USA Performance

USA have under-performed at these championships.

Is the high standard of their trials taking a toll? It seems as though straight after trials, many of their athletes struggled to find form.

There are exceptions of course - Merrit, Dix etc. But across the board - womens sprints, mens sprints, mens distance (lagat)…

The increased level required for the US team seems to be more important and more of a peak compared to competing at the games themselves.

US track and field overall has won more total medals than Jamaica and Russia combined. This is largely due to the mens sprinters winning 11 of a possible 15 total individual medals. This is actually more medals than they won in 2004. The women sprinters and hurdlers have won 4 medals, which matches the result for 2004.

Contrary to what it appears, the problems are with the rest of the program. The really big failure is not as much the true sprinters as with the jumpers/PV (Jenn being the lone exception I think) and the distance runners (surprise!).

The Jamaicans have clearly raised their game, and you can be sure Gay, Felix, Richards, and their coaches have taken note of this.

Thank you, and all the coaches who try and shit on the American training system should read your post. :wink:

USA hasnt done bad, its just been beaten where it reallyyy counts :slight_smile:

The American training system isn’t the question. Nor does the number of medals answer the issue.
The real issue is: Have the American athletes performed as well in Beijing as they did at the trials? The answer is no and I think the reason is they’re at their SECOND Olympics in 5 weeks!
The US trials have more rounds than necessary in order to replicate the games and I think this is a mistake.
Qualifying for the US team is tough enough. Why make it worse? Would Tyson Gay have been injured if he’d had three rounds of 100 instead of four?

Bobby Kersee has 1 gold (Dawn Harper) and 3 silvers (Kerron Clement, Shawn Crawford, Allyson Felix). That puts him in a tie with Cuba and UK for 6th place among ALL NATIONS at the Beijing Olympics, and equal to the number of athletics medals from Australia, China, and Canada COMBINED.

See my post above. Kersee did HIS job: now what about the planners?

is this a different time frame from previously?
If not why has it not been such a factor before, or has it and it just hasn’t been so noticeable?

If it is different why the change?

I totally agree but there are many coaches on the forum that always shit on the American training system. I hope in the next ol year we make the necessary changes so our athletes can perform at there true potential.

A full Olympic schedule in the Trials is always a killer. If the US is overwhelming, it’s hard to see but if there is close competition, it can go against the US.

Charlie, would you make any training adjustments going into the trials or after the trials in this situation with close/tough scheduling?

I’m not a coach, I’m an athlete, and out here in the trenches I can tell you that the American Training system sucks.

Its not that I don’t have national pride (but truthfully I’m only loyal to God) but, it is what it is, if it were better I would say so.

With all due respect, do you really think that our current top sprinters are the best that the U.S can produce? Its a fact that many aspiring
athletes get recruited to schools where the programming is pure junk; those athletes then never realize there full potential.

All the top coaches should put there resources together and come up with a basic outline of developing sprinters thats given to all the coaches nationwide. The University’s need to stay the hell out of the way with all there wishy washy studies and BS degrees! This way, no matter were an athlete goes they can at least get the most up to date training.

Secondly, the money thats generated by this super power (U.S) needs to go were it can be the most effective for everybody; and thats into building nation wide training facilities thats free to use if you make the minimum entry standards. To be Olympic caliber only just to train at the few Olympic training centers is a joke and something stinks about it. They get tons of money from the License plates alone over here in the states; where does all that money go??

Look at Lolo Jones, this girl was training for a long period of time in conditions under poverty, where was the Olympic Committee when she needed it? The Harrison twins were sleeping in there Mustang, I read a long time ago that J Drummond was sleeping on a friends couch, and other various athletes after college return to there HS coach or get there parents involved because they got no were else to go. I also believe this is why drug use is so high, there is so much pressure to hurry up and make a living in the sport instead of not having to worry about money and just train.

So my point is: 1. Across the country there should be athletic hubs were all the training is the same because its agreed upon. All athletes are admitted meeting the basic background check and minimum time standards. The athletes time trial sends him or her to the appropriate training group (i.e HS standard , College standard, Olympic standard). Eventually, everybody can have AT LEAST a chance and if you make it you can then thank the system. Developing athletes should not haft to run for food, they should be training to RUN!!

Don’t tell me this cant happen! Everyday I see ANOTHER fast food joint, coffee house, or shopping center being built when there is enough of them in supply already.

Great post and very true.

I also speak from personal experience.

Four years ago I, as a coach, was unable to go the distance with a long jumper that was a very strong Olympic hopeful because I could not afford to dedicate enough time working with him and still pay my rent. I was unemployed and collecting unemployment because I couldn’t even get hired at Home Depot or the local tire shop or lumber yard.

The system is in shambles due to a lack of state sponsorship.

The fact that one of the mightiest global economic super powers with near limitless resources puts so little into physical education and sports/coaching education and training is criminal.

I’d like to know what, exactly, the American training system is. I don’t know that there is a “system”.

We have a selection process but not really a system. This is(imo) a problem. We rely too much on having a large pool of athletes and hope that the best will simply emerge-many do but many more do not. I don’t pretend to have the answers but I do believe we are far from coming even remotely close to maximizing the talent we have despite incredible resources.

Probably the closest thing to a system we might have would be the USATF coaches ed. level II program.

Overall, medal-wise, things aren’t that we’re just not doing as well in the sprints where we’re typically very strong. To be fair, though, there were also some surprises like the women’s discus.

our system? “argument”

There is no system in America for coaching. The physical education system is being cheated by NCLB. Schools are teaching to the test. Physical education has taken a back seat. Kids come to class and can’t walk a quarter of mile. AS a teacher for 19 years and a coach for 22 years on all levels, there is no system for a coach or a teacher. I see such an injustice in sports where coaches don’t know how to train the energy system for the sport there coaching.

Agreed, and anyone who states anything to the contrary clearly has no personal experience in these matters.

I have thought about the situation many nights and talked to many people. What is needed in the USA is a grass root uprising. In the U.S. there is few facilities for athletes to train, however many young kids never get the experirence to be trained the the correct way. Many times children whose parents can afford it get the proper training. There many ways it could be done but it takes some private or corporate backing to make it happen. It can be done! We need to develop an IAT (Institute for Applied Training) where sports research that has already been developed can be taught to coaches and PE teachers can learn from research and not by the hit and miss philosophy.

Ha! So true.

“A poor plan executed perfectly will beat a perfect plan executed poorly.”

These are all very good points. I can tell you that things are changing as we speak. I am going to hold my breath to see if there is a complete overhaul of philosophy, but I know certain individuals will be “no longer needed”.

Many of you have brought up points that I utter frequently: lack of a true standard for coaches to subscribe, lack of training facilities for post-collegiates, and an unclear path to the podium as other countries have well-defined.

I just finished some very interesting research with the Olympic Trials participants and found that not only do the athletes feel neglected (A & B) they have some very good ideas for change and support if the right ear is listening. Hopefully some of these changes can be put into action if the B.o.D sees the minimal cost and maximal results that can be achieved.

In regard to funding, I know that a few countries raise money through a lottery system: money is split between education and elite sport. This is an interesting option (especially regarding the mention of lack of P.E teachers knowing how to coach and lacking the ability to spot talent early). Certianly NCLB has set our citizenship up for disaster (higher obesity rates) which will ultimately decrease our athletics pool.

I can go all day on sport policy, but will stop for now. It is good to be back on the site!