Thursday, March 27, 2008

DJ from the Crates

We have officially kicked off the outdoor season.

For the first time I will post something about my athletes. Probably the last time too. Anyway, Tasha and Jonathan have run their first 2 800's of their careers and I have to admit I am very happy with the results. They ran strong, looked comfortable and most importantly showed great fitness. Tasha's pr now is 2:06.25 and that was her first time running the race. Jonathan gave me a 1:52.33 in his first outing.
They ran their second ones last week. We set out to run fast but the work week and subsequent hour delay at the meet was too much to overcome. Both of them ran well and had a full week of training, the meet was actually day five of running. For Tasha it marked something I will never do again, 5 days of hurdling in a week.

Ok enough about them and those.

I have talked enough about Obama now I will switch focus and talk about that woman. For the record i do not like the Clinton's anymore. Not since around the Lewinski embarrassment have I been a big Clinton fan. They proved to me then that politics and power came before EVERYTHING else, including integrity and respect for the highest office in the land. Now we have Hillary lying, oops, I mean "misspeaking" about her trip to war torn Bosnia in 1996. She claims sniper fire and the tape shows her in no danger whatsoever.
The spin has been that she was sleep deprived. Only problem with that excuse is she has been spinning this fish story for months! There was no danger, no sniper fire, and she is shown shaking hands with the Bosnian president on the tarmac.
These people keep proving that they are charlatans and it is high time the puppet show ended. She is ripping apart the DNP primary, she should have clearly stepped down and backed Obama after Super Tuesday. Instead she is fighting to the bitter end and threatening to use the Super delegates to win the nomination which would overturn the will of the people, something they DNP has cried about for eight years and used to their advantage 2 years ago to take over congress. What a mess!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Life happens!

So I am at the meet this week and few things go down to remind me that "life happens"!

Great race in the short hurdles, 2 women running step for step when uh oh, off balance and smash hit the hurdle and one gets V and the other gets DQ. As I said to my athlete it is a hurdle race, hitting them is a part of the race.
The second was more dramatic. Old time coach is caught slipping, walks across the track and WHAM! sprinter takes him out doing blow outs. Watched the coach get carted off the track on a stretcher. Life happens!
Oh and the meet was an hour behind. I think I mentioned that in my last post.

So I find out Xavier Carter has put down a nice lead off leg on a 4x4 down in Miami in the rain. 45.6 is the reported split. Whatever it is I am glad to see the moles start to come out of the holes and run.
Asafa Powell has continued his busy season with an easy 4x1 anchor that is reported to have melted the track under his feet.
Walter Dix runs a 45.2 relay leg. Impressive.
VaTech breaks out the outdoor season with two young ladies in the 12.8 range.
David Oliver opens the sticks with 13.33!
I love track.

Meanwhile in the world the Bruins survive the first weekend and have the mandatory close call that all championship teams have to go through.
The Lakers are playing steady and gearing up for the playoff push. Kobe is the MVP anything else is Memorex!
Baseball season is coming, someone shoot me now!
Is it football season yet?
And lastly why do all my friends, all two of them live in Texas?!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

On this day faith was tested and measured and forged!

Since last I spoke a lot has happened.

Bianca Knight is pro. Good luck lil one. She set a precedent for track and field. She and her mother set out to run fast and go pro, similar to a football or basketball player in college. I have definite doubts about this path being effective in the current state of the sport but I am excited by the move. On the business side of things it lets me know the kids see this as a viable path to monetary success. And like it or not that is what entertainment is about and one of the main driving forces behind pro sports dollars. When the athletes start pushing the economy the dollars will start to flow with regularity.
The secondary effect in this is the benefit to my profession, coaching. The shoes companies are willing to pay these kids then they have to start paying the people that train them to produce. It is a matter of time now. They are paying the young ones on potential and it is proven that certain coaches have a system that produces consistently.
Now here is the rub, do your shoe dollars dictate movement? In business promotions come with relocating. Right now the athletes think they can have the dollars and stay home with mommie near by never having to move. Completely unrealistic.

On the track I will confess my people have started competing. Nothing in their pet events though. It has been fun just going to meets with no pressure or expectations. Running new events to see what they can do and how the training is translating. This week in particular has been an adventure. Never have I worked so much for so many days in a week. Time for a mini break. Rest is a part of training too.

