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  • Morphing Thread

    Isn't it interesting to see a thread that started with a comment on a tennis match turning into a full blown international debate about soccer. I suppose this could only happen on a track and field message board. :-)

  • #2
    Re: Morphing Thread

    Please, let's talk about anything other than soccer! That is one sport that hurts track. My middle school teams average between 25-30 runners per team. We have no soccer program at our school.However, our high school has one and the numbers on the track teams have dwindled to about 7 per team. Our middle school teams have finished 1st and 2nd 4x's apiece the last 8 years in our area.The other school that has done the same thing in our area has finished 1st or 2nd for the last 8 years. The other area schools have soccer and they regularly average 8-10 runners per team ,that is pathetic.This sport regularly takes away alot of good distance runners. They claim they train harder than track runners. Any real sports fan knows that isn't true. If you ever watch a soccer match watch the people well away from the ball. Looks like the (football lineman shuffle the feet,act like I'm running,but I'm really loafing deal.)I am also a football coach so I'm not flaming football. Please don't talk about a sport that regularly takes away from track! Support our wonderful sport.

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    • #3
      Re: Morphing Thread

      Ah, yes, but in the long run, soccer does wonders for track. For the the jillion kids that play mite soccer, the numbers dwindle very rapidly as they age, esp. after 12. The ones who don't stay in soccer gravitate to other sports and since they are used to running, track is a natural. In our school many track athletes come from soccer (some while they continue to play soccer) and excel. I think soccer really does help track. Soccer is a great sport for the 4-10 bracket and teaches them how to get in shape and the satisfaction of sport.

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      • #4
        Re: Morphing Thread

        I can't see how soccer can possibly impact track. What about every other country in the world? Soccer is by far the most popular sport. I don't know how the American school sport system works but in the UK we had no choice but to play every sport in PE classes according to the season. Can the kids opt out here? Also, regarding the comment about players off the ball doing nothing, that is true to some extent but remember it is a non-stop game of two 45 minute halves. The players are extremely fit. On the whole they are jogging around 90% of the time with intermittent short sprints. A couple of years ago someone worked out how far David Beckham ran in a match and it was over 5 miles. When I played at school I found it exhausting, rugby was worse. Interestingly in the 1980's two top English teams recruited athletes to show them how athletes train. Chelsea used Ade Mafe (200m in 1984 OGs); the other guy will be more familiar, Daly Thompson still works with the Wimbledon players to this day. BTW...it's WimbleDon, not WimbleTon!

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        • #5
          Re: Morphing Thread

          soccer is relatively new to the mass of kids in this country, compared to other sports.

          For years, track atracted kids, as they entered 9th grade and high school, ( junior high inter- school sports weren't up and running back then ) he felt they would get "cut" in the spring in baseball, the same 9in the fall from football, plus you needed to be either big and tough and/or very fast to even dream of football.

          So..... not many choices there, and any kid knew that if he went out for Cross Country or Track, he could make it, maybe. Not up to being in the good graces with some dictatorial coach, but of most importance again, YOU DID NOT GET "CUT" from the CC or Track Team.

          But now with Soccer.... a whole new sport to be attractive to millions of kids that in past , steering away from football and baseball, had only CC or Track to turn to.

          If Soccer had been as big in this country back in the 40's, 50's, and 60's, and maybe early 70's, innumerable Track and Field US superstars may NEVER HAD EVEN COMPETED IN CC OR TRACK.

          AQnd the obvious collorary to this is that today, many potential superperformers are instead playing soccer.

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          • #6
            Re: Morphing Thread

            Omigod! What did I start?

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            • #7
              Re: Morphing Thread

              I am all about trying new things. You have to find find out what you may be able to ecxel at.
              I tried soccer for about an hour at most when I was young and soem this is lame and left. With track and field, you've got options ride of the bat, you know. When I first started I got good at discus, gradually my shotput surpassed it and I said screw discus. Now I am trying hammer and weight throw.
              In soccer you run and kick the ball. Wow, Killer.
              I understand there is more to it than that but thats basically what is there for you. Maybe you were meant to be an 800m guy and you wasted your chance by dickin' around with soccer and have no time to develope the potential you had. I know the conditioning would translate to and extent but c'mon. I believe Its time we cought up with the rest of the world and started competing at high levels in soccer but we must not forget about track and field, it is one of the biggest sports along with soccer and more importantly its not a friggin' made up game.
              The events in track and field are based off of basic human abilities and war time actions and other basic human movements. Its real, inmy mind when you campare it with the "game sports" like soccer and football and basketball they all look like jokes. Decent sports and all but c'mon.

