MONTE CARLO: World Athletics president Sebastian Coe has talked innovation, records, the sport’s profile and the Olympic Games in the organisation’s latest Inside Track podcast.

On his vision for World Athletics:

“I don’t think our challenge is any different from any of the other sports. The holy grail in any sport is: how do you get young people involved, how do you remain exciting and salient, and how do we get into their landscape? All these things are what we are figuring out. We have an innovation unit at World Athletics, it is run by our former director of competition, Jakob Larsen, who thinks out of the box. We need to make changes, not for the sake of it. But there are lots of things that we have settled for in the last 150 years and we’ve got to change.”

On the range of talent in athletics and raising the profile of the sport:

“I am more confident and optimistic about the range of talent that we have now got (in athletics). You’ve got the most extraordinary athletes across all our disciplines. I don’t think we’ve ever had so much strength in depth.

“We’ve got the Netflix documentary that is going to be run in the weeks leading up to the Olympic Games, we’re looking to extend that involvement. There have been quite a lot of very good documentaries and films about people, past and present, in the sport. There’s a lot we can do to help raise the profile. I do respectfully say to athletes … your passport is your performance. If you run fast, you jump high, you are going to get into that landscape. But really to make an impact, you’ve got to go beyond the track – you’ve got to spend time and you’ve got to be prepared to share time. Sometimes it’s really painful to have to think about things other than training. But it is helping grow the pie.”

On his advice for athletes and organisers in the build-up to the Paris Olympics:

“To the athletes, it has always been a consistent message and I recognise it from my own career – athletes tend to do things in an Olympic year they wouldn’t normally do in another year, and I just say don’t play around with the variables. If you’ve got a training environment that’s good, if you’ve got a coaching structure that works, don’t suddenly be tempted – because it’s an Olympic year – to go off and do something that you’ve never done before. Keep grounded and stay in the environment that you are comfortable in and you’ve got your support networks, your friends, your family. Don’t try and do things that are alien just because it’s an Olympic year.

“And to the organisers, it’s really simple: if you deliver a Games through the eyes of the athlete, it will be a good Games. Eighty percent of the project management you will get right if you have the lens of an athlete. If you do everything with a focus on the athletes, then you can’t fail to make it a good event.”

This conversation with Coe follows the launch of the Inside Track Podcast at the World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 24.