Young Athletes Train With Michael Johnson - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Young Athletes Train With Michael Johnson

Young track and field athletes get special training this week from world-class sprinter



    Young athletes are flocking to the Michael Johnson Performance Center in McKinney order to train to be good enough for the Olympics. (Published Wednesday, July 18, 2012)

    The next generation of track and field Olympians may be finding its legs this week at Michael Johnson Performance in McKinney.

    Before Michael Johnson heads to London to see the Olympic Summer Games, he is working with young athletes at track camp.

    "When we have these camps -- especially track camp -- I get excited," said the retired sprinter, who won four gold Olympic medals during his career. "I remember when I had that moment, so it's really rewarding for me."

    This week, standouts such as Blair Henderson of Lake Charles, La., a highly recruited athlete in track and field, are getting the extra training to stay a step ahead of the pack.

    On Wednesday, Johnson took the field with dozens of young runners, teaching endurance and technique.

    "I had the opportunity and it was very rewarding for me, so it doesn't matter what level these athletes are at -- they just want to be the best they can be," Johnson said.

    Johnson is quick to point out that many of the young campers are too young to remember his glory days.

    But Henderson, an incoming high school senior, said he has spent his nights watching film -- comparing his performance to that of the world record holder.

    "I watched his and I watched mine side by side to see the difference between them," he said. "Today I came in to talk to him about it and he showed me the difference between the way I'm running and the way he was running -- and the correct way to do it."

    Johnson said it's his and his coaching staff's way of paying it forward to a new generation.