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Dan
Chief Pontificator
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Joined: 22 Mar 1999
Posts: 9334
Location: Salem, OR

PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2002 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In addition to McDonnell, a couple of other top international DI coaches that come to mind are Peter Tegen (Wisconsin) and Marcus O'Sullivan (Villanova). I'm sure there are others, but those are 3 pretty notable ones.

Dan
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Conway
Olympic Medalist
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Joined: 25 Aug 2001
Posts: 3570
Location: Northen California

PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2002 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My point wasn't to bring them in to coach at Colleges .... My point is that we should be looking to bring in coaches and have them work with our elite athletes ... Just as they are in their own countries/programs ... We're supposed to have national centers in places like Colorado Springs for example ... Have them available to athletes at various locations during the season ...

I guess what I envision is development of a national coaching directory/philosophy/program where the best are made available and programs are developed ...

Guess I can dream ...

Conway
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Dan
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2002 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds like a few programs are already attempting that, such as the Fila Discovery group and Trevor Graham's camp...

Dan
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Conway
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2002 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly ... But it needs to be better orchestrated ... And there should be some sort of plan ... Seems to me we have no national plan ... Yet the national organization will take credit for any success that is achieved ... But in reality we are successful as a nation in spite of ourselves ...

Conway
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Dan
Chief Pontificator
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Posts: 9334
Location: Salem, OR

PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2002 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Seems to me we have no national plan ...

I'd say that's a given. Sad

On a very, very loosely related note... I wonder from time to time how things ever get done in bureaucracies and large businesses. I try to picture myself in the situation of calling the shots and wonder if I would ever be able to figure out how to get the multitude of things done if there were not a system in place that I merely had to oversee in order to keep it rolling.

I think that's the state track & field is in in this country. "The System" is there to keep it clunking along, but no one has managed to dig into the mechanics and figure out how to break down individual components and build it back up as a better machine...

Dan
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Conway
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2002 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure there is a system ... There is a body ... But that in and of itself is not indicative of having a system ... Any more than the NCAA has a system for development ...

Our "body" stages national championships which "select" our national teams ... There's the system !!! Oh yeah ... It names figure head coaches for those squads who take their lead from the individual team members coaches, trainers, agents, and ... Well you get the picture ...

Conway
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Dan
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2002 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't mean a system as in a program for development, rather a large mass of momentum that basically runs itself with no one person being familiar enough with the overall thing to do much of importance.

Dan
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Conway
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2002 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe I get cynical late at night ... But I don't see any momentum ... I see individuals groups that come together ONLY because the powers that be hold entry to those competitions that are the ultimate in the sport ..

Can someone tell me the last Olympic or World Champion that had at least 50% of his/her support/developmetn provided by our national organization (and I'll take USATF, TAC, AAU, whatever it takes to get there ...

Conway
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Dan
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2002 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's good momentum and then there's bad momentum... The latter is the most difficult to change, unfortunately.

Dan
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Distance_Guru
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2002 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think our "system", for lack of a better word, has it's origins in the cold war era. Prior to that (at least from what I understand, and I'll accept any corrections from people who can tell me other wise) no country really had any kind of national training team for any of their sports. After world war II the Olympics really became a much bigger deal since counties had their wars for supremeacy there instead of on the battle field. It was around this time when the Soveit style nationally instituted stystem of athlete selection and training by a few elite national coaches began. And of coarse being the good old US of A we couldn't have anything that resembled what the communists were doing. So instead of having a highly organized and structured selection and coaching system for our athletes we basiclly left it up to the athlete and the multitude of coaches of all levels, quailifications and quality to sort it out for themselves and then show up at the championships and try to make an Olympic team. And now the idea of athletes selecting their own coach instead of being handed over to one that coaches a national team, is so engrained into our sports psycy that it may be hard to change. And of coarse if we do have a body actually fork out the cash to get a centralized training and coaching system for our elite athletes, every time an athlete washes out of this system and then gets with a different coach and has success there will be a chorus of voices crying for the dissolution of the system.

All that said I am without a doubt in favor of some kind of national level training and coaching support system. Unfortunatly I think that support is far more likely to come from the private sector, which although often more intelligent than government organization is also less predictable.
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Dan
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2002 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone know what the Finnish system was like back in the days of the "Flying Finns"?

Dan
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Conway
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2002 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that the "idea" of natinal teams emerged due to the cold war ... I'm just not so sure that we have ever really had national coaches or a national system ... Back then the best young collegians were the ones making the teams (no professionalism yet) ... Those "kids" were already in programs for their respective schools ... That was one of the complaints of Pre back in the day - the way the "system" was being run, and the fact that the "kids" were doing all the work and getting onne of the glory (ie money) ..

Professionalism came along, and the individual coaching that DG spoke of ... No where in that history is there a an organization that is providing anything ... Just taking credit !!!

Conway
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Distance_Guru
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2002 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are correct Conway. The problem now is with no system in place, where will one come from :question: The USATF doesn't have the funds, the US government could hardly care less since the end of the cold war, and the big corporations are way to interested in themselves to carry the load for an entire national system of coaches, training centers ect.
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Conway
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2002 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I've thought that the US should run a circuit during the summer ... Why ??? Many reasons ... Predominantly for development and fund raising purposes ... A circuit means opportunities for avertising ... Which means opportunities for major corporations to have their name out there ... Get Visa, Citicorp, General Electric and some others to become co-sponsors ... Run meets through out the summer all over the country ... Pay half of what the going rates are in Europe ... Why ??? To be able to have enough money to shift to some coaches ... The circuit could serve as a national training system ... If you are ont quite good enough to go to Europe stay home and run ... If you are injured or your event isn't getting much play, stay home and compete ... The pay is less but then so would be your expenses ... Rehab at home ... Would also be a way to try ot garner more interest and suppoert in the sport here in the states ...

Not a full business plan mind you, I am talking off the top of my head ... But I see soo much potential ... Why does track here have ot end after nationals ???

Conway
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Dan
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Location: Salem, OR

PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2002 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That makes a heck of a lot of sense. Probably too much sense to ever work... I wonder if a ballpark expense could be estimated for such an endeavor for proposal to the powers that be (USATF and potential sponsors)?

One more reason to get moving on that x-mas list item of mine... Smile

Dan
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