Thursday, July 5, 2012

Do you support the process or just the results?

I think everyone loves sports for different reasons, but I don't think that anyone can deny that its the process that is where the real value is. Therefore, the process must be the most important thing... right?

If that is true:
  • Why doesn't anyone (including professional athletes) want to be a part of the rebuilding PROCESS?
  • Why are so many people more likely to accommodate convenience than PROCESS (OFSAA, I'm looking at you)?
  • Why doesn't the PROCESS play a bigger part in goal setting?
  • Why are we more focused on the RESULTS today than the PROCESS of getting there tomorrow?
I think this is a very important reflection right now, after Ontario Junior Provincials, because lots of athletes and parents are evaluating their season. The 10 year old that medals at provincials does so, likely because he or she is bigger than the others. Is the 10 year old that came 5th doomed to never medal? No, of course not. In the same light, is the 10 year old that won the event likely to convert that into a Senior National medal down the road?

Do today's adolescent results dictate adult results down the road? Not necessarily, especially since part of the challenge is staying in the sport long enough to complete the PROCESS into your adult years (post PVH for those of you who read the LTADs).  So is your 14 year old boy destined to finish behind HAC swimmer Osvald Nitski for the rest of his career? 

Where do coaches fall into this? How do parents allow coaches to fall into this? I think it is worth stating that coaches are the paid professionals in this situation. Good coaches have long term plans for their teams and athletes. While its easy to want success today (for you or for your athlete) trusting your coach is very important.  How can a coach be focused on the PROCESS when the clientele is more interested in today's RESULTS? Today's results are very important at the high performance level, but at the age group level they are stepping stones. Support the PROCESS, not just the RESULTS.