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RE: [RC] Response to the [RC] WEG -- the USA team - kseits@xxxxxxxxx post - heidi

Truman, your post is contradictory.  You cite a great example about Carl Lewis--who MISSED being on the relay team because he LOST in the head-to-head competition of selection but who had other skills (his experience in passing the baton and his status as a seasoned veteran who could "take it") that probably would have gotten the gold for the USA. 
 
The SAME PRINCIPLE applies in selection for off-continent FEI rides.  It isn't always the horse that shows the speed at the handy 100-miler close to home that is the best choice.  You HAVE to also ask yourself, "Can this horse travel?" "Can he take the pressure of the venue?" "Does he have a record of doing well under a variety of circumstances?"  And oft-times those things will win you medals when the raw speed does not, because the rising star wouldn't eat on the trip, or wouldn't watch his footing under the pressure, or whatever. 
 
Heidi


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [RC]   Response to the  [RC] WEG -- the USA team -
kseits@xxxxxxxxx post
From: Truman Prevatt <tprevatt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, September 04, 2006 8:31 am
To: jlong@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Cc: Diane Trefethen <tref@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,  ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Joe,

The selection process used is somewhat similar to the one developed for
the selection of the ETZ teams over the past few PAEC/NAEC. It is based
on head to head competition with points accumulated based on finish in
predefined selection rides. There is no politics.

JT posted the link.

One of the shortfalls of a pure points system surfaced in the last NAEC
where a good horse/rider that have a single bad day had the choice of
taking on another 100 shortly after they did one and shortly prior to
the competition. This rider decided to let a British friend ride his
horse for GB in the NAEC and the horse metaled in the NAEC. This does
not seem to be in the best interest of anyone.

The remedy in the WEC procedures is to select to a "National Team" using
head to head completion and at that point turn the team over the
management (coaches, vets, etc.) for final selection of the squad. This
is very similar to a track team, for example where the coach picks the
four guys to run the relay from the team based on the factors at hand on
the day. It is also quite reasonable and while there is always a chance
that politics will surface in anything - the ultimate responsibility
will rest on the management who should get the blame/praise for the
performance of the team.

In the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta in the 4x100 meter relay, there was
pressure to replace one of the team members with Carl Lewis. Lewis
placed fifth in the relay team selection for the even in the trails. He
was at Atlanta in the Long Jump. The reasoning was Lewis was a seasoned
veteran who had good skills in the handling of the baton. His speed was
still good, and when paired with the other three he would be running
with the team would be dead on favorite. However, the coaches hands were
tied and Lewis could not be on the relay team - unless one of the other
runners could not compete. The guy Lewis would have replaced had little
experience in relays - especially at that level. He bobbled the baton on
the hand-off and lost valuable time. The US lost the gold metal to
Canada that day because of that bobble.

IMO the best way is to chose the squad by head to head competition and
let the management select from the squad the team for race day. That is
what is done today in the USEF. It might need some tweaking but in is a
solid approach. If it doesn't work then one has to take a hard look at
the management leading upto and on the day of the event.

I think the problems we have had in the last few WEC's has more to do
with the fact that the rest of the world has caught up and in many cases
surpassed the US program. This is not unusual in sports. Look at
international basketball. In 1992 when the "dream team" of NBA all
starts played in the Olympics. At that time all the other countries were
honored to just play against them. The opposing players would get the
dream teams autographs after the games. They walked away with the Olympics.

The rest of the world went to work and as a result in the last Olympics
the US NBA allstart team had to work hard just to win the Bronze and
they were lucky to do that. The rest of the world just got a lot better.
I think bottom line that is what has happened in endurance.

Truman

Joe Long wrote:
>
>
> Among other things, that would take most of the politics out of the
> selection process. Which may be why it won't be done that way. ;^>
>
>
>


--

“The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher
esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Dawn


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