Batson talks high jump at national clinic

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Jack Batson practices his presentation prior to the California clinic. Batson has coached just about every sport under the sun during his 47-year tenure here in the southwest, including nine seasons with the track and cross country teams here at NMMI.

Karen Boehler
NMMI Sports Press

NMMI assistant cross country and track coach Jack Batson has been teaching and coaching for more than 40 years — almost everyone involved with athletics in Chaves County knows his name — and that experience earned him a special honor early this year.

Batson was invited to speak on high jump techniques at the West Coast Superclinic in Sacramento, Calif., a major gathering where high school and college coaches come to advance their track and field knowledge.

Despite presenting along with some big-name coaches — Vince O’Boyle, a 32 year coach with UC Irvine; Boo Schexnayder, one of America’s top jumps event coaches; and Tony Veney-Master, a former UCLA sprint coach who’s served on numerous international teams — Batson said he wasn’t nervous.

“At first, I felt inadequate, but after I started thinking about it and after the two (organizers), Dave (Shrock) and Peanut (Harms), both said, ‘No. That’s why we want you. Because you have something to offer that nobody else has,’ then I felt much more (comfortable, and) after five minutes, being in there, I didn’t even remember I had a microphone on. I was just me.”

Labeled as the “high jump guru from New Mexico” on the clinic program, Batson’s topic was “High jump: from the ground up,” and he spoke to a packed house. His goal, he said, was to help beginning coaches learn the basic techniques of teaching high jump, and after a one hour, 20 minute presentation, felt he had done just that.

The talk also put NMMI in the spotlight, as Batson opened his presentation with a portrait of the school.

“I ended up giving about a 10 minute commercial for NMMI, which is the other reason I decided to go,” he said. “It’s nice to be selected to do a presentation like that, but at the same time, I think I’m helping spread the NMMI word.”

Batson’s 15 minutes of fame isn’t done yet. As a result of his talk, he was invited by Dr. Jim Peterson, president of Coaches Choice, a company that produces DVDs and books on sports fundamentals (https://www.coacheschoice.com/default.aspx), to produce several videos on track events.

So while he’s still not sure what events he’ll be demonstrating — other than high jump — he’ll be headed out to Monterey, Calif. sometime soon to put his stamp on several of the sports he’s been coaching for a long time. And he’s glad he’s getting the chance to do it.

“I really had a ball. I didn’t think I was going to, but once I got into it, and after Dr. Peterson came and said, ‘Hey! I want you to do three or four more videos,’ I thought, ‘This is kind of exciting. It really is.’ To be asked by somebody like that, at a major company, to do something like that …”

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