport was over for me. I was 25 years old.
– He was in the prime of life.
– Yes, and a year before I had made my best marks. But all of a sudden I started getting up tired and going to bed more tired. It was constant fatigue and I couldn’t. I even lost blood. I trained three series days a week. He did a lot of quality because he was an 800 runner. He had to do it and he saw that something was wrong.
– And you didn’t want to try again?
– I could have tried, yes, but a decision had to be made.
– It reinvented itself.
– I finished my doctoral thesis to promote physical activity in older people and did a training group with my brother. I didn’t have a job then. I had plenty of time and training others appealed to me.
– And today you live on this?
– No, you almost put more money in it than it gives you. I live from my job as a professor at the university. In the end, it is almost like a hobby. Living off federated athletics is reserved for a very low percentage and most of them are people who have been very successful. On the one hand it is logical. In the end, the one who has achieved medals has the most credibility.
– And do you agree?
– But it is normal. Success builds more trust in others. Is a reality. It happens in almost all sports, in the same life. Success is the best advertisement. In fact, now it happens to us at the club: people come to train because they have heard people speak well of us. It shows us that good work always brings more work.
– And does training others fill you so much?
– Even more. I tell him that it can be even more beautiful. Especially when you see how athletes progress (it is so rewarding). I couldn’t say which is better. Last year at the Spanish Club Championship we were ninth with four people who are not dedicated to it. It was important. You get excited as if you were yourself. Emotions can also be shared.
– What would you give for a living from athletics?
– I like my work at the university and I would have to change one thing for another. If it arrives, it will arrive. But, if you don’t, nothing happens. I will not risk. I don’t know how many coaches will make a living from athletics in Spain. We have to be realists. You don’t have to think about it too much.
– Reality is the only thing that has no remedy.
– Nor is it hopeless. Things are changing. Now it is charged. Now the altruistic trainer is no longer taken. Things should improve not by imposition but by the quality that you offer. You have to work every day to get something better. Protesting gets you nowhere. I mean that protest cannot be your only recourse.
– Have you ever thought of going to an Olympic Games?
– I saw the level that there was and what people run and I understood that no, that it was impossible …
– I was there trying. I started running because of a physical education teacher in Alcalá de Henares who told us: “If you go to a cross I give you a positive”. And I did well. And then I progressed. And with time I even got to win. And I got to train at the Blume. And look today.
– It’s a life well lived.
– I liked to compete and I did it, I like to train others and I do it and I feel very comfortable teaching at the university. I can say yes. But it is also true that each day begins anew.
– Will you compete again?
– My last race was in 2009 and eleven years have passed. That’s a lot. I withdrew because I could not choose. My priority in life changed. When you compete there are many sacrifices. At that time I said we have arrived here and I think there is no going back.
– The day a prestigious elite athlete left town to march to La Blume, his father told him: “I don’t want a son who only knows how to run.”
– This is very important. There are few coaches who can make a living from athletics. But there are fewer runners who, once they retire, can continue to make a living from athletics. This gives for what it gives and I saw it clearly from the beginning and it is what I transmit today. You can be the best in the world but maybe you have an injury that is not your fault, and.