Greg, don't you think that first you need a good coach ? I definitely agree on your thoughts about elite group but without a coach you can't go forward.
Good point. Do you mean a personal coach or a team coach?
Personal sounds too fancy but team coach is necessary. Actually I think that physical form in this sport can be achieved without very high class coach but technical part definitely needs coaching. From what I read and see in your training maps the biggest gap or let's say potential space to improve. Are you advised by someone ? It might help. I think you can find the person who can help you to develop orienteering skill remotely, and then to do a few training camps in terrain with the coach who can watch you in action. It's very hard to improve your skills with only your personal opinion what is right and what is not.
I'm personally advised by a few experienced people.
A team coach would be spectacular, but it seems very unlikely at the moment. Sometimes I get frustrated that there isn't a coach and there isn't any clear direction. But then there's no sense in getting upset and wasting energy on circumstances that won't change.
Maybe someday I can be the coach of the senior team, but it seems like my generation won't get that. Just have to accept it and move forward.
A trusted and competent team coach is definitely a plus but it seems to me that personal coaching is more important. I don't think it helps much to have a team coach (especially in such a big country) if the individual athletes don't have someone they can work with privately on a regular basis. I don't feel as though there are that many people in the US who can serve as the kind of personal coaches most of our athletes need, so that's an area we can work on.
Team coaches are a good thing, but they generally cost money, which is generally hard to find.
Exactly. I'm not familiar with USA situation, but I've never heard of any "normal" coach.
In the time I've been around there have been two attempts with a real team coach. Both attempts were short lived. And both coaches found it very frustrating to work with the athletes on the US team. I don't think the US seniors have historically all been very "coachable" (of course there are exceptions), probably because most of them were not really coached on their way up. That should be changing a bit now with the more established coaching system at the junior level.
What you really need is a good coach-athlete relationship. Having a coach is a prerequisite for that but if the athletes aren't willing to work with that coach then you're not going to get very far.
I think in North America the biggest gap is not at the 'elite' level but way earlier in our athletes' development. In general our WOC athletes never learn to train with the professional approach that is required. In well developed sports athletes are starting to learn at 12 and 13 years old that you have to do your stretching, rolling, etc. every day. That you go and do the prescribed workout whether you feel like it or not. That you do your visualisation on a regular basis and your do your post race / training every time.
All of that is something you have to get into the habit of doing early and then do for years and years to reach the top. If you don't start that as a young teenager it becomes very hard to switch into that mode as a senior athlete.
And again you are back to physical part. What I mean is that in my opinion North American's lack smth in orienteering, not in running. And what I understand is that you are training on "schemes" and there is a big lack of good mapped terrains.
Sorry, Katashunis, I don't know what you mean by schemes.
I don't think we're lacking in good mapped terrains. The main problem is that there's a large distance between them in many parts of the country.
Also, thanks for everyone's opinions. I do incorporate every suggestion into my thought process at some level.
Will you still be around for MOC three weeks from now?
Scheme I call very simple map where you don't need navigational skills only basic understanding.
Bubo, yes, I'm planning on going to the MOC. Will you be there?
Interesting, Katashunis, I haven't heard that term for maps like that. Is that your impression after seeing the maps I've trained on or other maps of the US?
I´m going to MOC, yes! Will be nice to meet again.
Yes Greg. I think that you deserve better terrains better maps and more specific orienteering training. But we have talked about this already. I was suggesting you to go to Scandinavia.
The US has a lots of great terrain and maps with a far more diverse range of challenges than in Scandinavia.
...and a lot more miles to cover to find them and training companions...
True, and wouldn’t it be great if we could change the latter? Won’t happen if all the young ambitious orienteers all move to Europe rather than head over there for targeted training and racing.
I'm with Cristina there. We've already seen it to a certain extent over the past few years.
We're in danger of having our elite base move to Europe.
I do have to defend our terrain though. There's lots of great stuff in Europe. But we've got VERY good terrain and maps in the USA. If you want to come over and check it out for yourself, Katashunis, I'd be happy to take you out ;)
+1 Cristina, Greg.
And huge Kudos to Greg for moving to Europe to get the experience and knowledge of how ti can work and then coming back to the US and doing everything he can to improve the system from within. It's not an easy task but it needs to be done if you want to see improved results.
Short term you can always benefit from one or more trips to - or stays in - Europe. For orienteering as a whole in the US it´s definitely better to try and develop the base on site.
Gregs initiative is getting things going in the right direction and I hope it will be succesful - both in short term and in the long run.
Yes, kudos to Greg's initiative! Hope you can make it a success. I think that past few years' emphasis on junior team development may make a difference in the long run.
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