Tuesday, February 26, 2008

This weekend

So the world indoor team is set for the US.

Congrats to David Neville, US 400 champ! Thank you very much.
Congrats to Leroy Dixon, men's 60m team member.
Both of these guys did a good job out there. I am impressed because training was changed for 2 days for them LOL. David has not changed a thing in training sans the week of nationals.

Other notable performances:
Lolo danced her way to $25,000! I quite enjoyed her interviews, her honesty and her celebration over winning that nice chunk of change. Oh yeah, she ran fast too. Candice Davis got out on her and Lolo ran her down at the line to win the title, get her place on the team, and win the $25k.
David Oliver got out and stayed out. Impressive run for the big man. He normally comes on late in the race and dominates the finish. Not the case this time, he was out like a bullet, nailing Anwar Moore to the blocks and never looking back. He should have looked to his right though, old man time, Allen Johnson was out there trying to trick those young boys. And he took the second spot from a game Joel Brown. Welcome back Joel!
Khadevis Robinson and Nick Symmonds put on a helluva a show. Nothing like watching those long distance runs come down to the wire. Literally he won by a lean.
Angela Williams is back. This is her area of expertise and it was good to see her with a smile on her face. She has battled her shins for almost 5 years and finally it has all come together for her. She looked fit and like the woman we all knew she could be.

The UK broke down and chose Simeon Williamson as the second sprinter in the 60. After all, all he did was take second at their trials and beat everyone except for the winner the following week. Hopefully they are done bringing up old stuff and move on so the World Indoors can be about the Olympic year and not years gone by.

World indoors should be highly entertaining with a few notable people looking ready to do some special things. I am watching both hurdle races closely. I think they will produce 2 wr's.

Today in LA it was 80 degrees. Just thought I would rub it in on all you snow bound people. There is no other place like LA!!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Horse shoes and hand grenades

Almost only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades! Have you ever thought about that? Why does it matter?LOL

Anyway just something that crossed my mind. I found out today why my blog is not popular. I asked someone I love dearly today had they ever read my blog and the response was simple, quick, specific and precise, "Too wordy for me." Well there ya have it! LOL Describes the world of blogging to a tee.

I will do this one different. This blog will in response to an acquaintenance blog. Her blog is popular though, unlike mine. ;-) So she posted a terrible dating experience and asked the question who should foot the bill on a date, the man or the woman. Her motto is, if she is paying then it is not a date. Cute. Her specific story was a man's nightmare. Guy calls girl, ask out on a friendly double date, credit card of his friend does not work and he had $20 bucks in his pocket, and yes he was trying to show off at the trendy spot in the trendy place. The evening ended with the 2 young ladies paying and slipping out the side door on the posers.
LMAO, that is hilarious! This is a simple case. He was fake and owes that woman an apology. She owes him nothing, at least not from how the story was relayed. He called, he asked, he arranged, he pays. Unless addressed beforehand, man pays no matter what. In the case of "Oops my card does not work!" You remorsefully ask for help from the young lady with the promise to pay first thing next business day. Macho went out the door with the declined credit card. Damn playah what were you thinking!!!! You knew you did not have the cash when you called. Hope the conversation was worth it because your card is suspended.

So the new hot topic in my world is Dwain Chambers. Another of the BALCO kids returned from the nether regions to compete. I will cliff note this to catch the unfamiliar up. Junior champion in 1996. Bronze medallists in 1999 100m, breaks 10 seconds (9.97), at the time the youngest ever to medal. 4th in Sydney by a hair. 2001 4th in Edmonton by a hair. And then the wheels fell off for the man. He decided to cheat, got caught in 2003, got suspended for 2 years. He tried football, returned to track in 2006. He started that season at 10.07 making him the fastest of the Brits that season. Faced tremendous heat from his home country and decided to go back to the NFL in 2007. Played in NFL Europe, returned to track again. And this is where all hell breaks loose.
The British federation want him gone, play ghost, play dead, play football, just do not run track! Oh well, he runs indoors. The UKA tries to ban him from the trials. They had no legal basis to do so and it looked like a personal issue. It is a personal issue. I have no sympathy for Dwain but I do have a clear opinion on their attempt to ban him. STOP BRINGING NEGATIVE ATTENTION TO OUR SPORT!
Dwain is a nobody off that island, and the BALCO thing was a baseball problem. The UKA going after him only succeeded in making him the number one story of their trials! All the while screaming he will bring negativity to the sport. Hell no he would not have if they would have just left it alone. So of course he went out and won the trials in the fastest time of the year for a Brit.
Folks if you are in track learn to spin questions and think about how you want us all to look. In the world of media what actually is is not important. The story you tell trumps the truth. When all else fails talk about yourself and what you have done. If you must say something about drugs never talk specific people and always talk up the long standing drug testing regimen we have.

