What's Wrong With Arizona Training Group?
06/14/2012 4:55:26 AM
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Is it just me or are you underwelmed by the return on all the money Athletics Canada has invested in this group. Corrigan, Marpole-Bird, Lincoln, Ellerton, Smith. Athletics Canada disadvantages through the point system, any athlete who does not train in this group, but the group trains in Arizona (not all athletes can do that), and has not shown much this year. Other athletes from Victoria, Burnaby, Ottawa, Halifax, Guelph and Windsor have been showing well even though their athletes are penalized by the present carding system for not going to an "official" training centre. Hmmm makes you think.
Is it just me or are you underwelmed by the return on all the money Athletics Canada has invested in this group. Corrigan, Marpole-Bird, Lincoln, Ellerton, Smith.

Athletics Canada disadvantages through the point system, any athlete who does not train in this group, but the group trains in Arizona (not all athletes can do that), and has not shown much this year.

Other athletes from Victoria, Burnaby, Ottawa, Halifax, Guelph and Windsor have been showing well even though their athletes are penalized by the present carding system for not going to an "official" training centre. Hmmm makes you think.
06/14/2012 2:21:19 PM
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I agree with part of your comments about AC and the points system and carding.....I think their is a better way to allocate funds than the one currently in place. But I thought Peter Corrigan and Justin were having a pretty decent years. They obviously havent had tremedious breakthroughs, but it is not like they are running bad times.....I can see why people are placing high expectations on them, because they receive some funding and are carded, but they are by no means having bad seasons.....Lets hope Ellerton can knock out the B and make the team this summer, but I think it takes a lot of time to adjust to being a professional athlete.....give them time in arizona....if in 5 years they havent progressed maybe than we can question the training camp and the funding a little more.
I agree with part of your comments about AC and the points system and carding.....I think their is a better way to allocate funds than the one currently in place. But I thought Peter Corrigan and Justin were having a pretty decent years. They obviously havent had tremedious breakthroughs, but it is not like they are running bad times.....I can see why people are placing high expectations on them, because they receive some funding and are carded, but they are by no means having bad seasons.....Lets hope Ellerton can knock out the B and make the team this summer, but I think it takes a lot of time to adjust to being a professional athlete.....give them time in arizona....if in 5 years they havent progressed maybe than we can question the training camp and the funding a little more.
06/14/2012 2:56:25 PM
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@kingwwc Aren't Harris and Brannen in this same group? They seem to be doing quite well this season.
@kingwwc Aren't Harris and Brannen in this same group? They seem to be doing quite well this season.
06/14/2012 3:34:11 PM
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Is Nate not still coached by Warhurst? Geoff Harris is racing for Speed River this year... I'm not sure if that means he is based out of Guelph but it seems likely considering he had no prior affiliation with the club. I'm sure some of the Guelph guys could say better.
Is Nate not still coached by Warhurst?

Geoff Harris is racing for Speed River this year... I'm not sure if that means he is based out of Guelph but it seems likely considering he had no prior affiliation with the club. I'm sure some of the Guelph guys could say better.
06/14/2012 3:56:46 PM
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Add Martinson and Aguilera to the list. Another 5 years, are you serious? Where are all the big breakthroughs that should be happening? I hear there there is discontent in the ranks. Hopefully, at least the carding points/residency/coaching should be under some serious scrutiny this Fall.
Add Martinson and Aguilera to the list. Another 5 years, are you serious? Where are all the big breakthroughs that should be happening? I hear there there is discontent in the ranks. Hopefully, at least the carding points/residency/coaching should be under some serious scrutiny this Fall.
06/14/2012 5:19:38 PM
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I think Nate is "officially" with this group, but unofficially not. He looks good this year. Don't forget the massive amount of money put into this group. Meanwhile, our Juniors will have to each put up over $2000 to represent their country in Barcelona.
I think Nate is "officially" with this group, but unofficially not. He looks good this year.

