Remembered this OT post in Epic Race reports today and got me thinking after a comment from my wife at yesterdays junior tri. Trinity is a fantastic low key race, kids of all shapes and sizes, MTBs, basket bikes and even a girl on her little pink BSO in Tristarts but the event also attracts some of the best juniors in London. As one boy went flying past in TS3 my wife commented, how is that bike legal, the frame is too fat. Well it was a Trek aero road, just like Alex Yee rides, Di2, deep rims. After picking my jaw up I commented that the bike cost north of 6 or 7k, to which she said, “What’s the point?”. Add the shear number of carbon plate running shoes on show, it left me somewhat sad that even for 12year old kids, the arms race is very real and something needs to be done but what can you do! Its similar in cycling but not this bad, certainly not track anyhow. I’m also sure @explorerJC has much to say on the topic of “cheat” shoes and the development of a child’s bones and ligaments in the feet and lower limbs. I did a S&C course with the BTF in December and the guy that ran it, MSc in S&C and elite coach had commented on this also. Probably one for the rant thread but thought it deserved one of its own. Kids who are good will be at the front regardless of equipment, up to a certain level, but taking these marginal gains at such a young age where does that leave you to go when the seconds really do matter.
Not sure what can be done though. Is the TO going to go online and ban all expensive bikes and trainers from transition?
We have no control over that unless it’s specific in the rules, and price of kit is not in there in any shape or form. Changes in technology is a constant discussion amongst TOs and new tech is always ahead of the rules, so what we can ban or keep is always playing catch up with this.
Yep, not much can be done without even more rules and @fatbuddha checking all shoes before the race. Responsibility lies with coaches, I tell everyone I can to stay clear of the carbon plated shoes, whether they listen or not is unknown, but you can see why they do it if others have. Bikes is a weird one, even up to TS3 I’m not sure it makes too much difference over 8km and you dont need a Trek/S-Works, get a PX and save a few grand, or spend some on an MTB as well and learn to ride a bike properly . Results matter though for the better kids trying to get into academies and if your rival has Nike shoes and a top end aero road bike then you need one also!
to an extent yes, but I think with the way the academies are managed they can see through the tech to the inherent ability of the kid underneath. Glenn and Sarah at the SE Academy have got a good feel for their development squads.
Scott Murray, based in New Forest but runs academy that way, is the S&C coach I mentioned who also seems to have a good grip on things.
Well, it’s the parents init. If they are well heeled, they want the best for their kids, and probably live somewhat vicariously through them. Personally I don’t feel that way, I just want my kids to enjoy something, and if they don’t enjoy it ( ) then it at least gives them some resilience and fitness (I’m thinking swim lessons & athletics for my 2).
I often tell my kids not to worry about peaking in your youth; just enjoy life and work hard at school to give yourself ‘options’ for adult life.
what’s an elite coach?
coach of elite athletes I should say
cheat shoes…cheat wheels…cheat race suit…
it’s the progress of times…
There’s not enough specific knowledge on these shoes, but cushioned shoes in general are not particularly good for any long term development…
athletically, as a generalisation, those who win young tend not to win as seniors…
Anecdotally I can confirm that those who don’t win as juniors also don’t win as adults.
Ive been talking to some parents at swim club about that and that kids just need to progress, that pre pubescent times are meaningless in the longer term , especially a sport where 95% of races end in sub 2minutes. This came about as recently a youngster (12) got his first county medal this year, and immediately his parents moved him to another club “because he needed to move to a better club to progress”. This kid will not make it with pressure like that regardless. He was a good swimmer for his age, but had started a bit younger, those AG’s are less competitive generally and this other club still has “normal” coaches and no specifically different set up, its not like he’s joined a high performance squad doing more hours. Add that he didnt want to leave his friends and you’ve just caused a kid to quit swimming in a couple of years. We also have a kid who is national level 16year old, dominated all his life, he is 6ft3 at 16! but the past couple of years he’s been caught up as others catch up height and development wise, kids that never really featured are beating him. This is great for him as its pushing him, he’s got the right attitude, but others disappear from sport at 14/15 when this happens to them.
saw similar many times at rugby - kids who were great players when they were around 14-16 ‘cos they had matured that much quicker so were bigger and faster than the tiddlers around them, but as soon as the other kids started catching up physically they disappeared into the shadows and never made it as adults. Those who do show this ability young need careful management to ensure they can remain on a solid pathway to the top (if that’s what they want).