Do you have a reason for what you believe and do in training (or life for that matter)? We’ve had some pretty hot debates on ELITETRACK over the past two months ranging from ways to make the sport better and the need of Olympic lifts in training plans, to the role of ethnicity in sprinting. In general, the debaters tend to fall in to two primary groups with a minority diplomatically straddling s
I think most people straddle the fence on evidence. Both scientists and coaches are constantly measuring. There is observable experience like mine, Pmoax, and Jay’s at the development levels of at least some bias regarding sprinting and ethnicity. There is the data you presented from the all-time lists and physiological studies regarding sprinting and ethnicity that can be used as evidence. Neither of those two pieces in and of themselves can accurately describe the relationship between sprinting ability and ethnicity. I have to partially(mostly) agree with Mortac about evidence really being the guy churning state champions or medalists year in and year out despite training methods not considered optimal. To get the answers we really want we have to dig past the superficial layers that make up our biases and prejudicial thoughts on a subject.
My only disagreement with Mort’s last argument is I know personally I can attribute most of my success as a coach to the parents of the athletes I have worked with and how they were brought up and to their previous coaches and to the athletes themselves in how active they were as children, the friends they hang out with and how they took care of themselves physically and mentally when I was coaching them. On the other hand, I know I could blame the same things for the failures, but I don’t because as a coach I can affect most of those things and teach them properly how to work hard, eat correctly, get enough sleep, do their homework, etc… along with training. Also, to consider is the culture and local/macro societies these kids grew up in. As with the Sprinting and Ethnicity subject we need a lot more collaboration than what currently exists along genealogical, historical, and cultural lines on sporting performance in research before we can make broad sweeping statements of sports performance capability and likelihood of success in an event/sport before we begin making them.