Don't forget the massive amount of money put into this group. Meanwhile, our Juniors will have to each put up over $2000 to represent their country in Barcelona.
06/14/2012 6:57:36 PM
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@AnotherCanuck Geoff is not part of Speed River, not sure why he was entered with our affiliation in Oxy. I believe he is coached by Heather Hennigar.
@AnotherCanuck
Geoff is not part of Speed River, not sure why he was entered with our affiliation in Oxy. I believe he is coached by Heather Hennigar.
06/14/2012 10:32:59 PM
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@ChrisMoulton Isn't he with Halifast?
@ChrisMoulton

Isn't he with Halifast?
06/15/2012 9:14:34 AM
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I would argue it's not just the Arizona training group. While Guelph has had some stellar results (Gillis, Coolsaet, Genest and the development shown by Winter etc.), the 1500m group there has somewhat stalled. Granted, Stellingwerff has qualified for London, but look at the progression of their top 3 athletes: Stellingwerff ran 4.05.86 in 2006, and 4.05.69 the next year. She ran 4.05.08 this year 6 years to take off 0.74s Milne ran 3.36.00 in 2008. As far as I can tell, his seasons best is 3.37.17 No improvement over this distance in 4 years (PB in the mile though) Boorsma ran 3.40.96 at the 2008 trials, and improved to 3.39.20 in 2011. His seasons best is 3.41.36. Solid improvement, taking off 1.76s since last trials. Admittedly, these athletes are running exceptionally fast, but looking at Milne in particular, he's at the age where he should be peaking as a MD runner, and he's been in races where people have hit Oly standard, so it's not like the races have been super slow. To clarify, I think what the Guelph team is doing is fantastic, it's clearly the best assembled group of runners in Canada (IMHO) - I'm just surprised with the success seen with the marathon men and the steeplers, that the translation hasn't been as evident in the 1500m. And just to pose the question - where are the 5k men/women? (THIS IS NOT INTENDED TO BE AN ATTACK, OR BELITTLE THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THESE OUTSTANDING ATHLETES, IM JUST PLAYING DEVILS ADVOCATE)
I would argue it's not just the Arizona training group. While Guelph has had some stellar results (Gillis, Coolsaet, Genest and the development shown by Winter etc.), the 1500m group there has somewhat stalled. Granted, Stellingwerff has qualified for London, but look at the progression of their top 3 athletes:

Stellingwerff ran 4.05.86 in 2006, and 4.05.69 the next year. She ran 4.05.08 this year
6 years to take off 0.74s

Milne ran 3.36.00 in 2008. As far as I can tell, his seasons best is 3.37.17
No improvement over this distance in 4 years (PB in the mile though)

Boorsma ran 3.40.96 at the 2008 trials, and improved to 3.39.20 in 2011. His seasons best is 3.41.36.
Solid improvement, taking off 1.76s since last trials.

Admittedly, these athletes are running exceptionally fast, but looking at Milne in particular, he's at the age where he should be peaking as a MD runner, and he's been in races where people have hit Oly standard, so it's not like the races have been super slow.

To clarify, I think what the Guelph team is doing is fantastic, it's clearly the best assembled group of runners in Canada (IMHO) - I'm just surprised with the success seen with the marathon men and the steeplers, that the translation hasn't been as evident in the 1500m.

And just to pose the question - where are the 5k men/women?

(THIS IS NOT INTENDED TO BE AN ATTACK, OR BELITTLE THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THESE OUTSTANDING ATHLETES, IM JUST PLAYING DEVILS ADVOCATE)
06/15/2012 11:03:45 AM
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The top 10 1500m times this year are Brannen, Milne, Martinson, Lincoln, Rae, Corrigan, Marpole-Bird, Walters, Boorsma, Proudfoot. I count 5 (out of the top 7) from Arizona group, three from Guelph, one from Windsor and one from Notre Dame. So seems like they are doing ok. Regarding points and carding, I don't know if it's fair or not, but that group definitely is the largest gathering of top 1500m men Canada has, so it would not be a bad place to go. Regarding how fast those actual times are, sure, we'd like it to be better. But these things do take time. Another 4-5 years is not unreasonable.
The top 10 1500m times this year are Brannen, Milne, Martinson, Lincoln, Rae, Corrigan, Marpole-Bird, Walters, Boorsma, Proudfoot.

I count 5 (out of the top 7) from Arizona group, three from Guelph, one from Windsor and one from Notre Dame. So seems like they are doing ok.

Regarding points and carding, I don't know if it's fair or not, but that group definitely is the largest gathering of top 1500m men Canada has, so it would not be a bad place to go.

