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squad selection

Show Profile  Phil Posted: 18 January 2001, 3:49 PM  
It's interesting to note one major difference in professionalism between the D-Squad and the National squad: The D-squad asks prospective members whether they are committed to orienteering training, and bases its selections on these questionaires before publicly announcing the squad. The National squad just announces it. I'm unsure whether either squad lets its prospective members know before releasing the names publicly, though you would really only expect that in cases of national selection - though it often doesn't happen even at that level, but thats a separate issue!!

Show Profile  HeadHoncho Posted: 28 January 2001, 11:11 AM  
There is also another difference between the D Squad and National Squad...

The D Squad members are teenagers and young adults who still need their hand held and bottom wiped at times and can be excused for not knowing how the world turns.

The National Squad comprises of adults who should know what being in the Squad means. Given the 2001 Squad contains no new members, the NOS Mger in his infinite wisdom decided that sending out a "Congratulations you're in the Squad" message was not high on his list of things to do. This message has now been sent and no doubt Phil you were ecstatic to receive it.

I don't think the NOS Mger has to remind Sqd members what being in the Squad is all about at the start of every year. If a Sqd member no longer has the commitment to be in the Sqd then surely they can just pull out???

By the Way, the Sqd was announced - see Dec issue of NZO.

Currently, the NOS Mger finds it difficult to attend to all tasks that this volunteer position entails, in a timely manner. He has said before, and repeats it now, that if someone else suitable wants to do the job, he will quite gladly hand over the reins.

Show Profile  Andrew M Posted: 1 February 2001, 3:44 PM  
The Development Squad is a professional set-up, with a good administrative system.

If it wasnt for the multitude of forms and applications, the squad would just be a small core of dedicated motivated, goal orientated orienteers.

Despite the squads sound administation, I feel that it just adds to the lazy attitudes of the targeted patrons of the squad.

The Development Squad I feel should be a group of individuals that are committed to the goals of the squad itself. Not a mele of youths that feel oblidged to join because of an invite, that only proves to boosts the ego, of a selected individual.

The squad I feel has become too much of a haven for the junior in his/her bubble wrapped world. How much physical training has been done on recent camps?

If the Development Squad is hoping to "prepare juniors to become members of the National Squad", shouldn't it practise placing more responsibility on the juniors.

Have fun running those hills,

Show Profile  Greg Posted: 2 February 2001, 7:56 AM  
Kiss some more ass
Half the problem is the admin, how many of the top members of the D squad turned down the 'offer' because of all the forms they had to fill out. It shouldn't be a choice, you get selected if you don't want to be in the squad you say so not select the squad based on who returns the forms.

Shouldn't the main focus of the D squad be on improving juniors orienteering on a whole not just their physical ability as you have pointed out Andrew. I think the main problem with past camps is that their has been too many soft options, both physically and technically while out training.

At camps shouldn’t the technical side have more focus on it, anyone can do physical training out side of a camp but very few do technical training on maps with coaches outside of a camp.

Maybe if the standard was raised a little so that it becomes a challenge for the younger juniors to get into the squad, rather than fill out a form, them maybe there would be a great flow rate of members from the D squad knocking on the door of the National squad

Show Profile  HeadHoncho Posted: 2 February 2001, 11:15 AM  
So I guess you all thought the 5 km, 4 control route choice exercise with NO CUT OFF was soft ???

O good, i'll double it next time :-)

Show Profile  Andrew M Posted: 3 February 2001, 11:58 AM  
Personally I thought the 5km (500m climb) route choice exercise was rather arderous.

But that was good, as recently there has been a lack of damn hard orienteering activities. It was ggod to see a hard course for once that not only challenged the younger members of the squad, but also more experienced veteren juniors. aka the runoff the map mastero.

BUT hold on there should be even more technical and phyically challenging exercises to "challlenge younger juniors to get into the development squad" (unnamed source).

My first camp was spent in and about Rotorua, getting lost tired and then lost again. I think that such testing camps and events should only strengthen the wills of prospective national squad members.

Show Profile  stu barr Posted: 5 February 2001, 1:03 AM  
I think that the comments of Greg need to be addressed. You say that people can do physical training in there own time, but I bet bugger all do.

You can have all the technical training you want. You can have a big circus sized D Squad camp, with ten weeks of technical training, analysis and evaluation..... but if you can't run as fast as the winner it adds up to sweet fuck all. It may pull you through against the other 3 unfit competitors in the M18 grade at the National champs. But it's not even going to get you in the top 50 at JWOC. Believe me, I know!

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 5 February 2001, 2:18 PM  
There are a couple of interesting issues here..

Firstly the National Squad, there is no doubt it is poorly run, although many thanks to Rob for maintaining it, and there is little benefit of being in it, maybe just some ego satisfaction for those not good enough to be satisfied by anything else.