Damn too wordy, i am tired now. I will speak more on this I promise. my fingers cannot keep up with my head. I get irritated talking about the pr and marketing of the sport.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Been a long time...

I shouldn't have left you, without a strong beat to step to...

Hello. I took a week because I did not have anything to say positive and I was busy writing to other sources to vent my frustration with some international situations in track right now. I just find it hard to be quiet about some episodes in our sport that prove to be counter productive to the greater good.
I am about growing the sport and turning it into a force. That takes thoughtful public relations. We cannot afford to dwell on drug cases from a "half empty" point of view. Some call it spin, I call it marketing and brand management, something we have nothing of at this point. We have a bunch of intelluctual know it all's that play a game that is not positive for the sport. While I am sure they are smart and have a plan, they have failed to demonstrate the savvy and vision to grow the sport to another level.
What I am really looking for is the growth as a business where we start to see more than the superstars earning a living. Where we see the coaches able to be coaches and not part time advisors that cannot travel and have to buy tickets to track meets. Where the athletes that are in the top ten at least can afford to train at a level that moves them up the next year. A visionary would realize a simple fact, the better the athletes perform the more the sport flourishes. When will those in power start to realize the athlete is the number one priority?

Meanwhile, the Olympic year has started with a few stars doing big things indoors. Kallur broke the long standing wr in the hurdles, amazing. Folks have widely ignored it but she has put together an indoor campaign for the ages. My question is where is she going with all these races. She will leave indoors with double digit races I think. The man I am watching is Dayron Robles. The man ran 7.36 and 7.33 in back to back races. Those are the number 2 and 3 times in history. This man is 6'4" running 7.33. Incredible. Outdoors is going to be fun. And oh yeah, I expect him to break the wr in Valencia.

Other than that, life is progressing. I am happy with the training that my athletes are doing, trying to get my one wounded soldier back on the track, and keeping the rest healthy and groomed for war. We are about a month away from seeing the big dogs come outside and play, and I cannot wait. Olympic years tend to start slow and build gradually. We will see which direction this season takes. I may have a few surprises for folks myself. LOL

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Sleep deprivation

I am tired. And that means I am irritable. Bad situation for me to be in and spend 8 hours dealing with complaining customers. Whew!
You name it and I am tired from it. Need to sleep but too stressed to sleep. All I want to do is be at the track all day but it is the weekend and there is no track to be at. So I sit here talking about track all night. Man I need a hobby!

Money is the root of all evil. Now whoever wrote that I am sure died of stress rooted in the pursuit of money. LOL What I have learned in my short and stressed life is my belief that money is not that important is true. However, the need for money cannot be ignored. Peter Pan is not coming through the window to take us to Neverneverland, and we damn sure do not have any ruby slippers to click together three times and whisper, "There's no place like home." Life is such a hard grind sometimes because what you think will resolve your problems is not the solution at all. Money is not the solution. What money enables us to do is focus on the real things of our lives that drive us. This is why people say more money more problems.
They spend their time pursuing money and not addressing the real issues or problems. So you get more money and you multiple the problems you had when you had less money. Here is the trick, no matter how much money you do or do not have you should be about resolving the issues of your life. That way when money comes you can actually enjoy it.

So as I sit here fighting my eyelids and deciding whether or not I am going to sleep tonight (really I do think like this), I am left wondering what this season will bring. My head is always on track, it is my blessing. Keeps my heart light and gives my thoughts purpose. Makes a bit of social dweeb sometimes but I overcome that with my sloth like wit, and flat water demeanor. Hahahahaha! You have to watch me though, I have my moments, and I can be a bit of a cad. LOL

Oh I almost forgot. I have a three year old, His name is Jaden. He is the boss. Everyone loves him. He has been talking in complete sentences for 2 years now. He can pick up the hook of a song in one listen. He can sing it whenever the mood hits him. Leave him alone for a time period and he will make up his own songs. I love him. He is his mother and that is a good thing. They sing and dance together, they laugh together, and I love watching them create. I love my family. Jaden is a master at combining concepts also. If you tell him it is bedtime because the sun is down, he will turn right around and tell you then it is your bedtime too because the sun is down. None of those parent tricks work on him. And oh yes, he is quick to tell you no with a full scowl on his face. Get mad at him and his feelings are intensely hurt, and he cries because his feelings are hurt not because you are mad. LOL Jaden is all about Jaden and I want to make sure he stays that way, sometimes you have to put yourself first, right.

