Last week’s special PHASE IV presentation featured legendary Track and Field Coach Bobby Kersee, his long time associates; Physical Therapist, Robert Forster, and Orthopedic Sports Medicine Specialist, Rick Lehman, MD. Together they shared decades of experiences and insights on coaching, training, treating and healing the world’s fastest athletes.
Working as Team Kersee, their careers have spanned from the 1980’s competing at the peak of the Cold War with superstar athletes, Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Florence ‘Flo-Jo’ Griffith Joyner, to the recent crowning of Allyson Felix as the most decorated male or female track and field athlete of all time.
With a science based approach for 40 years, the Kersee program has produced at least one gold medalist at each of the last 10 Olympic Games, over 50 medalists in 4 decades of athletic excellence.
For the first time anywhere the coach, doctor and therapist behind Team Kersee shared their insights on developing many of the fastest humans on the planet. Kersee spoke of his role being akin to that of an Indy Car Crew Chief. His job is to make sure all the components of peak performance are in place to win races and crown champions.
From the physical, to the psychological and from nutrition to strength training, he is responsible for coordinating all of the support an athlete needs to achieve injury-free, peak performance.
The expressed goal is to prepare the athlete to tolerate and benefit wholly from the training he needs to put them through to prepare for gold medal performances and world records.
Robert Forster, PT, spoke of his overlapping roles in the prevention of injuries and the rehabilitation of those that occur in spite of the team’s best efforts.
He spoke of the time tested approach to strength and flexibility that has been created to serve as the foundational fitness and structural resiliency for the Kersee athletes; two of whom competed in 5 Olympic Games and two others in 4 Olympic Games. That longevity speaks to his efforts to ultimately keep athletes healthy.
Rick Lehman MD, emphasized the importance an expedient and accurate diagnosis of injuries in elite athletes to shorten the time from injury back to training. He provides the cutting edge knowledge of a pro sport team doctor for the best technologies in diagnosis and treatment of acute injury and chronic conditions that plague high performance athletes.
They are now getting ready for the US Nationals and ultimately to the Track and Field World Championships in Budapest, Hungary before their assault on more world records and gold medals at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
Business as usual for Team Kersee – in addition to daily track workouts, there are phone calls all day long, zoom conferences in the evening, evaluating athletes on a daily basis, ordering MRIs, Bob Forster treating the athletes in his clinic, training them at PHASE IV, in the pool and at the track. It’s a full time job on top of our full time jobs and none of them would have it any other way.
Wish them luck – Let’s Go USA
Learn what Team Kersee does to bring home Gold for 10 consecutive Olympic games over 40 years!
In the video you will learn:
– How to create a winning mindset
– How to break through barriers in not only health and fitness, but in life
– The best science based fitness training principles and methods
– How to peak fitness for athletic performance
– The time tested injury prevention programs that have served the world’s most accomplished athletes
– The latest medical technologies and treatments for your injuries
– The nutrition science we use to keep our athletes well fueled for their workouts
COACH BOBBY KERSEE
Long regarded as one of the top track and field coaches in the world, Bobby Kersee has been named 2022 Olympic Coach of the Year by the United States Olympic Committee after guiding his athletes to historic achievements. For 10 consecutive Olympic Games and over 40 years, Kersee has coached one, and often many, US athletes to win gold medals. An incredible coaching dynasty.
A 1978 graduate of Long Beach State, he coached the women’s team while earning a degree in physical education. Following Long Beach, Kersee began work toward a master’s degree in exercise physiology at CSUN. Born in the Canal Zone, Panama, Kersee married Jackie Joyner in January 1986, and is the president of the Board of Directors of the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Boys and Girls Club of East St. Louis, IL.
Kersee began coaching at UCLA in 1980 after leading Cal State Northridge to consecutive Division I national championships in 1978 and 1979. Kersee completed his ninth season as head coach at UCLA in 1993 by winning the Pacific-10 title and placing third at the NCAA Outdoor. His team was runner up for two additional seasons. He now enters his 43rd year as a member of the UCLA women’s track and field coaching staff.
Kersee went on to be the premier women’s sprints and hurdles coaches in the world and has guided numerous athletes to Olympic, World, U.S. and NCAA titles. Under his tutelage more than a dozen athletes have won multiple gold medals at multiple Olympic games including his wife, Jackie Joyner-Kersee ( 5 Olympic Games, three gold medals, six medals in total) and she was named Athlete of the Century. His athletes currently hold multiple world records.
DR. RICHARD LEHMAN, MD
Rick grew up in Miami, Florida. He completed his training at Washington University and the University of Pennsylvania, and completed a sports medicine fellowship in 1986. He has been the team physician for the National Hockey League Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning and St. Louis Blues and was the part owner of the Panthers. He has been a consulting physician for UCLA Track & Field and has covered five Olympic Games, as well as seven Track & Field World Championships for TEAM KERSEE.
Dr. Rick Lehman was inducted into the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2012 and on the Board of Directors of the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Youth Foundation. He is the medical director of Webster Surgery Center of the U.S. Center for Sports Medicine. He has served on the Board of Governors for the National Hockey League and is on the St. Louis Sports Commission. His practice encompasses taking care of professional athletes at all levels and all sports, as well as Division college athletes. He has written extensively on sports medicine
Dr. Lehman has revolutionized cartilage regeneration techniques working in conjunction with Biomet to further growth and reconstruction of articular cartilage. He has written and lectured extensively on the subject, and has written three books on tennis injuries. He has published extensively in orthopedic literature and sports medicine. He is licensed in Missouri and California. He actively takes care of Track & Field athletes from all over the world and professional athletes from North America.
ROBERT FORSTER, PT
Robert is a Sports Physical Therapist, Performance Specialist, Author and Clinical Instructor and has been in private practice in Santa Monica, Ca. for over 40 years. His facilities have served three generations of local athletes and as an international destination for athletes seeking his unique and time tested approach to sports physical therapy, surgical rehabilitation and elite sports training.
Bob is a graduate of the University of New York at Stony Brook, and co-author of two books: Healthy Running Step by Step and The Complete Waterpower Workout Book. His elite athlete training and treatment programs have helped capture over 60 Olympic Medals, Wimbledon, Grand Slam, NBA, USA Wrestling and MMA World Champion titles. He was the career long PT for Olympic gold medalists and world record holders Jackie Joyner Kersee (named athlete of the century), and sprint superstar FloJo (Florence Griffith-Joyner).
With an career that has spanned 4 decades and 10 Olympic cycles he helped make history at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio with gold medalists Allyson Felix, whose journey from crutches to 3 Olympic gold medals made her the most decorated USA female track athlete of all time, and with Helen Maroulis, the first USA women to win Olympic Gold in Wrestling. Tennis great Pete Sampras said he “saved my career” when recovering from a spinal disc injury to win an unprecedented 13 Gram Slam title. He served Maria Sharapova when she was the world’s #1 tennis player and Kobe Bryant when he won the 2003 NBA Championship and All Star status.
Forster Physical Therapy has been the exclusive physical therapy partner for the Los Angeles Marathon. Robert has served on the California Governor’s Council of Physical Fitness advisory board. His Phase IV team has conducted scientific research for the UCLA Geffen School of Medicine and and the National Institute of Health, as well as the Sketchers running shoe company.
When a student asked what inspires him most, Bob replied, “The miraculous human body and the power of safe and effective fitness programs to create injury free, peak health and performance!”