The political landscape is off the charts now. For a few days I was seeing doom for Barack and then I read the actual context of some of Wright's words and the farce is up. He was quoting someone else in some of the most inflammatory remarks. Damn shame what the media can do. I being the conservative gentleman that I am it is difficult to watch the right wing attack unwarranted on this. The game is now completely corrupt like never before. I knew Barack would have to eventually fight and here we are. now we will see if he is tough enough to lead this country in the future.

Bless you all. I will start blogging less as the season gets going. I am too tempted to talk trash LOL. See you all on the chitlin' circuit.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

DJ's Playlist

So what had happened was....

Bianca Knight looked all world in that 200 yesterday. The young lady will be heard from outdoors. I was impressed.
I was less impressed with the 60s. It was a bit of a let down after watching the 200s get blitzed the night before.

Something on my mind so I will let it out. Why do stars and celebs hide their charity? I know the cookie cutter answers, my question is actually one that is a little deeper. See I listen and watch these folks of means complain about how their "good" works are never talked about but when asked about them they say they do not want their "good" works publicized. Something about it being private and from the good of their heart and they do not want to exploit a good deed for personal gain. ALL OF THE ABOVE IS SELFISH!
If you are about the charity then you of course realize that your name brings attention to a cause you deemed good. You do not focus on the "you" part but on the giving. To say you do not want it public is to keep to yourself and in the end you have cost that cause through omission.
Do not get me wrong, I comment all of you out there doing your utmost for others and giving you free time to those that need you. Just tell us about it so the rest of us know and our aware. I know a few people who are in search of a cause they can get behind and stand behind. A cause they can endorse.

On a lighter note, my son is three. Well my baby boy is three. He is out of control. I dare you to ask or tell him to do something. You will get a frown, and a lengthy pause, and no words. Quite simply the most frustrating thing you will ever experience. I just want to throttle the little man. Has me and my wife running around like 2 black folks screaming and yelling and him crying. I know my neighbors must be tired of us. I do not think he cried this much as a baby. They boy will cry because you asked him to use the bathroom, even though he has been pacing, running, and dancing a jig in the middle of the living room! LOL You should see him, he will start running back and forth but will not go to the toilet. LOL And I will not understand baby logic, I was never like him, he has peed on himself standing at the door of the bathroom all because HE refused to go. That was at day care, and that was the day he went home in wet clothes. It was time for a lesson to be taught, you want to be wet, then stay wet. I am quite comfortable in my DRY underwear.

Do you hear the silence? It is the calm before the storm we call outdoors. I am a little different type of coach, kind old mixed with the new so please understand when I say this to some of you reading. If you are in an event I coach, I am coming for your head. Just want everyone to know what this game is about. I like most of y'all and would love to coach you too, but for now, see you between the lines.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Practice what you preach

As a coach this is not what you want to talk about. Sets you up for failure and hypocrisy. I do not say it or use it when it comes to my coaching. If I could practice what I preached on the track I would still be 165, and all of you would know my name.

In real life, not track, I cannot practice what i preach. Not by choice. I want to but I am faced with some life issues that challenge me every day. All I can do is read and think and search for that space that allows us to walk the walk we talk.

I am waiting for that space to reveal itself because believe me, all the space I see is filled with the complete opposite of what I preach LOL. I mean you ever notice how it is so easy to counsel and console our friends but when it comes to ourselves we are virtually unreachable. LOL All of my friends are that way strangely enough. I have sat and told them that all they need to do is follow their own words. Well now the tables are turned and I cannot follow my own advice and damn sure cannot follow theirs. Makes me laugh the laugh of a man that knows he is dying.

It is not funny but if I do not laugh I will cry. It is that time for me, the world seems as though it is disintegrating on my head, RIGHT NOW! Everything is wrong and nothing looks like it is getting better. That rain cloud is my rain cloud and all rays of sunshine are deflected by the mirror of darkness. And I am tired of the damn cloud. I want to kill the cloud, squeeze all the water out of it, and watch it evaporate for the rest of my life.

I tell the athletes when they cross the gates at the track to leave the outside world outside. I am in desperate need of a gate right now.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Outdoors has started

So now that the season of Indoors is behind us, and we have learned nothing from it, let's turn our attention to the real season. As per annum, we will see a lot of relays, and get the chance to watch folks run strange distances and look good with the stick.

