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"The Power of Incremental Change: How Small Steps can Lead to Big Impact for Active Learners"

Updated: Apr 29

The Bill Bowerman Legacy Track and Field Clinic with World Class Coach Harry Marra


We had a vision of creating a quality track and field facility in a small Central Oregon town to bring people to this community outside of their busy season in the summer. Maupin Deschutes River Athletic Complex


One of the local business owners ( Susie Miles) and the leader behind creating this great track in the community came to me one day to ask about hosting a Track and Field Clinic for Small School Coaches.



Susie Miles with her kids Jack and Holly



Maupin is a small rural community that is surrounded by vast ranches and the beautiful Deschutes River runs through the town bringing nearly 80-100,000 visitors to this town of 450 during the summer months.


The small group of coaches and athletes on Day 2 of the Clinic

One of those ranches is Jon Bowerman's. Jon is the 85 year old son of legendary Track and Field Coach and Nike Co-Founder Bill Bowerman. Jon approached Susie Miles, a local business owner and school parent/coach, a few months back and suggested that since we now had this great facility, that we needed to help educate these smaller school coaches with the technical aspects of running track and field.



Michael Bergmann and Jon Bowerman at the conclusion of the Bill Bowerman Legacy Track and Field Clinic

Susie asked me what I thought we could do and I went directly to the IncubatorU 5-Step Methodology and "Imagined" what a clinic could be. I reached out to my personal resource network "Identify" and ended up speaking with 2 x Olympic Gold Medalist, Ashton Eaton, who came from a small town and school to become one of the greatest athletes in Track and Field History. Truthfully, I was trying to get him to come out to Maupin but he suggested that I call his coach, Harry Marra. I spoke with Harry whom I had met one time in person at the Prefontatine Classic and described to him what we were trying to do. I "Initiated" the clinic with Harry who suggested that we name it after Bill Bowerman. We checked with Jon Bowerman to see if it was ok to use it in the title and we then started to "Implement" the plan.


The IncubatorU 5-Step Methodology that was applied to pull together this clinic in a short amount of time.

I reached out to organizations that had supported and built the track ( Beynon Sports, Kirby Nagelhout and Willamette Valley Track and Field) which allowed me to take care of Harry's travel and compensation for his time.


The next step was to reach out to schools that normally would not attend a track and field clinic in larger cities knowing that many of them also doubled as teachers, parents, bus drivers and coaching other sports. Time was precious and we wanted to honor that.


Harry's approach was to learn by watching and then learn by doing. We pulled the clinic together quickly and brought about 30 coaches into Maupin in late February to attend the clinic.


These coaches brought some of their athletes that they could practice what they learned on day 1.



To my delight, Jon Bowerman attended beginning Friday night when we gathered coaches, athletes and community members to listen to Harry, his experiences with the Olympians he coached and I took the opportunity to have Jon Bowerman speak to the coaches on why he felt this was a great idea for them to learn from world class coach Harry Marra.


The clinic focused on proper sprinting mechanics, arm movement and starts. Harry covered the warm up and both the high jump and long jump approaches during the short weekend clinic on a sunny day in February in Maupin Oregon.


Jon Bowerman and Harry Marra at the high jump

85 year old Jon Bowerman was not only present on Friday night but made his way down to the track all day Saturday to watch Harry demonstrate to the coaches the techniques we wanted them to leave with for their athletes.


My favorite part was when Harry was demonstrating the proper high jump approach, Jon was positioned next to the high jump pit and used his can with a white handkerchief attached to the end of it and having it located as a target on top of the high jump bar for athletes to focus on.


Jon Bowerman providing a target for the high jumpers to focus on as they approach the pit.

This clinic turned out better than I "Imagined" but trusting the methodology of getting the right people there, creating an atmosphere and learning environment for everyone to participate and excel and creating demand for future clinics that will help these coaches and athletes in their pursuit of personal bests in a sport we all love.


I was thrilled to receive this hand written letter from Jon Bowerman and knew that in short amount of time we were able to pull off an impactful event for the community, schools, coaches and the sport. The IncubatorU 5-Step Methodology works and delivered something in a short amount of time that was focused on the impact and results of an experience.


Imagine-Identify-Initiate-Implement-Integrate

Hand Written Letter from Jon Bowerman to me following the clinic. Jon read my book, Innovation from the Ground Up on Friday night and asked for another copy for his son.

The coaches, Harry Marra, Jon Bowerman and Susie Miles were happy with the results of the clinic. The Bill Bowerman Legacy Track and Field Clinic was aligned to the vision of the Maupin Deschutes River Athletic Complex by bringing people to this small community during the off season and bringing a world class learning opportunity for coaches to bring back to their athletes and schools. We look forward to "Integrating" what we learned and "Imagining what we can do to make it even better. To learn more about how to apply the IncubatorU 5-Step Methodology to your project or event check out the book-Innovation from the Ground Up

or contact me directly: Michael@incubatoru.com


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