As previously stated I believe it should be abolished and a coach be appointed, Robbie, to develop talent for international competitions out of the growing pool of elites and older juniors. The older members of the d- squad need to be looked after better and be more involved in the elite community.

The argument about physical/technical training on dSquad camps is interesting and basically the key point is one that, surprisingly, Greg made, the overall standard is too low, particularly the physical standard of some of the senior members.

However I am also disappointed in some of the rather lax attitudes towards technical excellence that are currently being displayed on these camps. There is a general lack of initiative in thinking beyond just the exercises the coachs are setting or the topics they are talking, I would like to see some real hard out enthusiasm.

Be smooth fella's

Show Profile  HeadHoncho Posted: 6 February 2001, 2:35 AM  

No need to suck up to me. Please don't thank me for something you think can be done better.

And I repeat, if there's any squad member who sees little benefit in belonging to the squad or feels they don't deserve to be in the squad, then resign.

So Jamie, if you have this dilemna about belonging to something you think is a waste of time, surely the honest thing to do is withdraw from the squad ???

That has the added bonus of me not having to waste my time on people who may not appreciate it.

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 6 February 2001, 12:41 PM  
Firstly Rob, resigning from the squad is the last thing I want to do. I love orienteering and I love being part of the elite community in New Zealand, I just don't see the need for the exclusivity of the current National squad format.

The "squad" in recent years has been more of a record of past peformance rather than a keen group of people looking to excel. Elite training in New Zealand will function better with peer group organised training, perhaps motivated by an overall elite coach. I feel this format will be more conducive to the development of juniors such as say David Stewart and will have more flexibilty to involve late developing elites such as Mark Lawson.These people bring enthusiasm and change to a sometimes stagnant elite scene.

I believe the most important aspect of an orienteering coach in New Zealand is the capacity to motivate. As peers we can learn a lot off each other in regard to physical,mental and technical training but a good coach would be someone that is always enthusiastic and keen to talk "O". For me for the past couple of years this has been Garden and I am sure this is the case for a few of you, I hope Robbie can serve this purpose equally as well.

Now Number One you raise some interesting points...

Fundraising, I don't believe the purpose of the National Squad is fundraising, the young orienteers in New Zealand are sick of fundraising when they should be working, making money for themselves so they can manage to compete in even regional events, the National Squad may make so much money per event they organise but this is at the expense of workers wages. Even more ironically these wages are much, much, much smaller than those in the National Squad who don't have to help with the fundraising but get much of the benefit of the fundraising. I appreciate this may not be a consideration for you.

Unfortunately this circumstance has arisen due to the inability of the younger New Zealand elites to lift themselves to the ability of the established group, this I admit without doubt or hesitancy, but it is something I hope to address.

Apart from fundraising the administration of the National Squad is geared almost entirely towards the World Champs/World Cup, I look forward to Robs rebuttal. The National Squad Managers reappointment as a World Champs/World Cup Manager would be a much more appropriate title, more reflective of the individuals responsibilities.

I have to question the wisdom of the comment from Number One regarding Robbie. It was an unneccesary destructive comment. I think Robbie if he lifts his workrate and his communication levels, which have been poor so far, has something to offer, particularly, the younger elites in New Zealand.

Number One should take a long hard look at himself and what he wants from orienteering, particularly New Zealand orienteering. He should not knock people that are give and not all take, people that are at least trying to enhance the elite side of the sport. Is there anything that Number One could do for New Zealand orienteering? Like at least turning up to Nationals when in the country. Maybe not to run but at least so young orienteers can put a face to one of their role models, New Zealands greatest ever orienteer.

Show Profile  HeadHoncho Posted: 6 February 2001, 3:28 PM  

I think you need to close this thread too.

I cant resist adding a final piece. Jamie, u said u see very little benefit in being in the squad, so i repeat:

Why are you in it???

Not many people belong to something for no benefit, except for altruistic reasons which i'm sure wouldn't apply here.

So if you're getting no benefit from the squad, why belong?

You can be part of elite orienteering without being in the squad. We won't ostracise you. I can take the criticism of NOS, and some of it is deserved, but i can't so easily accept someone saying they get nothing out of the squad yet still remaining a member of it. Your actions seem to me to be a contradiction to what you are saying.

Sort it out one way or the other.

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 7 February 2001, 1:16 AM  

Alaister....It's not that being in the National Squad means you don't have to fundraise, its more that only people in the National Squad have to fundraise. With regards to your comments on Robbie, I don't question your right to have your opinion of him as I am sure many orienteers do, I just question your decision to air your opinions in this forum.

I regret the difficultys you had in attending the National Champs in 2000, it would have been good to meet you.

As for your offer to Aaron and I to use your house in O-Ringen in 1999. There were severe communication difficulties through a middle person which resulted in the first e-mail message either Aaron or I recieving as being "Aaron and Jamie are useless bastards".... at least it was a sunny/dry o-ringen.