Regarding how fast those actual times are, sure, we'd like it to be better. But these things do take time. Another 4-5 years is not unreasonable.
06/15/2012 12:46:37 PM
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[quote=Stingersxc]The top 10 1500m times this year are Brannen, Milne, Martinson, Lincoln, Rae, Corrigan, Marpole-Bird, Walters, Boorsma, Proudfoot. I count 5 (out of the top 7) from Arizona group, three from Guelph, one from Windsor and one from Notre Dame. So seems like they are doing ok. Regarding points and carding, I don't know if it's fair or not, but that group definitely is the largest gathering of top 1500m men Canada has, so it would not be a bad place to go. Regarding how fast those actual times are, sure, we'd like it to be better. But these things do take time. Another 4-5 years is not unreasonable.[/quote] @Stingersxc I don't believe it is the goal of Athletics Canada (re: funding), nor the individual athletes, to be top-10 in Canada. The metric is performance (times), not national ranking. I also doubt anyone involved with these groups thinks waiting another 4-5 years to see improvement is reasonable; that certainly isn't how individual carding works. (THIS IS NOT INTENDED TO BE AN ATTACK, OR BELITTLE THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THESE OUTSTANDING ATHLETES. I'M ONLY YELLING SO JOHN CAN HEAR ME, AS HE'S FAR AWAY :)
Stingersxc wrote:
The top 10 1500m times this year are Brannen, Milne, Martinson, Lincoln, Rae, Corrigan, Marpole-Bird, Walters, Boorsma, Proudfoot.

I count 5 (out of the top 7) from Arizona group, three from Guelph, one from Windsor and one from Notre Dame. So seems like they are doing ok.

Regarding points and carding, I don't know if it's fair or not, but that group definitely is the largest gathering of top 1500m men Canada has, so it would not be a bad place to go.

Regarding how fast those actual times are, sure, we'd like it to be better. But these things do take time. Another 4-5 years is not unreasonable.


@Stingersxc I don't believe it is the goal of Athletics Canada (re: funding), nor the individual athletes, to be top-10 in Canada. The metric is performance (times), not national ranking. I also doubt anyone involved with these groups thinks waiting another 4-5 years to see improvement is reasonable; that certainly isn't how individual carding works.

(THIS IS NOT INTENDED TO BE AN ATTACK, OR BELITTLE THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THESE OUTSTANDING ATHLETES. I'M ONLY YELLING SO JOHN CAN HEAR ME, AS HE'S FAR AWAY :)
06/15/2012 1:36:57 PM
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[quote=Canrunner2662]I think Nate is "officially" with this group, but unofficially not. He looks good this year. Don't forget the massive amount of money put into this group. Meanwhile, our Juniors will have to each put up over $2000 to represent their country in Barcelona.[/quote] @Canrunner2662 I sure hope it's not going to cost 2 grand to get a kid to Barcelona, at least not an Ontario kid (I've heard that AO is subsidizing Ontario members, but I don't know to what tune. Anyone else heard anything?) Indeed, where are all the 5k runners? It could well be that many of these 1500m runners are potentially very good 5k or even 10k people (certainly as good or better than 3:40 for 1500, which is only 13:34ish). These days, it seems that you're either a marathoner in your late 20s/early 30s, or you're a 1500m specialist. I mean, look at the events on offer in the big spring meets out west and elsewhere-- barely a 3k or 5k in sight, and certainly no 10k (and Jerome used to have a cracking 10k for men and women). This is the fruit of a system, extending back to the days of Sully and Hood, that continues to privilege middle distance running. I'll say one big thing in favour of the NCAA on this score: it creates opportunities for athletes to move up to the 5 and 10 early (nay, even compels the transition for those without serious middle distance strength). There is no way guys like Levins or Ahmed would be running as fast as they are and young as they are if they'd stayed up here for school. No doubt Levins, with his 3:42 as a freshmen, would be entering that Arizona training group and toiling away to run 3:38-9. As a CIS coach, I'm certainly not knocking the CIS or our post-collegiate groups(like everyone else, I'm a big fan of the Speed River set-up, and dream of doing something like this myself). The CIS has a big role to play in developing athletes for whom the whole system is a better fit. And it is certainly possible to build good post-collegiate groups within CIS cities. With its longest indoor track race being only 3000m, however, and with no outdoor season at all, it is at a big structural disadvantage when it comes to developing long distance runners. This means we have to make a special effort to encourage good middle distance athletes to try their hand at the longer stuff, even it it means challenging them to abandon their comfort zone. I'm still amazed that we can have 20+ guys lining up to run 1500m at nationals and only a handful of guys, if that, in the 5 and 10. But, what would we expect when look at the junior distance rankings and see one guy coming anywhere near World Junior standard in the 5k, and only two guys even attempting the 10k? The talent must be there, but not the requisite mindset.
Canrunner2662 wrote:
I think Nate is "officially" with this group, but unofficially not. He looks good this year.

