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Was the OT held too early?

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  • Was the OT held too early?

    Check out this column I wrote 5 years ago (no, haven't done similar analysis on this year's team)

    http://www.trackandfieldnews.com/displa ... hp?id=1555

  • #2
    The flip side is, of course, that with less turnaround time, you are still coming out of OT overload when the Games come. Six weeks strikes me as about right. The elites need some decompression time after the Trials, but they also need some time for resharpening comps (though Dix showed that it's not entirely necessary). 4 weeks prior may be too soon and 8 weeks later you run the risk of loss of focus. I think USATF got it about right this time, but it may behoove them to get some real-life Sports Physiologists to work on the 'problem'.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Marlow
      The flip side is, of course, that with less turnaround time, you are still coming out of OT overload when the Games come. Six weeks strikes me as about right. The elites need some decompression time after the Trials, but they also need some times for resharpening comps (though Dix showed that's not entirely necessary). 4 weeks prior may be too soon and 8 weeks later you run the risk of loss of focus. I think USATF got it abouit right this time, but it may behoove them to get some real-life Sports Physiologists to work on the 'problem'.
      VERY difficult to hold an absolute peak for 6 weeks. If you can come into the 6 weeks a little undercooked and still make the team you're golden (Taylor, Flanagan, Merritt, Dix). I actually think 3 weeks is just about perfect from a physiological and psychological perspective. If I'm a coach or athlete I'd love to have one solid peak in my primary season. Anything else is a very difficult to try and plan much less execute.

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      • #4
        I realize swimming and track and field are two separate sports but those trials were held concurrently. USA swimming did just fine in Beijing (the men more so than the women but Natalie Coughlin did pretty well).

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        • #5
          Originally posted by bhall
          I actually think 3 weeks is just about perfect from a physiological and psychological perspective.
          I've always had the impression that the sprinters', esp. the 100 AND 200 types, legs are very sore for a while afterward, and I have to think 3 weeks is too soon for the 10K and multis types. Certainly the field eventers can stand much less turnaround time, and pretty much everyone else is good to go after a couple of weeks (judging form the frequency we see them week in and week out on the GP circuit).

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          • #6
            Originally posted by marndar
            I realize swimming and track and field are two separate sports but those trials were held concurrently. USA swimming did just fine in Beijing (the men more so than the women but Natalie Coughlin did pretty well).
            Two extremely different sports from a peaking perspective. I have no idea how they time it so perfectly but the swimming coaches must either be much smarter than all other sport coaches or have far fewer variables with which to contend. Their peaking seems much more of a science than an art.

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            • #7
              Multis I can buy. But 10k? It would probably mean fewer 5/10 doubles but I don't buy the 3 weeks to recover from 100% 10k efforts for a minute.

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              • #8
                Excuse me, but I don't think that the Sports Federations are determining when the teams must be named, it's the IOC. Given the logistics required to put on such an event its understandable.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by malmo
                  Excuse me, but I don't think that the Sports Federations are determining when the teams must be named, it's the IOC. Given the logistics required to put on such an event its understandable.
                  But the US did not wait til the deadline... from memory the deadline was about 3 weeks before the games (so 4 before the Athletics events started)

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                  • #10
                    How many Americans even ran Seasons bests in Beijing? :? Disgraceful!

                    How many ran SB's at nationals nearly 2 months months prior? Of course your nationals were too early! :?


                    Trials were nearly 4 weeks before deadlines were due, so that's not an excuse!

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                    • #11
                      I guess the 'perfect' optimum would be a SB or PR at the USOT and similar performance at the Olympics. Also, is the length of time between the two significant?

                      As far as the latter is concerned, I think six weeks is fine considering the distance / time & environmental changes.

                      Another factor that has to be considered, and I am sure USATF is cognizant of the calendar, is the fact that so many athletes head off to Europe immediately after the Trials (as well as immediately after the Games).

                      An interesting analysis might be a study of other countries' trials similar to ours and how they performed. Some may not have a large enough 'quality sample' to be able to draw any valid conclusions.

                      My 'gut' tells me that the schedule was OK. Maybe a list of 'under-performers' could be tracked and evaluate their schedules between the USOT and the Olympics .... were they in Europe? If so, maybe there's a correlation.

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                      • #12
                        Timing of the OT was not the problem. The problem was that we are grinding up our best athletes with the trials rather than picking the best team.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Dave
                          Timing of the OT was not the problem. The problem was that we are grinding up our best athletes with the trials rather than picking the best team.
                          We should be picking our teams based on who has the most obnoxious website. After that all medals should be pre-determined by a panel of Paris Hilton, Victoria Beckham and a representative from the Andy Warhol Estate.

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                          • #14
                            If we're basing the question on how we performed, what could be said of the Jamaicans who performed extremely well, and had their trials during the same time period...last week in June? Granted, it appears as if they peaked during the games, while we appeared to flounder. I can't imagine all of their athletes training to peak in August, and risk not being in top form during their trials as well. Especially when a potential result could be what happened to VCB in the 100m

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                            • #15
                              Was the OT held too early?

                              Originally posted by bhall
                              Multis I can buy. But 10k? It would probably mean fewer 5/10 doubles but I don't buy the 3 weeks to recover from 100% 10k efforts for a minute.
                              I agree 100% with gh. No U.S. athlete has ever won medals in 10K/5K at the same OG or WCh. The closest was Mary Decker's wins at 3000/1500 in the 1983 WCh. Athlete could choose one event.

                              On way to try this idea with minimum risk is to use it to choose the 2010 WCup team with these caveats:
                              1. Limit the field to the 8 best marks
                              2. Add 3000 & subtract 10,000, multis & walks from USAT&F
                              3. Add those events to Jr. USAT&F
                              4. Hold the meet about 3 - 5 weeks before WCup. I like 3 weeks, but the closer the better IMHO.

                              IF this works, have larger fields & longer meets before 2011 WCh & 2012 OG.
                              none

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