What do elite orienteering athletes need/want ?
Posted: 10 October 2003, 4:52 AM
> As W/T mentioned Rob and I are in the process of organising
> a hui to discuss High Performance issues which will take place
> during the Southern Six day. The broad aim of this hui will be
> to arrive at a consensus on long term goals for our program,
> which we can then shape our structure around.
> As I am not going to be at any of the events coming up I would
> much appreciate it if the you guys amongst yourselves discussed
> things like
>-What do elite orienteering athletes need/want out of the sports >coaching system?
Personally I would like to see some more training camps organised for elites or everyone, not just juniors.
These could be held in conjunction with some major events, to make it more worth while travelling around the country.
I would also like to see some more orienteering carnivals being organised. It's all very well spending money flying up to Auckland or Wellington for a weekend, but how much do you really improve in 2 days. We should be looking to improve our performance, not just entering the odd competition.
I reckon more regions should be encouraged to organise events such as the Southern six day, or the National champs/ANZAC carnival this year. I would be really keen to head up to Whangarei for an extended weekend (4+ days) of orienteering, but would not consider it for only 2 days. Most regions, have enough good maps to put on at least 4-5 quality events. At present there are many great areas and maps which most people have never been to.
The problem with statue quo, is that it is hard to get enough quality events in N.Z to really improve. For this reason many people think that they have to go over to Europe if they are going to get any good. This shouldn't have to be the case. N.Z has a huge variety of terrain. The problem is making it accessible and coordinating activities between clubs. At present most clubs put on a reasonable event about once every month. So for the average orienteer, this is only 12 events a year. If they then travel to some of the regional/national events this may be increased to about 20-25 decent events a year, still not much.
The problem is that most events are one off, and it is seldom worth while for people to travel around the country to go to them. Alternatively if each club (or nearby clubs) organised just one major multi-day event (4-5 days) every three years, we would have an additional months worth of solid orienteering, more than doubling the current amount (21 clubs x 1/every 3rd year x 4-5 days = ~30+ days of additional orienteering). In addition people would get to experience a much wider variety of terrain, which is always fun and would help improve their orienteering, especially when overseas.
This message was edited by Chris Forne on 10 October 2003, 4:47 PM
Posted: 24 October 2003, 10:11 AM
Spurred by Chris's message, I wondered about the feasibility of trying to organise a day's training in conjunction with the 2003/2004 Superseries events. This would at least turn weekend events into three days of orienteering. This obviously wouldn't be good for people with "regular" working hours but perhaps for students and those of us with flexible working hours it might be a easier way for us to get more orienteering in.
Unfortunately due to being away lots lately and not knowing what the status was for superseries travel support I haven't done much about this until now. So I was wondering if anyone else would like to do some training in the Hawkes Bay on the Monday after the events if we can get permission to use a map. I know Chris has already booked his ticket and maybe La too? Anyway Carsten and I would probably be quite keen to and would be happy to co-ordinate it for any others who want to.
The next possibility would be at the South Island Champs, which I think Chris (our keenest and most motivated squad member?) can't come to but again I'd be happy to co-ordinate something if it was something that people wanted.
And to answer Jamie's original question about what do we want, I'm with Chris in that I think we need more events and more training- I think what I should be doing is evaluating regularly what I need to do to improve my time behind the winner (and choosing a couple of secific things), doing them (and so that means having time on maps to practise the skills I've decided I need to practise, as well as specific physical training and in my case dealing with my injuries) and then competing to see whether I have improved and then reevaluating and so on. So I think we need opportunities and encouragement to do this - but I don't want to fill in lots more forms (so maybe the encouragement is best done orally rather than through written forms?)