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              • #8
                Re: Morphing Thread

                The US is now ranked 8th in the world in soccer. As soccer gets stronger in the US track weakens.
                For the first time ever the US is producing some world class players capable of playing on the best teams in the world. Metrostar goalie Tim Howard looks to be going to Manchester United.


                Fast Fact:
                For the first ever the US is ranked ahead of Mexico in soccer. Currently the US is ranked 8th and Mexico is ranked 9th in the world.

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                • #9
                  Re: Morphing Thread

                  Soccer is probably the only sport in this country that directly helps track. Young kids start in soccer getting used to conditioning and learning how to run fast. Soccer midfielders are running constant fartlek throughout a 90 minute game. These guys are fantastically conditioned athletes.

                  As the years go on, some kids may realize that they have a real ability to run. Maybe their soccer skills are not quite up to speed but those who are fast now know it. They are also ready for the conditioning required to be a track athlete. The transition is smooth from soccer to track - especially for a middle distance runner.

                  The Eurpoeans have know this for years. Kids often start in soccer but are eventually sorted out as not having quite the right field vision or coordination that is required for soccer but the track clubs are then an option that kids can quickly migrate towards.

                  No other team sport requires as much running as soccer. It is the perfect sport for a developing a middle or long distance runner. Kids shouldn't train for track until they are in highschool anyway. Starting too early can lead to phsyical injury and psychological burnout. However, soccer is great for conditioning the body and building mental toughness for a future that may include track and/or CC.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Morphing Thread

                    Cyril is spot on and his fartlek analogy is accurate. I find the rest of these comments unbelievable, normally agree with steve but not this time. I'd make a comment about AB's remark about the FIFA rankings (which are a joke) but I'm not going to open myself up there! And, Brooses comment displays the typical ignorance about soccer that is prevalent in this country.

                    Now let me see? How many MLS players were good prospects in T&F? I don't know any. How many footballers were actually world class T&F athletes? Dozens and dozens. How many basketball players had potential in the HJ/LJ/TJ? Dozens and dozens. Have you noticed what physical specimens are predominent in soccer? Often short, stocky, low center of gravity...the exact opposite of what makes a T&F athlete.

                    While I'm at it (and I may have mentioned this before)...soccer is actually football, because you use your feet. The football World Champions actually compete against other nations!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Morphing Thread

                      final soccer comment by me is that I think it is a GREAT sport, and if indeed it syphons some kids away from track, well that's just TS, as they say in Russia.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Morphing Thread

                        final soccer comment by me is that I think it is a GREAT sport, and if indeed it syphons some kids away from track, well that's just TS, as they say in Russia.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Morphing Thread

                          Actually, in Russia we say toughsky-shitsky!

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                          • #14
                            Re: Morphing Thread

                            Steve, was the first final comment the final or was the second final one it? LOL! Just spent 4 days in Palm Springs, I saw AJ great 12.97. Did I miss any other decent performances?

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                            • #15
                              Re: Morphing Thread

                              >Now let me see? How many MLS players were
                              >good prospects in T&F? I don't know any. How many
                              >footballers were actually world class T&F
                              >athletes? Dozens and dozens. How many basketball
                              >players had potential in the HJ/LJ/TJ? Dozens and
                              >dozens. Have you noticed what physical specimens
                              >are predominent in soccer? Often short, stocky,
                              >low center of gravity...the exact opposite of
                              >what makes a T&F athlete.

                              To play devil's advocate, there are some midfielders who may have the running talent to be very good middle distance runners. And, not all soccer players are "short and stocky" look at the German's (ave. height 6'1"). As a matter of fact the US National team had an average height of 5 ft. 10 in and a weight of 150 lbs. Sounds about right for an 800 meter guy.

                              However, I still think all-in-all soccer is a benefit to T&F for the reasons I've perviously given. Sure there may be a couple guys playing collegiate, MLS or abroad that may have had the potential to run under 1:50 or under 3:45 but the masses of kids that don't continue to play soccer and get involved with track far outweigh the few potential track athletes that soccer has kept from the tartan.

                              By the way, Steve Scott was quoted about a year ago saying he thought soccer pulled much of the talent away from track. There is a point to be made here but much more substance on the other side of the arguement.

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