Don't forget the massive amount of money put into this group. Meanwhile, our Juniors will have to each put up over $2000 to represent their country in Barcelona.


@Canrunner2662 I sure hope it's not going to cost 2 grand to get a kid to Barcelona, at least not an Ontario kid (I've heard that AO is subsidizing Ontario members, but I don't know to what tune. Anyone else heard anything?)

Indeed, where are all the 5k runners? It could well be that many of these 1500m runners are potentially very good 5k or even 10k people (certainly as good or better than 3:40 for 1500, which is only 13:34ish). These days, it seems that you're either a marathoner in your late 20s/early 30s, or you're a 1500m specialist. I mean, look at the events on offer in the big spring meets out west and elsewhere-- barely a 3k or 5k in sight, and certainly no 10k (and Jerome used to have a cracking 10k for men and women). This is the fruit of a system, extending back to the days of Sully and Hood, that continues to privilege middle distance running. I'll say one big thing in favour of the NCAA on this score: it creates opportunities for athletes to move up to the 5 and 10 early (nay, even compels the transition for those without serious middle distance strength). There is no way guys like Levins or Ahmed would be running as fast as they are and young as they are if they'd stayed up here for school. No doubt Levins, with his 3:42 as a freshmen, would be entering that Arizona training group and toiling away to run 3:38-9. As a CIS coach, I'm certainly not knocking the CIS or our post-collegiate groups(like everyone else, I'm a big fan of the Speed River set-up, and dream of doing something like this myself). The CIS has a big role to play in developing athletes for whom the whole system is a better fit. And it is certainly possible to build good post-collegiate groups within CIS cities. With its longest indoor track race being only 3000m, however, and with no outdoor season at all, it is at a big structural disadvantage when it comes to developing long distance runners. This means we have to make a special effort to encourage good middle distance athletes to try their hand at the longer stuff, even it it means challenging them to abandon their comfort zone. I'm still amazed that we can have 20+ guys lining up to run 1500m at nationals and only a handful of guys, if that, in the 5 and 10. But, what would we expect when look at the junior distance rankings and see one guy coming anywhere near World Junior standard in the 5k, and only two guys even attempting the 10k? The talent must be there, but not the requisite mindset.
06/15/2012 1:49:36 PM
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@SteveWeiler I agree, it's not just about being top 10 in Canada. However the original poster declared that the "Arizona group" was being out performed by athletes from a bunch of other places in Canada...Which is just plain wrong. Men's Canadian rankings this year for the "Arizona group": 1500m: 1, 3, 4, 6, 7 800m: 1, 3, 4, 5 (Nate hasn't run one yet) Don't get me wrong, I'm sure the majority of the group wishes we were running faster than we are (who doesn't ever wish this, really?). But to say all these other places are running faster is, simply, uninformed. Also, have you checked the carding criteria lately?? There is nothing to do with a center. It's based on athlete performance and past/previous success of the coach. Which, I think are pretty important factors. I really wish we had some "massive amount" of money being thrown at us, canrunner. It sure would make things easier than going into debt while pursuing a dream.
@SteveWeiler

I agree, it's not just about being top 10 in Canada. However the original poster declared that the "Arizona group" was being out performed by athletes from a bunch of other places in Canada...Which is just plain wrong.

Men's Canadian rankings this year for the "Arizona group":

1500m: 1, 3, 4, 6, 7

800m: 1, 3, 4, 5 (Nate hasn't run one yet)

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure the majority of the group wishes we were running faster than we are (who doesn't ever wish this, really?). But to say all these other places are running faster is, simply, uninformed.

Also, have you checked the carding criteria lately?? There is nothing to do with a center. It's based on athlete performance and past/previous success of the coach. Which, I think are pretty important factors.

