Tony Holler on Coaching, Sprinting and Feeding the Cats

With a father whose entire life was about coaching and a mother whose two brothers became career football coaches, Tony Holler has an apparent coaching bloodline. So, it’s no wonder that he lives his life as a coach, coaching track for 38 years, football for 28, and basketball for 14.

As a father, he has passed the coaching blood to his two sons who are now coaches. Now at 60 years old, he has retired from his 38-year career as a chemistry teacher in June 2019 – but he isn’t done yet.

Tony is now the Head Track Coach at Plainfield North High School in Chicago, where his teams have won three state championships. He is the owner of the Track Football Consortium, where he provides continuing education for coaches. In addition to writing nearly 200 articles about coaching, high performance, and education, he has also produced the best-selling track-and-field training video: Feed the Cats.

In today’s episode, Tony and I discuss how he began his coaching career, pivoting from pre-med to sports. He shares the philosophy behind Feed the Cats and how he teaches kids to sprint. He explains his off- and in-season training programs, and why he believes it’s important for runners to maintain sprint training alongside weight training. He emphasizes the importance of running mechanics. We also discuss an effective alternative to daily, moderate training and the characteristics of a great coach.


Tired coaches are not good coaches. We need to tell them to shut it off and be a dad and be a husband. We are better when we are refreshed. – Tony Holler


This week on the Physical Preparation Podcast:

  • How Tony pivoted from pre-med to start a career in coaching
  • The inspiration behind Feed the Cats and what it means
  • How he designs his in- and off-season training programs
  • Why Tony made his team stop running and start sprinting
  • How to develop the culture of speed in athletes
  • Tony’s perspective on the importance of weight training for runners
  • The importance of balancing intense workouts with recovery workouts
  • What makes a great coach


Connect with Tony:


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