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Do athletes have input to USATF re: OT process?


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  • Do athletes have input to USATF re: OT process?

    There's been a lot of debate this year about our selection process for the OG T&F team, about whether a one-shot OT to select all three in each event is best, and about the timing of the OT vis-a-vis the dates of the OG. Does anyone here know if USATF asks the athletes themselves what they like and don't like about the process, with formal surveys or interviews? Do they ask them if they agree with the all-or-none OT format or do they think a Tyson Gay or Bernard Lagat should get an automatic spot on the team? Do they ask them how the timing of the OT impacts their training and peaking and subsequent performance at the OG?

  • #2
    As a coach of athletes who have been in the Olympics it appears to me that the Trials process does take a lot out of the athletes. Having it 6 weeks out is tough because the US athletes do a great job of peaking at the Trials. Almost too good...and then they have to get back up for the Olympics 6 weeks later. For some events such as the shot put it would be better to have the Trials 1-2 weeks out from the Olympics (depending on how far away they are) or 3 months out. 6 weeks is tough. The US does so well in the indoor shot year after year because the selection meet is 7-8 days before the World Indoors and they just ride the peak into the meet.

    I do not think we can change the Trials set-up or should we, but it does have it's distinct drawbacks compared to what our rivals have to deal with in terms of selection process. I would contend that no US athlete thinks about peaking for the Olympics, they worry and talk about the Trials all year. Then after they make the team they start their Olympic preparation (mentally). I think our set-up probably the best way to be fair to everyone, however if we want to maximize gold medals I would say we would do better to select certain athletes 6-12 months ahead and give them a free pass at the Trials. With the current Trials system I think we will always end up feeling we should have done better than we did, but it is the best process when considering all options.


    • #3
      i think every poster shoud bookmark that post & quote it when discussing possibilty of a selection policy ... 200#496200


      • #4
        I agree with Mr. Babbitt--

        Now that we are in the professional era--let's have the Olympic Trials in Hawaii or Phoenix or Florida in February.

        Then, we should help fund the top 6 in each event--so, if we have an injury or illness--one of those athletes could slide in.

        But, trying to peak in June and then August is not very wise.


        • #5
          To paraphrase that great British tracknut, Winston Churchill: "The Olympic Trials is the worst form of qualifying meet except for all those others."

          But here's the part that gets my goat:

          USATF and the Olympic coaches pretend that the Trials "replicate" the Olympic experience.


          The Olympics have more heats, longer rounds, bigger fields.

          That was the reason a goodly number of distance runners were pulling their hair out and cussing John Chaplin, if you'll recall:
 ... leID=13776

          So my vote is to keep the Trials format, consider holding the meet closer to the Games and OPEN THE MEET UP to more athletes who've met the 'B' standard!

          K E N

          (And remember this: Nike doesn't own the Trials; USATF's membership does. It can decide when the Trials are held. It's supposedly a democracy.)
          K E N