nuances of the elite females

There is a thread, I remember, that speaks briefly about how female athl are falling behind in improved times in the 100 on a world class level.
I however I would like to open this thread, (if none are committed to it already), about what might be contributing to this dilemna.

Why are they not improving?
Are they stagnant in relation to Flo Jo?
Is it money or the trainers?
WHat is consistently wrong they we can address from an empirical standpoint?
To name a few.

One thing that I am noticing is their mechanics are not as fine tuned as the majority of the top males. I was studying one of the greats (G. Devers) and her mechs in a video from a 4x100 (in which she totally sucked up this other girl on an anchor leg while at UCLA) was exactly the same as when she ran for Bobby Kersee. From a frontal view her elbows seem to go out from the body on the backdrive.
then after watching Marion, Lauryn, Veronica… the same.
Veronica and Lauryn have what I would deem as possibly the worst backside mech (trust me, not aesthetically) but once again, just the mechs. However they are world ranked.
Lauryn’s arms seem to cross in front of her body so horribly. Marion seems to have no arm lift on the front side.
Are the coaches seeing this or are they simply ordering priorities or afraid to change anything that has worked so well.
It just seems as if they is some wasted motion or underutilized power there.

Lets cypher!

I suppose while we are at it, we might as well consider this question.

What (in your professional opinion) is considered to be adequate improvement over a 1,5,10 years for a professional FEMALE sprinter?
Is it to run with your competition or truly raise the bar consistently?
Is it fair to compare it to the male’s progression of times in the 100-400?
If we do that…the females are getting jipped!!

For some reason, I don’t think it’s the money or the trainers. Bobby is still coaching. Ask yourself why almost no explosive event womens’ records have fallen since the 80s.

I can’t speak to Veronica or Marion (although I believe Charlie has addressed this in presentations, as well as on the board), but regarding Lauryn Williams, I believe her coach has made huge strides to improve the efficiency in her sprinting. Did you see her in high school?

I recall speaking with her during a NACACTFCA session and I thought she explained in some detail of the things they did that worked and those that didn’t (at least immediately). In addition, she believed that, with Lauryn’s size and body makeup, there were certain aspects of her running that were favorable.

Do you recall the responses by Hart and Michael Johnson to comments made on his running in the late 80’s and early 90’s?

Looking at Campbell anatomically and the rotations involved during sprinting, what would you attempt to adjust or enhance? I thought she also had some rough edges prior to Brauman.

Women seem to improve a lot with strength/power work, so most coaches go that way.

Well let me clarify. I am referring to track and field sprints only.
I am not saying women are not getting stronger, its just that not much is happening in terms of records.
Ex- in the 96 Oly, Gail and Merlene were running sub 11’s in the prelims at will. So did the “O” champ in 2004. (sorry, can’t spell her name). What has changed?
In the 96 O’s, One guy broke under 9.9 in the finals, 3 did it in 2004. This year JG, AP, and others are very capable of running sub 10’s regularly. If I am not mistaken, only a few have done it this year for women.

Now, please take in consideration that I do not have the same sources and scoops that some of you are aware of, but based on what I know…I am confident in saying this.

Please consider the 100-200 average performances from 20 years ago and compare them to now…both men and women! Please show me how I am innacurate in my observations.

As far as Veronica…look, I am a HS school coach w/ no tech except for FF and rewind on a DVD/VCR and a laptop so I am throwing caution to the wind.
BUt, her speed maintenance and ability to resist deccel are phoenom considering how she has a low knee lift especialy in the latter portion of her race. Of course in relation to how much backside mech she has. The BS seems exagerrated with not enough knee lift. Her angles on her arms seem to be to open going back and her hip flexors look as if they may encounter undue stress because of the first above mentioned.
Both her and Lauryn produce a lot of power on touchdown but they could probably produce more in the latter stages of the race if they allowed for more lift.

So are you saying throw the mechs out the window and focus on improving strength and power? Within reason of course.

What did Lauryn look like in HS sprints? I don’t know. can you describe? I think she looks the same as she did at Miami.
Allyson Felix is coached by Kersee, I know but I don’t see the huge improvement…yet.
I mean from HS to Kersee should bring about some dramatic change. At least I would think so. I do know he is working on her shorter sprints and explosiveness. But can she go below 22secs? That would be truly raising the bar. For god sake, she ran 22.17 (?) in HS.

One thing I have noticed is that you do see glaring technical errors in top women far more often than in top men, in almost any sport. I am surprised at how many top women softball players “throw like a girl”, for example. Just as a wild guess, maybe the more shallow competition pool for female athletes allows some to rise despite poor mechanics, and then later coaches are reluctant to change things. Also, maybe they get less quality coaching early on as well.