Ok sleep is coming and I still have not finished negotiating the terms of our deal. I am secretly hoping I lose this negotiation but so far sleep has not been able to argue me down.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Super Tuesday

Barack Obama is making history and no one is talking about it! This is an excellent thing. See he is a black man in case you have been living under a rock on that block of ice we used to call Pluto. He is running for the number one office in the world, the Presidency of the USA. And he is looking good not only for the DNC nomination but for the office itself.
Now a few years back we would be talking about death threats and racism and the like. Thank God those days are behind us. Instead I get to watch informative debates about real issues like foreign policy, domestic policy, etc. It is a pleasant departure from the usual political banter we have lived through the last 16 years. I am proud to be an American right now.

Dayron Robles! This man is a freight train. He is jogging 7.4s and just ran 2 of the top three times in history, IN THE SAME WEEK! We are only in February and he is starting exactly where he left off. I fully expect him to run 12.9 at will. Makes me excited. I cannot wait for the summer. In the meantime, much respect to the young man, he is a real talent.

Gasol and Kobe combine for 66 points and 19 rebounds. I have not been excited about my Lakers since we gave Shaq away. And now Shaq is back in conference! Wow! is all I can say.

So training was great this week despite my fatigue and lack of energy. Wre had a time trial on Thursday and the results were absolutely on pace with what we are aiming towards. What I liked the most as a coach was the time was less than indicative of the feeling the athletes had. They ran exactly what was asked of them without feeling fresh and at their best. Who needs indoors! LOL
My quartermilers are off to test the waters some more tomorrow. If they do not run 46 low they may as well stay where they are.
The future of my life is forever in flux, not a bad flux, just flux. I am in the midst of making changes and it is refreshing. On the track my athletes trust me and believe in the things I preach, this is all that matters. I am coming. Never one to adopt the ideal situations, I have always had to make my way, and I am on my way. Look for me at a track near you.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Swag

Maurice Greene has retired. My friend, and the most confident man I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Mo was a witch. He would talk it and walk it and it was sometimes weird to experience it. He had an unstoppable ability to win, to will himself to victory. He never doubted or worried, he trusted and executed.
I remember when he said he knew he had it. True story, Prefontaine 1997. He had just come off the track after the 200, he ran in lane 8, came from behind to finish 3rd. He ran something mediocre like 20.43. Nothing about the race looked special, as a matter of fact he looked tired and he got handled on the turn by everyone, including Allen Johnson. Mo came up to John and myself excited. He said "I got it! I understand it now. I cannot explain it but I got it." His next race was nationals and the rest of his career is historical. The last time I doubted Mo was at nationals that same year. He ran 9.90 to win it and walked off and proclaimed to us that he could run 9.9 whenever he needed to. We laughed.
The best memory I have is his first title in 1997. I can watch that race right now and it will bring joy to my heart and excitement to my soul. The strange thing is I was rooting for Ato that race. I wanted them to go one two, but Mo winning was a thrill. The man was a genuine as they come too.
Good on ya Mo. You had a great career and brought great joy to my life. Walk tall and know that nothing has been missed and miss nothing.

The Giants ruined history. I do not like either team but I did enjoy the defensive display put on by those men. I was talking to my brother in the fourth quarter when it was still 7-3, and I said there is no way you think New England is winning this game. I mean the Giants manhandled the Pats out there. That front four of the Giants was just brutal. They were unstoppable. Great game, I am not sure you could ask for more drama than that. And that is why weplay the game and run the races. Unlike college football.

Did I tell you guys the Lakers have Pau Gasol and that they are looking good? Yeah I did.

UCLA is the team no one wants to play this year. I am telling you now that if they continue to play the way they are it will be 40 minutes of hell on any team in the country.

I go into this week giving it all to my Lord! All of you pray for me in this endeavor, the more I can give to God the better I can function through my life. Have a good week everyone. Keep your eyes on the prize and always put God first.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

In a hurry

All indoors has done is make me want to see the outdoor season get here sooner. I cannot wait for it. I see a bunch of folks that pique my interest as their performances relate or do not relate to outdoors.

I must start with the hottest man in track and field, Dayron Robles! I am beginning to think there is no limit to this man's talent. He ran 7.36 to tie Greg Foster at number 2 on the all time list. He is big, fast, quick and young. He is more talented than Liu. He is the man to knock off this year, along with all the rest, but I know King Kong when I see him. Robles brings it all to the table and he may give us the most prolific sub 13 season ever.

Then there is the second hottest person in track and field, 'Sanna' or Susanna Kallur! She is closer to the wr than Robles now. 7.72 puts her .03 off a record no one even thinks about. I am predicting she rules the short hurdles this year. She will run in the 12.3x range and I am not sure there is anyone that will be able to run with her. She will solve that bumping issue by being too far away to be hit, as it should be.

Craig Pickering. He said do nto call him the great white hope and he will give you the death stare if you try to joke with him about it. Kid has promise but his form is terrible and will remain the limiting factor in his development.

Antwon Hicks is finally coming around a fulfilling some of that promise he showed in college. I have watched this young man through the years and I have wondered what the issue was. He clearly has the tool set.