I really wish we had some "massive amount" of money being thrown at us, canrunner. It sure would make things easier than going into debt while pursuing a dream.
06/15/2012 3:24:35 PM
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[quote=Linc]@SteveWeiler I agree, it's not just about being top 10 in Canada. However the original poster declared that the "Arizona group" was being out performed by athletes from a bunch of other places in Canada...Which is just plain wrong. Men's Canadian rankings this year for the "Arizona group": 1500m: 1, 3, 4, 6, 7 800m: 1, 3, 4, 5 (Nate hasn't run one yet) Don't get me wrong, I'm sure the majority of the group wishes we were running faster than we are (who doesn't ever wish this, really?). But to say all these other places are running faster is, simply, uninformed. Also, have you checked the carding criteria lately?? There is nothing to do with a center. It's based on athlete performance and past/previous success of the coach. Which, I think are pretty important factors. I really wish we had some "massive amount" of money being thrown at us, canrunner. It sure would make things easier than going into debt while pursuing a dream.[/quote] @Linc The carding criteria only changed for this upcoming carding period but was certainly the case that a "Centre Based Athlete" received a significant advantage when it came to carding points for the past couple of years. I would say this "advantage" went back even farther than that. I can remember having both my coaches annual training plan come back with some pretty low scores despite the fact that my first coach (Ron Warhurst) had coached an Olympic bronze medallist, and my second coach (Juli Henner) had coached athletes to PB's of 3:33 and 1:45. But not matter how knowledgeable she was or how much we improved, it would be meaningless in this current system unless she had an athlete at the top-8 level. She now has a world champion (Jenny Simpson) but I would argue her coaching methods have not changed much, if at all in the last 4 years. But now according to 'AC' she is a better coach...but maybe now she just has a better athlete to coach. Even as it is now, it is still a points system that is biased towards certain training groups within the country. Look at what DST has done in Guelph. He is obviously one of the best middle distance/distance coach in Canada right now. But because he hasn't had an athlete finish in the top-8 in the World (yet) his athletes receive less points then every athlete in your group. Is that fair? I don't know that trying to evaluate a coach based solely on the international success they have or haven't had is a fair metric. So for at least until 2019 (or until DST has an athlete in the top-8) Wynn's group receives greater coaching points than Guelph. Cam Levins is having one of the most amazing seasons ever witnessed by a Canadian distance runner but his "coaching points" are currently 0 based on his current coaching accomplishments. Really? (That will obviously change once Cam makes the Olympic team and if/when he finishes top 24/8 at the Games, but for the moment he wouldn't be considered worth any coaching points under the current system) Also, why do the coaches get a 12 year window for their success when the athletes are continually told that carding is not a reward for past success. Maybe we should be judging coaches and training groups based on the number of top-8 athletes they had in the previous year, not over 12 years. At the end of the day, when you line up on the track it is the athlete that is responsible for their performance. And this is what carding should be based on...times and places. Not where you train, who coaches you, how many physios and chiropractors you have access to. How you perform tells me more about your ability than if you coach had a World/Olympic top-8 finisher in the past 12 years. Run fast, place high, get carded. But when athletes start getting passed over for carding by other athletes who have performed at a higher level something is wrong with the system.
Linc wrote:
@SteveWeiler

I agree, it's not just about being top 10 in Canada. However the original poster declared that the "Arizona group" was being out performed by athletes from a bunch of other places in Canada...Which is just plain wrong.

Men's Canadian rankings this year for the "Arizona group":

1500m: 1, 3, 4, 6, 7

800m: 1, 3, 4, 5 (Nate hasn't run one yet)

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure the majority of the group wishes we were running faster than we are (who doesn't ever wish this, really?). But to say all these other places are running faster is, simply, uninformed.

Also, have you checked the carding criteria lately?? There is nothing to do with a center. It's based on athlete performance and past/previous success of the coach. Which, I think are pretty important factors.

I really wish we had some "massive amount" of money being thrown at us, canrunner. It sure would make things easier than going into debt while pursuing a dream.


@Linc The carding criteria only changed for this upcoming carding period but was certainly the case that a "Centre Based Athlete" received a significant advantage when it came to carding points for the past couple of years. I would say this "advantage" went back even farther than that. I can remember having both my coaches annual training plan come back with some pretty low scores despite the fact that my first coach (Ron Warhurst) had coached an Olympic bronze medallist, and my second coach (Juli Henner) had coached athletes to PB's of 3:33 and 1:45. But not matter how knowledgeable she was or how much we improved, it would be meaningless in this current system unless she had an athlete at the top-8 level. She now has a world champion (Jenny Simpson) but I would argue her coaching methods have not changed much, if at all in the last 4 years. But now according to 'AC' she is a better coach...but maybe now she just has a better athlete to coach.