I have been coaching for some 15 years now and I have only had the pleasure of attending the Penn Relays once. That is sad. I barely remember the experience and only spent one day in town. I do recall the hotel room being VERY nice. The event itself I spent on the infield and could not see any of the meet. LOL

Now conversely I have been to Mt SAC more times than I can recall. The strange thing is I never ran at Mt SAC. I started running track at the age of seven! I went to UCLA, and I never ran one race at Mt SAC. I do not know why this happened or how. Mt SAC was the place to run when I was growing up, and with the thousands of heats they run I cannot understand how I never ran a race there. Well I have solved that issue, I have athletes run there every year. I think the word is "vicariously".

So this week I am punishing to polish. Had some good performances over the weekend but it is only March. I have never seen an Olympic medal won in March but I have seen them lost in March.

On the news side they caught the 19 year old that killed the local football player. High school quarterback who was league MVP, shot dead for no reason! The culprit is a 19 year old Hispanic gang member they are trying under special circumstances which means the death penalty in Cali. I pray they lock him up in a box with no light for the rest of his life. Just leave him there and feed him so he does not die.

Can we fast forward to June so we can just get this party started already!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

WIC and stuff

Okay so Valencia is over and I am less than hyped. I am more hyped about the couple of 800s I saw run this weekend. My weekend was rendifferous! (borrowed that word from my kids) I set a plan for my athletes and I watched a part fall right into place. That mysterious joy of causing pain i was talking about last time.

So Robles does the Greg Foster. Liu does the Liu. David Oliver lost me a gentleman's bet. Candice Davis almost pulled off the upset of the weekend, instead Lolo set her self as the new face of the US short hurdlers.

Uhm, I thought we were the sprint nation. We got handled this weekend. Congrats to Angie, her road has been long and hard, and it was good to see her get a gold.

Props to Jamall T., he blew the 4x4 wide open.

Now maybe I missed it but Dwain Chambers was not the focus of the meet as feared and he was not a topic once the UKA stopped talking about him.

Isinbayeva is looking vulnerable, the Games will be exciting.

Trivia question, who won the long jump competitions? LOL I will help Nadie Gomes from Portugal jumped 7 meters to win a dramatic and high powered event. On the men's side it was the South African Mokoena.

High five to Allen Johnson for defying father time. And MUCH props for shedding light on the lack of tracks for pro athletes. This is an important issue for the future. While Allen has his own issues involved it does not mean the problem is solely in South Carolina. It is nation wide. Pro coaches are under siege. When one coach says to another coach, your athletes can come out here and train but you cannot coach them, I know we live in the twilight zone.

Meanwhile, I talked to a friend of mine in Texas, Jon Drummond. It snowed this week in Dallas!!! It was 75-80 all week in Los Angeles. I love LA.

Now we get on to the real track season, now we will see the real athletes do their real thing. It is time my fellow track junkies. In 2 weeks it is full blown outdoors, relays everywhere, off event runs, and then we will be in May! I love it.

Hey anyone want to earn a few bucks? I need a P.A.

Friday, March 7, 2008

World Indoors

I am disappointed. I thought my man had a terrific chance at winning and medalling at these championships. Yet this is why we run the races folks.

Many moons ago Greg Foster thought there was a false start and stopped at the first hurdle while the race went on without him. This is the standard lesson coaches use to illustrate running until you hear the second gun. In 2000 we saw John Capel stop running because he flinched and thought the race would be called back, it kept going without him. Now we have a far more complicated lesson.

When the starter says "Set!" it is go time. That gun can fire at anytime. Do not assume he is going to wait for you to get to set and then fire the gun, you have to be cocked and loaded from the moment you hear the word Set. If you are not listening for the first audible impulse you are doomed. That is the lesson for today, it cost a young man a spot in the final, and in a sprint it is that fast.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The mysterious joy of punishing athletes!

The mysterious joy of punishing athletes is better known as coaching. Now some of the athletes and ex athletes are nodding their heads in amused agreement with this description, but I am here to tell you it is not about the punishment, matter of fact it is not punishment at all. Just feels like it.

Show me a coach and I will show you love. We do it because we love it. There is no other explanation for being a track coach. The road is thankless, hard, and unforgiving. Yet the results bring out the best in the human spirit. This is what drives coaches.

