2022 LANSW State Championships
I am going to use the following example as the introduction to my review of the 2022 MacDonald's Little Athletics State Championships.
I trust the example makes sense and is valid. If an athlete currently has a time over the 100 meters of 13.00 seconds and was to perform at 99% of their ability then that athlete would record a performance of 13.13 seconds. The following is true if the athlete is doing repeat efforts over 100 meters at 90% intensity, the required time to obtain would be 14.30 seconds. Run too fast or too slow and the athlete risks rendering the session a fail as the objectives were not met. Every action has an opposite reaction, more about this later.
I would say that everyone has this intrinsic value ranking system that they continually measuring themselves against. This can either aid or obstruct
the future performance as the stress or anxiety this places on your mind and body can affect your ability to "fight or flight". This is especially true
if the person in this situation has not had the time to rehearse or practise the required content prior to being asked to deliver the performance. Hold on now,
too much rehearsal or too much influence and stimulation from other external factors can also hinder the performance as well. Which of these factors are having a positive influence on the immediate task at hand? How do you know? What measurement are you using to determine this? All very important questions when deciding to take on a new task and fill the day with activity or simply decide to take an active rest day to taper effectively.
Remember those percentages in the table?
Back to the ranking system and how I as a coach try and translate the preparation to your event. First up, have you been to regular training sessions?
If not then the conversation is going to be light and focused around just having fun and not to technical about how you are going about your business. Your expectation as an athlete to do well and out perform your competitors should also be low as not to place any undue stress or create any anxious moments. This is also a great coping mechanism to have as you look to develop on that system and apply it to your everyday life.
In the case of a track event my goal for you would be as follows, get a start that is do not get disqualified, run to the best of your ability and focus on the attributes like we discussed at training. Finish the race and do not leave anything in the tank. In a field event it would be to obtain a legal marker that is distance or height. Now try and improve on components of the event that did not feel comfortable and the attributes applicable to your event we discussed at training.
If we are in a positive place and things are improving then the goal to make the Top 8 can start coming into play. This will present you with additional attempts and if we execute better than before perhaps we can start to think about those podium positions. Small adjustments can be made, the one percenters, changing too many can lead to more confusion, make you tense and simply overload your thoughts and clouding judgement and cognitive application. If we are trending in the other direction remember you never put that much in to begin with and so the rewards at the end should not be exaggerated or inflated above your means. This involves setting SMART goals and being realistic.
Lets talk about the table now. Disclaimer time, the comparisons are made with the data I have captured on file for the athlete, some values may not have been provided to me and or I have not updated them correctly and so this is where team work makes the dream work. Remember to forward me your results after every competition to improve on the quality of the data presentation.
The Blue column compares the Performance Score or your result against your Personal Best. Remember the example above and how efforts at 99% of your best can result in differences? Well I like to use 99% as a measuring stick and allow for 1% loss in performance due to all the possible influences that can impact the score. This should also be the primary goal for individual comparisons as you have very little control over other external factors that do not related to you, only you. Did you prepare enough? Did you get sufficient rest, eat well, warm up, cope with the heightened stimulation
of competition? You cannot make the other athlete jump short or low or run slower.
Light Blue Column - here we grade your result against the season average. I took results from October 2021 until the last known competition not including the State results. Again I like to use 99% as a marker to see if previous results were a total fluke aka catching a Hail Mary or whether your overall skill and execution has in fact risen to a new level. Where the result is greater than 100% then you a trending upwards and displaying excellent growth along your track or field development curve.
Salmon (or Pink to some) Column - Here I compare your result against the winning result of your event. Our squad did not have anyone who won, hence all results less than 100%. Remember that these winners have a high probability
of also being the National Champion and therefore their performances at Nationals will most likely range between 99% and 101% of this result.
Dark Yellow Column - This is pretty rare ground when an athletes Personal Best is better than the Gold medal performance. The other question is whether the performance is repeatable or not. Most may have done that ranking thing I spoke about earlier and created a mental image of this already, so here we go. 99% scores suggest you are most likely a podium contender. That number you had in your head was compared against the seed results of all the various regions coming into this competition. Remember those athletes had goals and plans too. We had three high 98 percents and of those performances we had one podium, one 4th and 10th.
Refer to entries highlighted in black, the other 3 podiums came from performances where the athlete recorded 2 personal best efforts (refer to Blue column) and all 3 results were better than the season average (light blue column). In preparation for this competition the goals were to reach the Top 8 in the same 3 events and be in a position to contest the podium when the opportunity presented itself. On this occassion it worked. Additional information on the other two supporting events, High Jump and Javelin. The athlete had two clash of events, 300mH and High Jump and Javelin and 90mH.
Difficult to recruit any fast twitch fibers having completed a 300m run and jump afterwards however if the personal best effort was replicated the result would have been 5th position and the season average would have placed 7th.
If the athlete had done the same in Javelin, PB effort would place 9th and season average is same position, 12th. The expectations of obtaining personal bests and reaching podium status in these two events were also considerably lower and at the time of writing this I could not recall ever having the conversation. Always discussed as part of supplementing the Multi event that takes place 22nd and 23rd of April 2022.
I will make individual references to other athletes in the breakaway WhatsApp messenger app where most of the coaching times and information and news are shared and discussed.
I look forward to working with you into the 2022/23 season and as always lets have the discussions on planning and attendance at training sessions and setting those SMART goals.