Happy New Year! It is really true, the older you get the faster time flies. Just seems like yesterday it was one of those years gone by, fill in any year ya like. Yet, here we are, in 2014. So I figured I should post at least once this year lol.
Let me start by acknowledging the great points of this season. Ryan Wilson is the US champ, and world silver medallist. As of this week it is official, he is also the number 2 ranked hurdler in the world. Props to D.O. on his world title and his number one ranking. He earned it. And in true competition, we are coming for both next year, 2015.
Needless to say, I am over the moon about Ryan's year. He has been with me for ten years, without fail and I with him. This season was a fun ride, one of those years you wait to have with your athlete. And one I will cherish. I have been blessed to have a few athletes succeed under me that is personal, not just professional. It is my style, my preference, and when success is achieved extra gratifying. Medals are precious, rare, and the symbol of a lot of hard work, determination and luck.
That being said, it is time track and field had a World Championship every year. For decades detractors of this idea have cried that it is too hard. Well that is the same thing WE all said when they changed them to every two years. Having coached a few commonwealth and European athletes, this is true, yet inconsequential. It makes no sense that 90% of the world have some form of championship this summer, but the sport as a whole feels the need to take a year off.
The financial impact is dire for the athletes and in some respects for us coaches too. Races become rare, and the opportunity for progress is placed on hold or stunted all together. Having a down year in the Western hemisphere is marketing purgatory. How to you sell your medallist this year? What? They have a chance at the Diamond League title? I do not think so. You cannot guarantee anyone's participation in a given meet, so that does not work. Having a global championship does not guarantee participation, but it gives the athletes and the public a focal point. It provides the networks with a clean storyline. They will not need a segment devoted to the explanation of a league that only counts certain events week to week, but may have the non scoring events in their meets for entertainment purposes. Fans like a simple storyline to follow, protagonist and antagonist they can love and hate. Here we are removing ourselves from the conversation, voluntarily.
We must stay in the public eye if we wish to "return" to a profile position on the sporting landscape. Hell, I cannot keep up with how many X Games there are a year anymore. Happy New year everybody. I plan to continue to have fun at this thing. See you all out there. D