True Sport

A week ago I had the opportunity to attend the Westmont Cross Country Invitational run on the campus of Westmont College. Westmont is a small private school in Santa Barbara California, my home town. It was great to see sport the way it is meant to be. There was real competition and real coaching. Nobody was running for a shoe contract or prize money; it really was the essence of sport. The emphasis was improvement and optimizing the athlete’s ability. I am convinced that this is what is missing today in sport at all levels. We have been corrupted by the ESPN highlight syndrome and the undue emphasis on records. Sport at the truest level is all about competition. I had no idea of the times the runners were running (I consciously did not start my watch) instead I watched the competition. It was great! Kudos to coach Russ Smelley of Westmont for putting on the meet and for the fine job of coaching his team.


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