Edit: This just in: Maybe also, the fact that girls 8-12 play far less sports and physical stuff in general than boys do makes it harder for them to acquire good technique without good coaching, if the “window of development” idea is correct.

I agree that the tech deficiencies are more glaring.
As far as shallow competition goes…
the competition is too stiff because most women achieve roughly about the same level of performance.
11 sec/ 100m
low 22/ 200
give or take some tenths

the disparity in times between the top billing athl and the field is far greater with men than with women.
JG, Mo, Asafa- 9.8-9.9
field 10.05-10.2 (avg)

Marion, Irina, Veronica, Sherone, Allyson avg times
11 sec/100
200/ 22.3

Field- 11.1/100

Most women 11 sec 100M???

I think you just named all the women on the planet who can do that.

There is absolutely a shallower talent pool for young female athletes. Fewer compete, fewer train hard, and fewer stick with it for a variety of reasons.

Sonic, you are looking at the peak of the pyramid. Look at how it thins out from there. In tennis, for example, you see very low ranked men pull upsets or at least have very tough matches against the top guys quite often, whereas for women #2 will crush # 20 with monotonous ease.

Felix has actually improved quite a bit in the 100m and 400m–you can blame Helsinki weather for lack of a PR, along with the fact that she ran her PR altitude assisted (look at all of her runs up to that point and immediately after).

Also, Sherone Simpson and Marion have proved themselves to be sub 11 legit sprinters this season, hardly the low 11s of others. You’re also comparing a WR holder in Asafa (and even Mo) to people who aren’t at that level. Look a few years back and see how no one went sub 10 at worlds. Last year only 1 guy went sub-10 at worlds. I think you’re being a bit harsh here.

About Lauryn, she had a horrific anterior pelvic tilt and still has a slight one. It has definitely improved over time.

your comments are duly noted and yes I am being a bit harsh.

WHat have A Felix’s times looked like? I just don’t know. ALso, why is she improving so much over Muna. Same program, right?

WOUldn’t you agree that there are fewer women at the top of the “pyramid” than men.
Lets just say women who are consistently 10.8-11.05/ two I’d reckon.
Men that are 9.8-10.05; 5or 6 maybe.
I believe you but maybe the problem is my limited access to resources or at least awareness of them.

Performances come with cycles and some years were up (1987-88) and then down and then up, it follows the olympic cycles rules and also the quality of “generations”. The '90s generation was exceptional (Devers Ottey Torrence Privalova) followed by a single female dominating (Jones) and now all these are gone (well Jones is back now) it takes some time to see great performances at new. Sheron Simpson did the best times (10.82 and 22.00) since Marion in Sydney’00. Merlene at 46 years old runs in 11.4-11.5, it tells me on how should peak 26-30 years old ladies.

What is the olympic cycle rule?
It was impressive to see Ottey miss the finals in the Olympics by so little. F. Fredericks is just as impressive. He’s from the 90s school.
This cycle of generations does not seem to aply to men however.
80s- L Christie, Johnson, Lewis, R. Stewart. 90s-A Cason, L Christie, F Fredericks, Burrell, Mitchell, Mo, D Bailey (flash in the pan), BOlden,
2000s- JG, AP, Crawford, Carter, so on so forth.

By the way PJ, what is it about Ottey that tells you how to peak 26-30 yr olds?

I mean, in a general way, if you look at the statistical trends (best 10 or 100 performances every year) you see that performances are raising up during the Olympic years. 1981 and 1989 were the worst years in the last 25 years, and world champs each 2 years prevented tio have depths in performances after Olympics.

During '80s, don’t forget Calvin Smith, rather than Ray Stewart maybe.
Cason was more the flash than Bailey in '90s.
As for 2000s, Carter is not (yet?) in the mix. Roma and Stockholm shows there is a long road to find consistency after a single great perfomance.

I remember John Smith saying that a woman who run 10.74 at age 36 should run 10.5 in her prime (assuming prime occurs early in the life!). So what about a woman who runs 11.09 at age 44?

Maybe some reasons for the relative decline in the standard (speed) of current women 100m competitors is they (a) lack an inspirational leader/role model, (b) lacking a commitment to enormous strength/power (FloJo squatted 300lbs it was said), © some of the very best potential athletes may not be in track and field athletics as the sport has lost some glamour/promotion/positive-publicity.

Hard to say. Sometimes a role model draws people in and sometimes they are so dominant that they drive people away from the event cause they figure they have no chance.