As for me, I was borne to coach. I love to know why things work, why people want them to work and what makes people tick. As I said I was born for this thing. The best times are the personal moments athlete and coach share, that connection that last beyond the finish line. You do not get these with everyone, but when you do make that connection, it is the best feeling in the world.

It dawned on me two seasons ago that the responsibility of coaching is tremendous. I did it because it was personally rewarding to me to have my athletes and friends out there winning and performing to their best. I was thinking one day and it hit me, the athletes I coach have entrusted me with their dreams. Think about that, you have a dream, something that is near and dear to your soul, and here you are trusting me to guide you to that very destination. That is heavy and something I am very grateful for.

Coaching is a complex adventure that involves all level of human development, and relationship. The highs are many and always out number the lows in coaching, believe it or not. I mean, who is to say gold is the only joy. I take joy in watching my people do something we were working on, or run a time even though they may have lost the race. Last year, I took joy in getting a no name hurdler to the semi finals at World's. No one else will take note of this or realize these small victories, but that is what coaches are for and take pride in.

Valencia is in 2 days, I can't wait.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Is the sport dirty?

I figured the title would everyone to come running since it seems all we ever hear about is the drugs and the dirt. Welp, this ain't about none of that, I just wanted you all to come reading.

In LA today it was sunny, breezy and 75 degrees. A couple of people are in Valencia, well 3 people are in Valencia. Good luck to all my guys out there, they should bring home 2 individual medals and 2 relay medals. Not bad for something we have not trained for. Sounds cliche but the qmilers did not train at all for this indoor endeavor, just ask them. They begged and pleaded to run the meets they did run. LOL Still want them to win everything they can though.

In the meantime back at the ranch preparations for the assault on Beijing is going according to schedule. I am having a great time training my folks. Even the hard headed ones that pose those coaching "challenges" are good for the soul. Hey, a coach has to have somewhere to vent, right?

So I was thinking what can I write about. I read some other blogs and they tell us all about their day and their training and stuff. Well I am a track nut so my day revolves around track. My wife keeps me involved in the rest of life believe it or not. Her world is not track, matter of fact she fights hard to maintain a balance. I fight hard to make track more a part of my life. We will both succeed in our separate missions, I already know it.
By the way, check out this site, Browse, shop, buy and pass the site along. All originals, all made by the artists herself. And there will be more to come soon. As many canvases as she can get her hands on is as many paintings she will deliver.

Quick recap of the world I recognize...
Obama is looking good for the nomination. I like him for his message and not necessarily because I agree with his politics. The presidency is a figure head, a representative of us as a whole. His policies are not his per se, so I am not enamored with the actual topics. I look at a select few because they give me some insight to the person's character and let's me know who they will be while in office. I knew Bush would be a Texas no nonsense person and he was what we needed to restore some fear, respect and order to a world gone bland. And we got it in spades. Now we need a difference maker, someone that brings a different attitude and persona to the country. Hillary is more of the same, we have seen her act for 8 years in the 90's, I am through with the Clinton's, they pissed me off. So I am an Obama man now.

Indoors is upon us. Mike Rogers is the champ and he is talking it up. Go head young boy, make your mark on the scene. I am anxious to see this hurdle race. I think the wr is gone. And Liu is going down. Robles is a beast and I think he will go 7.28. The other hurdlers will duke it out for the remaining places. David Oliver looked good winning in Boston and Allen is Allen. You can never count him out and he is at the point in his career where he just knows where the finish line is. Look for the old guy to get out fast and furious. They will have to out him away believe that. Liu is a bag of tricks. I do not think it is possible to just show up and run sub 7.40, I am not a fan of that game plan.
Who in the world will win the women's 60?

