Formula for Failure

This post was written by a friend in reaction to what he has been in a particular event in a particular sport where American results are terrible. This really could be written about many sports. Enjoy it!

This is based on a true story, but the sport and the names have been hidden to protect the innocent.

Once upon a time, there was a young athlete in an individual sport, trying his best to excel. He kept making an error though, which held him back. Not understanding what was actually happening, he made a change in his approach that appeared to solve his particular problem.

Because this change worked for him, he decided to write an article on this and it became popular in the US…but not in Europe. In fact, thousands of words were later written on this change…and for most US coaches, hey, this is the gospel. It is the gospel called “hearsay”.

Even before this athlete made this personal adjustment in technique, biomechanists were studying the event, frame by frame. They used force plates, fancy cameras, super software programs, and they came to a conclusion the young athlete couldn’t understand. The science showed that whatever the young athlete did was sort of an aberration. “Here, look at all of these elite athletes. The pattern clearly shows that doing exactly the opposite of what you did, will produce WR results.” Funny…you know that the biomechanists were right! They came from various countries, but their studies all agree. In the US, maybe because of funding, no biomechanists commented on this particular move.

I can tell you…the sport wasn’t golf or tennis, because you readers would all know there are tons written on those sports.

Meanwhile, WR’s were set by non-Americans, Olympics were won…and, the Americans had mustard on their shirts, not medals. (The Americans didn’t make the finals, so they ate hot dogs instead!) Wouldn’t you think, boys and girls, that the American coaches would start to think: HEY, maybe this move we do only in the US is WRONG!! You would think. Sadly, the situation is that most of the coaches believe the hearsay, rather than the science.

The moral of the story is this: do your homework. Go to the top experts in your field, even if they are overseas! Look for references to back up statements. Or, boys and girls, you will be like those American coaches, in this one event, who don’t know their a_ _ from their elbow.


At 3/22/07, 1:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

guess nordic skiing ...

At 3/22/07, 8:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

my guess is the triple jump

At 3/22/07, 8:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone know the for sure the sport/event that Gambetta was speaking of? I'm dying to know!

At 3/22/07, 9:04 PM, Blogger Joe P. said...

I'm thinking Bode Miller. Remember him telling the ski manufacturers they were doing it all wrong, so they invented special ones just for him? And the special 60 minutes had on him and his cutting edge training ideas (pushing a wheel barrel of cinderblocks up a hill). He did come out of his trailer once munching on a hotdog talking to reporters.


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