I want to deal with a few questions and comments that came out of yesterdays post.
I won’t rebut every comment because a lot of them were in a similar vein but hopefully I’ll cover the main ones.
Firstly, I don’t work in Athletics…I dabble in it…and the point of my post was to point out that I think it is garbage to talk about ‘peaking’ in team sports…I just used athletics as an example because of the number of athletes, resources, coaches, pharmacists, medical support staff involved…and it is an easy event for people to understand…everyone knows what the 100m’s is.
1. People made the comment that the 100m’s isn’t a good example to use and gave numerous reasons…that’s fine…go and pick any other sport or event at the Olympics and take the same look at the results in them…because they actually make my point far clearer…the results are even worse…far less season best and personal best results.
2. While you’re at it take a look at the results and the PB’s and SB’s that you are going to use to refute my point and you’ll find all you do is strengthen it because the best people at peaking are all the losers…that doesn’t impress me…when you are a crap international level athlete and you manage to produce a time good enough to categorise yourself as a bad one I don’t get really excited about it.
3. Weather conditions were mentioned…fine…go look at indoor results…they’re the same…the majority of athletes don’t peak and the ones that do are usually the losers.
4. Pressure was mentioned…and I’m glad because from the look of the results these athletes produce their coaches should be sacked and they should be investing primarily in sports psychology because what their coaches are doing sure isn’t working.
5. Swimmers were mentioned…go look at the results…pick any sport…I don’t care…what you’ll find is the same thing…there’s no such thing as peaking.
6.Finally…someone mentioned the literature…well whoopty do…sports scientists are training historians…nothing that happens in sport is sports science or research driven…it is done somewhere, sometime, somehow by a coach and sports scientists try and prove it about 10 years later if you’re lucky….and these are usually the same people quoting the ‘literature’ to these coaches explaining to you why it can’t possibly work. The majority of ‘literature’ is all based on research on ‘untrained college males’…if you want to base your training philosophy on those beer drinking wasters go right ahead…it’s probably what all those coaches do that talk about peaking do…hence the results. I’ve actually sat in offices with PhD and Masters students shredding results of various kinds that didn’t match the ‘results’ that were desired…literature is fine…I’m going to produce tonnes of it hopefully and you can bet every euro, dollar or currency of your choice that all the ‘literature’ I produce will back up and support every hypothesis I put forward. So don’t give me the ‘literature’ says line…show me the results.
7. Then there were the questions I didn’t really understand…of which this was the best ‘Specifically, you seem to denigrate the idea of being ready to lift at SB or PB level all the time (the powerlifter example) but then deny peaking and advocate “consistency”. How do those things not contradict each other?‘…I think you are missing the point…I’ll stick with powerlifting for a second…look at the results for any big, major competition…I’m not really into powerlifting in anything but a peripheral way…think it is a great sport…read a lot about it but don’t follow it…just trying to head off the hate mail…look at the results and tell me how many of the competitors present hit PB’s or SB’s in competition. I’d also love to know how many of them missed totals and individual lift numbers that they had hit in training before…because I bet you I’m right…that the results support my contention that peaking is for losers and that it just doesn’t happen…when one person peaks and the rest don’t…that doesn’t prove to me that peaking works…quite the opposite.
8. This is what Charlie Francis the track coach had to say about my post:
1: The Olympic Games are not a place for most to score PBs because the vast majority there are getting their asses handed to them- nothing to do with preparation and everything to do with athlete level. PBs are run in competitive conditions and most at the OGs are NOT competitive at all.
Which furthers my point…peaking is for the losers…they do it better than anyone.
2: Peaking is dependent on execution as well as plan. Some come in with tone too high and run faster in the rounds than in the finals, even from the same program- Gatlin vs Crawford, indication excessive intensity by Crawford close to the meet.
Which furthers my point…here’s two athlete’s from the same camp with the same coach…one goes well and the other doesn’t…but the winner ‘proves’ that the coaches system is correct. This is actually one of the things that really annoys the crap out of me about coaching and trainers…go see the bio of any one of them…see how many of their disasters they list…number of athletes that bombed, clients that got fatter, how many athletes and clients their programs injured. The whole thing is a farce…a very successful multi Olympic gold winning coach who helped produce athletes in multiple sports that I was lucky enough to work under really early in my career told me after I got particularly full of myself after the success of one of my athletes…’Don’t take all the credit when things go well unless you’re willing to take all of the blame when they don’t’. So does that camp get the credit for Gatlin’s success or the blame for Crawford’s failure.
3: Peaking is the ability to do your best when it counts and the same programs produce in the same way over and over again.
Which furthers my point…coaches are on the whole full of crap…this statement is the epitome of exactly what I’m getting at…if this were true…ALL a coaches athletes would do well…and they don’t. ALL a coaches athletes would ‘peak’ when it counts…and they don’t. ALL a coaches athletes would produce over and over again…and they don’t. You can’t tell me that your system works (and I’m not actually directing this at Charlie) because one of your athletes fires at some major event if 10 of your other athletes bomb…and this is exactly what happens…peaking doesn’t happen…not in the way that it is described in the ‘literature’, not in the way that it is described in articles or interviews with coaches.