Even as it is now, it is still a points system that is biased towards certain training groups within the country. Look at what DST has done in Guelph. He is obviously one of the best middle distance/distance coach in Canada right now. But because he hasn't had an athlete finish in the top-8 in the World (yet) his athletes receive less points then every athlete in your group. Is that fair? I don't know that trying to evaluate a coach based solely on the international success they have or haven't had is a fair metric. So for at least until 2019 (or until DST has an athlete in the top-8) Wynn's group receives greater coaching points than Guelph.

Cam Levins is having one of the most amazing seasons ever witnessed by a Canadian distance runner but his "coaching points" are currently 0 based on his current coaching accomplishments. Really? (That will obviously change once Cam makes the Olympic team and if/when he finishes top 24/8 at the Games, but for the moment he wouldn't be considered worth any coaching points under the current system)

Also, why do the coaches get a 12 year window for their success when the athletes are continually told that carding is not a reward for past success. Maybe we should be judging coaches and training groups based on the number of top-8 athletes they had in the previous year, not over 12 years.

At the end of the day, when you line up on the track it is the athlete that is responsible for their performance. And this is what carding should be based on...times and places. Not where you train, who coaches you, how many physios and chiropractors you have access to. How you perform tells me more about your ability than if you coach had a World/Olympic top-8 finisher in the past 12 years. Run fast, place high, get carded. But when athletes start getting passed over for carding by other athletes who have performed at a higher level something is wrong with the system.
06/15/2012 6:14:49 PM
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@ksully330 I absolutely agree that there should be no points based on coaching. If you run a fast time, your coach is the one that helped get you there. It seems that this system was put in place to try to get athletes to "certain" coaches. I think the national coaches have more than enough advantages already. As for the initial poster's assertion that the Arizona training group has under-performed, I think it should be seen as relative to whom they have in their group. Also, the posters seem to be just talking about the men, but we've seen good performances from other women - Melissa Bishop (Windsor), Jessica Smith (SFU) and Hillary St..(Guelph) come to mind. Around BC we have a great group of potential 5000m runners who don't run many 5000s, like Brockerville, Bruchet, Kent, Johnson and 4 or 5 Victoria runners. One of the reasons they rarely run 5000s is that when there is a 5000, only 4 or 5 are in it. They are more interested in running in the very competitive 1500s. More communication between the coaches and some good evening 5000s might solve this problem.
@ksully330

I absolutely agree that there should be no points based on coaching. If you run a fast time, your coach is the one that helped get you there. It seems that this system was put in place to try to get athletes to "certain" coaches. I think the national coaches have more than enough advantages already.

As for the initial poster's assertion that the Arizona training group has under-performed, I think it should be seen as relative to whom they have in their group. Also, the posters seem to be just talking about the men, but we've seen good performances from other women - Melissa Bishop (Windsor), Jessica Smith (SFU) and Hillary St..(Guelph) come to mind.

Around BC we have a great group of potential 5000m runners who don't run many 5000s, like Brockerville, Bruchet, Kent, Johnson and 4 or 5 Victoria runners. One of the reasons they rarely run 5000s is that when there is a 5000, only 4 or 5 are in it. They are more interested in running in the very competitive 1500s. More communication between the coaches and some good evening 5000s might solve this problem.
06/15/2012 7:29:41 PM
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[quote=bryano]@ksully330 I absolutely agree that there should be no points based on coaching. If you run a fast time, your coach is the one that helped get you there. It seems that this system was put in place to try to get athletes to "certain" coaches. I think the national coaches have more than enough advantages already. As for the initial poster's assertion that the Arizona training group has under-performed, I think it should be seen as relative to whom they have in their group. Also, the posters seem to be just talking about the men, but we've seen good performances from other women - Melissa Bishop (Windsor), Jessica Smith (SFU) and Hillary St..(Guelph) come to mind. Around BC we have a great group of potential 5000m runners who don't run many 5000s, like Brockerville, Bruchet, Kent, Johnson and 4 or 5 Victoria runners. One of the reasons they rarely run 5000s is that when there is a 5000, only 4 or 5 are in it. They are more interested in running in the very competitive 1500s. More communication between the coaches and some good evening 5000s might solve this problem.[/quote] @bryano Small correction: I believe Melissa Bishop is now in Ottawa. She certainly did a lot of her developing in Windsor, but good on the Ottawa coaches for helping her get way down there.
bryano wrote:
@ksully330

I absolutely agree that there should be no points based on coaching. If you run a fast time, your coach is the one that helped get you there. It seems that this system was put in place to try to get athletes to "certain" coaches. I think the national coaches have more than enough advantages already.