Rob C. I am very disappointed by your comment. I am keen to be involved in New Zealand Elite orienteering in whatever format it is presented as, I am simply trying to question the status quo and invite discussion on other options. I don't think anyone, with the exception of Robbie, has been offended by anything said on this thread. Mind you I can never under-estimate how thin skinned you are becoming.

If you think the current Squad Structure is so effective as to prevent discussion, then I ask you why elite orienteering in New Zealand is perhaps at an all-time low.
If you still want me to resign because of the comments I have passed in this thread, and in New Zealand orienteering, I will, but we will discuss this next time we meet.

I am concerned at your appreciation of other peoples opinions.You have to stop trying to kill discussions, or despoiling them with your ascerbic wit.

Show Profile  HeadHoncho Posted: 7 February 2001, 3:54 AM  

I'm not going to let this go. My comments have been serious and not sarcasm. I'd expect you at least to know the difference.

There is more to elite orienteering than the National Squad. Granted, NOS makes up a large part of elite O in NZ, but my point is you can exist outside the Squad and still be a part of elite orienteering. Current example: Rob J

I'm glad to hear you want to be an elite orienteer but are you listening when I say you don't have to be in the squad to be one. I'm not trying to suppress your opinions on this and I will keep admitting the NOS is not running as well as it could do. How many times do you want me to say it ???

So I will continue to question why you want to belong to a squad that you are getting very little benefit from. You haven't answered that. It is a personal question and nothing to do with squad structure, squad management or elite O in general.

I struggle to understand why someone belongs to something when they get nothing out of it, and there is a viable alternative. If you were putting some energy into helping improve the squad, I might be more understanding, but your current contribution to the squad seems limited to public criticism.

And to be crystal clear - I can accept the criticism and accept that some of it is deserved. So come on Jamie, help make it better or get out of it.

Finally, I would challenge your assertion that elite oreinteering is at an all-time low. You're not long out of nappies and I've been involved in O on and off for 20 years. I can think of many times in the past where elite orienteering in NZ has "struggled", to put it mildly. What are you using as evidence for your assertion? You're disappointed in me? - I'm disappointed that you seem to be making grand statements without much basis of fact.

This year, the number of applications for WOC on the mens side is certainly no less and probably greater than previous recent years, and while we're thin on numbers in the woman, they probably represent the strongest woman we've ever had. Those are the current facts.

Yes - elite O in NZ may not be entirely healthy but at an all-time low??? C'mon Jamie - stop exaggerating in your arguments.

P.S. The nappies comment is facetious. The rest is serious, just to be sure you understand ...

Show Profile  fraser Posted: 7 February 2001, 5:04 AM  
Topics will be closed when there have been no new posts after a few weeks. The "image of o" topic was closed early because it started to get off topic and onto the old favorite of "the timing of the nationals".

If new issues arise during a thread then I encourage people to start a new thread.

Jamie, you seem to be quick to judge that "there is little benefit of being in (the squad)" considering you have been in it less than two months and missed the first squad training oportunity in Waiuku.

It also seems that if you had bothered talking to Robbie, the national squad coach, you would realise that his vision of what the squad is and should be is remarkably similar to yours.

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 7 February 2001, 5:53 AM  
I want to be involved in every aspect of New Zealand elite orienteering, whether I deem it effective or not. The situation won't improve if everyone just ups and leaves.

I am criticising the squad format beacuse I personally think it needs change. Through trying to facilitate discussion on this point I am in no way personally criticising any of those involved in the squad, and I don't know how my words can be interpreted as such.

It seems however that I am the only one who is unhappy with the status quo.

The fact that Robbie and I may or may not have similar visions Fraser is irrelevant. These things need to be stated not thought, the fact is there are many orienteers out there who are not in the know as we are.

I am quite upset at your reaction to my letter Rob,and I never had any doubt of your seriousness. You have given no comment at all on many of my points and have instead being more concerned with obtaining my resignation. The mere fact that I have written what I have shows that I am concerned about elite orienteering within New Zealand, the level of which I do not judge by the number of World Champs applicants.

It seems I have no choice but to resign, although I do so reluctantly. I look forward to a time when we can have reasoned discussions about the development of elite orienteering in New Zealand.

Show Profile  stu barr Posted: 7 February 2001, 7:25 AM  
It is a sad day when the manager of the national squad's insecurities lead to the dismissal of one of New Zealand orienteering’s newest shining stars from his own squad.

I tried to keep my nose out of this strain. I did this because I agree with many of Jamie's points and arguments, but do not agree that this is the correct way to raise them.

I agree even less with Rob C's entire approach to this discussion. You have been completely unreasonable in your approach and I believe ridiculously immature in your effort to save face in an argument that you seem to have to bring to a personal level (again). Rather than use Jamie’s points as an eye opener, to an area of which you seem to have convinced yourself doesn’t exist, you simply disregarded them. Seems like typical management to me!

And to number one - You’ll always be number one; motivation for most of us, but sadly just a tall poppie for others.

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