Leonard has come around and made a successful return from double knee surgery this fall. I had my reservations about him getting back out there and racing so soon. He said he was ready and I guess he knew best. He looked good getting down that track too, I am impressed.

Obama - Clinton is being called the dream ticket now. I think not. Obama yes Hillary no. Obama has shown himself to be savvy and I suspect if he were to win the nomination Hillary is not the entity he wants as his second. She comes with too much baggage, mainly Bill. Obama would be completely overshadowed. Now conversely, it would be great if he were to lose the nomination to be the VP. Unlike Gore he would be in the prime seat to run for the office next time.

The Lakers, MY LAKERS have restored my faith in the universe! Pau Gasol was on no one's wish list and now we are the favorites out of the West and for the title. And I love it. I wish we woul have traded Odom for him but the world cannot be perfect. So I have Kobe and Pau and add a healthy Bynum and that team is as formidible as any in the NBA. To my man Robbie Hughes you have your wish, no more Kwame! LOL

I watched the 400 from JAM where Bolt and Powell ran together, there was a Kim Collins sighting in that race also. Quick takes, Bolt looked good and comfortable. He is a natural quarter miler, but I fear folks will become overly enamored with the 100 and miss his true calling. Powell looked like himself out there. I am not sure what he was doing at the start and it looked as if he had instructions to only run so far, or maybe the looking at the shoes was a cover for butt lock. He was running in his new boots, so maybe he was checking them out after running 350m. Overall I was impressed with Bolt, his performance promises big things this summer.

Did you see Adam Nelson put on a shot putting clinic? I love it, the man is in grad school and has not missed a beat. Track is so multi faceted. No other sport can match our level of performance or the brain power we bring to the game. Keep pushing Adam, you are an excellent role model.

Today, actually this morning, 5 women lost thier lives in Lane Bryant in a Chicago mall. The killer is reportedly black, about 5'9" and weighs between 230-260 pounds. How senseless can it get? At 1045 AM the last thing any of us shoul dhave to fear is a random shooter coming into a store in broad daylight and killing us or those we love. I hope they catch him and string him up on the spot. That reporter on the Golf channel might not be able to say it but I will, lynch his ass! We have reached a sad day in our lives folks, be careful out there.

Friday, February 1, 2008


I was perusing the results of the Millrose Games and I realize that nothing makes indoor track more appealing. There were some decent results and performances tonight but it is still indoors. The track in New York is an old wooden 165 YARD track! Who runs yards? They held 600 YARD races as if I am supposed to know what the times mean in the end. We are in the 21st century, meters is what we are about. This silly obsession the US has with the empirical system is bordering on insanity. Nothing about yards translates in the big picture. The baffling part is they found a way to squeeze 60 meters on the infield. At least I can look at those races and know what I am seeing.

My man Leonard won. If nothing else there is a little prestige that comes with winning the Millrose Games. I have had a few people win it a few times and I realized it was nice to say they had won the Millrose Games. I am happy for Leo because he had a rough season last season battling knee problems that resulted in some clean up work at the end of the summer and now he has returned to defend his indoor title. Good on ya, fella!

So since my last rant MJ has come out in support of his client and given us the most PC answer I have ever seen from MJ. I have read a lot of his columns from the UK and seen a lot of his commentary over there, he has a reputation for being critical and harsh, just like the Brits like'em. Yet he has chosen to take the PC route on this one. I cannot say I blame him, but I could not let it pass without pointing out the 180 he pulled when it comes to his own interest. I wonder will he lambast Darold and Jeremy for being friends as he did Maurice and Ato in 2001.

So this week in the Manger was a good week. All my athletes are not 100% but that is expected. The difficulty is getting them to maintain their focus and patience. When the athlete is hurt the emotion is the danger. I have one hurt, and another ailing. The hurt one is the young lion, and he is far too prone to his emotions. The ailing one is the old lioness and all I need to do with her is pay attention to the creaks and moans like those of an old house. Plus she knows herself well now and keeps on top of her business. It is that time of the year too, the body is loaded, worked, and feeling the pain of the fall. As a coach I have to be mindful of rest, recovery, and pace.
It is kind of like fishing, when you have the big one on the hook you cannot just yank it in the boat, you have to pull a little and give a little, let em run some. I am happy with everyone, even when they are not. They cannot see it because they are the ones doing the work and feeling the pain. This is where I earn my money, as a wise coach once told me, it is my job to know better!

I got a wake up call today by way of a phone call. If I am not putting folks on the podium AND coaching the sprints, my life in this sport is marginalized. It is not new news, but it was a jolt to hear it. A challenge is what it is. Not the one you think though, it is time for me to change the game. This sport is about more than just sprints, and it is my challenge to shed some light on the other events. I have a plan and it is in play, i also know it is already done. Awreddee!