As for the initial poster's assertion that the Arizona training group has under-performed, I think it should be seen as relative to whom they have in their group. Also, the posters seem to be just talking about the men, but we've seen good performances from other women - Melissa Bishop (Windsor), Jessica Smith (SFU) and Hillary St..(Guelph) come to mind.

Around BC we have a great group of potential 5000m runners who don't run many 5000s, like Brockerville, Bruchet, Kent, Johnson and 4 or 5 Victoria runners. One of the reasons they rarely run 5000s is that when there is a 5000, only 4 or 5 are in it. They are more interested in running in the very competitive 1500s. More communication between the coaches and some good evening 5000s might solve this problem.


@bryano Small correction: I believe Melissa Bishop is now in Ottawa. She certainly did a lot of her developing in Windsor, but good on the Ottawa coaches for helping her get way down there.
06/15/2012 7:40:30 PM
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Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 168
There is no way that anything other than athlete performance should determine who is carded or not. Certainly not where you live, or who is trying to become your Coach. If you run fast, I don't care if you live at the North Pole and are coached by Santa Claus. Some of my thoughts: 1) Carding should be objectively based on performance, so that athletes and coaches know what to expect, and what to include in their planning. 2) We need to encourage and develop more coaches, not less. 3) We need to re-value personal coaches and clubs, not just cherry pick the good athletes and to hell with everything else. 4) Personally, I believe some of our "elite" groups have become too big, for optimal coaching of each athlete. Groups are fine, so are large groups, but very large groups without enough coaches, are not going to work out over the long run. In fact, I think that, at a certain point, implosion becomes more likely.
There is no way that anything other than athlete performance should determine who is carded or not. Certainly not where you live, or who is trying to become your Coach. If you run fast, I don't care if you live at the North Pole and are coached by Santa Claus. Some of my thoughts:
1) Carding should be objectively based on performance, so that athletes and coaches know what to expect, and what to include in their planning.
2) We need to encourage and develop more coaches, not less.
3) We need to re-value personal coaches and clubs, not just cherry pick the good athletes and to hell with everything else.
4) Personally, I believe some of our "elite" groups have become too big, for optimal coaching of each athlete. Groups are fine, so are large groups, but very large groups without enough coaches, are not going to work out over the long run.
In fact, I think that, at a certain point, implosion becomes more likely.
06/15/2012 7:41:58 PM
Coach
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 435
And I agree: Why don't we let the [i]athletes[/i] decide who the best coaches are, at least for them personally (which is all that really matters), and remove coaching from the carding points equation altogether? The problem with privileging some coaches over other is that you're also privileging certain [i]locales[/i] over others. A.C should not be penalizing athletes for not pulling up stakes to try and hang onto funding that is only guaranteed for one year. It amazes me that the climate and resources in Victoria are not quite good enough the the "Arizona" group, when the rest of Canada would kill for them! Or, outside of the extremes (e.g. St. John's, McCloy notwithstanding), maybe training locale really isn't all that important. Again, this is something athletes themselves should be deciding, without pressure related to funding. If a certain locale really IS a disadvantage relative others, then the athlete will pay the price and lose his/her card, or else move somewhere better. I suppose it's the whole assumption that athletes themselves can't figure out what works best for them, and need guidance from above, that rankles.
And I agree: Why don't we let the athletes decide who the best coaches are, at least for them personally (which is all that really matters), and remove coaching from the carding points equation altogether? The problem with privileging some coaches over other is that you're also privileging certain locales over others. A.C should not be penalizing athletes for not pulling up stakes to try and hang onto funding that is only guaranteed for one year. It amazes me that the climate and resources in Victoria are not quite good enough the the "Arizona" group, when the rest of Canada would kill for them! Or, outside of the extremes (e.g. St. John's, McCloy notwithstanding), maybe training locale really isn't all that important. Again, this is something athletes themselves should be deciding, without pressure related to funding. If a certain locale really IS a disadvantage relative others, then the athlete will pay the price and lose his/her card, or else move somewhere better. I suppose it's the whole assumption that athletes themselves can't figure out what works best for them, and need guidance from above, that rankles.
06/15/2012 7:51:56 PM
User
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 44
@ksully330 "Run fast, place high, get carded" "But when athletes start getting passed over for carding by other athletes who have performed at a higher level something is wrong with the system." I really wish it were that simple. But, the fact of the matter is, if an 18 year old runs 3:50 they're getting carded over someone who runs 10 seconds faster than them if said person is 26 or older. 10 seconds! How is that not outperforming the other athlete? The likely hood of the 3:50 athlete to ever progress to sub 3:40 is very, very small. How many do we have all-time in Canada? maybe 30? How does it make sense to card the 3:50 runner over a 3:39 runner in any circumstance? One is a much better bet in possibly making the next step. Or 1:49 instead of 1:46? Or 4:30 instead of 4:10 for women? 2:07 instead of 2:02? How is that a "fair" metric to the older athletes? The 18 or 19 year old can then also score 10 points, the same as winning Senior Nationals, for winning at Juniors? When they can be competing for the same card...How is that fair? Coming 5th at Senior Nationals is worth the same as coming 8th at Juniors? Really? There will probably always be some things that aren't "fair". Honestly, I think having a coach with a proven record of development and success at the International level is, generally, a "fair" criterion. It shouldn't necessarily be the only metric used, but I think its a valid one. A shorter window of past success should probably be looked at, I agree with that. But when it comes down to it, is it really that "unfair" to give some extra merit to a coach with proven success at maximizing their athletes abilities, at the highest level, when it matters most? I'll take Phil Jackson over the great local high school/college coach every time.
@ksully330