A sign of the times. A 17 year old kid lost his life Sunday night over some nonsense. He was three blocks from home and was shot in cold blood by some Mexican gang members who "set tripped" on him. That means they asked him what gang he was from, he was not affiliated with any gang, they just shot him. The kid was the starting quarterback for his high school, was voted the MVP this past fall of his team and was entertaining offers from colleges. His dad is pissed, says the boy was a good kid that never caused them any trouble. His mom? His mom is in Iraq fighting a real battle, while 2 punk bitches (excuse my language) shot her son in the street at home. I have wondered it since I was little and I wonder about it now, what is missing in your courage when you shoot an unarmed person for no damn reason.
When they catch them I do not want them to get the death penalty. I have a new punishment we should enlist, it is called one thousand ass whoopin's. Tie them up, and leave them in a room with the family members of the victim. rubber hoses, leather belts, switches, extension cords, bamboo shoots, whips, and brass knuckles. One rule in the room, do not kill them. Keep a doctor near by to make sure we have consciousness and good health. Once a day, for a thousand days we have this going on. Can you imagine? All that pain and anger and you get to take it out on the people that caused it. Aw man I would volunteer for the family. Just give me the rubber hose so I can beat that ass all day!

On a more positive note I will close. I will share with you all something I carry with me always, and I am learning how to do. Lean not on your own understanding but trust in him in all your ways... Know that what you have asked for is already done and live that way. When you ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing at, remember that what you have asked for is already done. Smile and bring energy to the world, and watch your surroundings transform and your prayers manifest.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Just stuff

...tracks in the US are closed to coaches and groups and in some cases individual athletes. How can this be of "The World's Number One track team"?...

...Barack Obama has done the impossible without the Pope mobile.... come The Rocket gets a free pass. The press killed Barry Bonds, books were written about Bonds, court cases came up, reporters went to jail! The Rocket is under investigation by the government now and folks are saying we should be more concerned about Iraq and the usual rhetoric. I just think the same fire should be set to the Rocket as Bonds. Where is the call for asterisks...

...when will the US have a Golden League meet... long before a circuit starts in the US...

...this week in LA it was 80 for 3 days, who needs seasons!...

So indoors is coming. I do not care. i have athletes and friends running and coaching in Valencia and it holds little excitement for me. The excitement it does carry has more to do with foretelling the coming outdoor season. Now that gets me going. I cannot wait. I really know this summer will be special. So i am not a complete spoil sport...

60mH men and women will be the events to watch. I suspect both wr's will be under siege. Kallur has been on a tear since she got punked in the final last year in Osaka. And Robles took his butt whoopin to heart. Both have been unstoppable this indoors and I see nothing different happening in Spain. I will be watching the clock and I will be watching Father Time aka Allen Johnson too. Will someone put this man out of his misery! LOL There is one truism about this sport, you have to put folks out of the sport and these young boys keep breathing life into Allen. Hey, I am not complaining at all, more power to us old guys, as long as he keeps beating them I say keep chopping wood AJ!
On another note, here is a lesson to all young hurdlers, hitting a hurdle, getting hit in the hurdles is not an acceptable excuse to losing. When you carry that mentality you will not be Kallur and the swedes post Osaka. "There's no crying in hurdles!"

60m men and women will be exciting because they are wide open! Kwakye from GBR, Williams USA and one of those Russians. The race will be hot and I am anxious to see Angie move up that one place and get the gold. She looked good in Boston we will see how it carries over. On the men it is WIDE OPEN. no clear favorite. The story there is Dwain Chambers. Thanks to the UKA we have a drug cheat as the sentimental favorite. He has anger, revenge and something to prove on his side. Meanwhile, Saidy Ndure is living up to the hype. Can Rogers repeat his Boston performance and will Dixon emerge as a future star of US sprinting. Then there is semi final specialist Fasuba, watch him he may run 6.45 in the semi final. This is a blog but I am not going to list all the runners around 6.55 that have a shot at the title.

400m men I am watching because my man David Neville is running and looking like the winner. This is the only race I will predict, David Neville to win in a close one, 45.6 wins this title. Then we can get about the business of outdoors.

Is there any other event to care about indoors???? LOL

Went the first outdoor meet today at USC. Bryshon Nellum pulled up in the 4x100. Do not expect to see him before Mt SAC. Lionel Larry looked spectacular running down the entire field in a blistering 46.4 LOL. It was cold and not much of a meet to talk about. Just enjoyed a day out with my son at the track. I love track meets. We are the sport of experts though. I heard some stuff in the stands that make me want to curse, but that is what I get for sitting up there, huh. Note to youngsters, when you get to college limit your parental exposure, their love will screw up your training and career. Let your coach be just that, your coach.

I saw the Fabulous Brianna Glenn on my track Friday. She actually spoke to me, said something profound like, "Hi!" then I think she asked if I wanted her autograph. Hahahahaha....