"Run fast, place high, get carded"
"But when athletes start getting passed over for carding by other athletes who have performed at a higher level something is wrong with the system."

I really wish it were that simple. But, the fact of the matter is, if an 18 year old runs 3:50 they're getting carded over someone who runs 10 seconds faster than them if said person is 26 or older. 10 seconds! How is that not outperforming the other athlete? The likely hood of the 3:50 athlete to ever progress to sub 3:40 is very, very small. How many do we have all-time in Canada? maybe 30? How does it make sense to card the 3:50 runner over a 3:39 runner in any circumstance? One is a much better bet in possibly making the next step. Or 1:49 instead of 1:46? Or 4:30 instead of 4:10 for women? 2:07 instead of 2:02? How is that a "fair" metric to the older athletes?

The 18 or 19 year old can then also score 10 points, the same as winning Senior Nationals, for winning at Juniors? When they can be competing for the same card...How is that fair? Coming 5th at Senior Nationals is worth the same as coming 8th at Juniors? Really?

There will probably always be some things that aren't "fair". Honestly, I think having a coach with a proven record of development and success at the International level is, generally, a "fair" criterion. It shouldn't necessarily be the only metric used, but I think its a valid one. A shorter window of past success should probably be looked at, I agree with that.

But when it comes down to it, is it really that "unfair" to give some extra merit to a coach with proven success at maximizing their athletes abilities, at the highest level, when it matters most? I'll take Phil Jackson over the great local high school/college coach every time.
06/15/2012 8:28:06 PM
User
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 349
[quote=traveller]There is no way that anything other than athlete performance should determine who is carded or not. Certainly not where you live, or who is trying to become your Coach. If you run fast, I don't care if you live at the North Pole and are coached by Santa Claus. Some of my thoughts: 1) Carding should be objectively based on performance, so that athletes and coaches know what to expect, and what to include in their planning. 2) We need to encourage and develop more coaches, not less. 3) We need to re-value personal coaches and clubs, not just cherry pick the good athletes and to hell with everything else. 4) Personally, I believe some of our "elite" groups have become too big, for optimal coaching of each athlete. Groups are fine, so are large groups, but very large groups without enough coaches, are not going to work out over the long run. In fact, I think that, at a certain point, implosion becomes more likely.[/quote] @traveller I couldn't agree more with this post.
raveller wrote:
There is no way that anything other than athlete performance should determine who is carded or not. Certainly not where you live, or who is trying to become your Coach. If you run fast, I don't care if you live at the North Pole and are coached by Santa Claus. Some of my thoughts:
1) Carding should be objectively based on performance, so that athletes and coaches know what to expect, and what to include in their planning.
2) We need to encourage and develop more coaches, not less.
3) We need to re-value personal coaches and clubs, not just cherry pick the good athletes and to hell with everything else.
4) Personally, I believe some of our "elite" groups have become too big, for optimal coaching of each athlete. Groups are fine, so are large groups, but very large groups without enough coaches, are not going to work out over the long run.
In fact, I think that, at a certain point, implosion becomes more likely.


@traveller

I couldn't agree more with this post.

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