Trafford Open Medal Meeting - 26th April 2015

The group was represented by only 4 athletes - Lauren, Frank, Will and Matt who all performed really well for their club, Stockport Harriers. In genuine, multi-event fashion, our four athletes competed in sprints, hurdles, middle distance, long jump, javelin and shot events. This is correct athlete development and I am very proud of the fact that these young athletes are comfortable with turning up at meetings and trying their very best at a multitude of events. I fully appreciate how frustrating it must be to be competing against athletes who are specialising early. The model we work to is a late specialisation model and to stick to it requires a lot of patience, understanding, maturity and the ability to resist the glory of the here and now in favour of long term athlete centred objectives. The amount of time we are able to invest into each event is spread thinly due to: the number of events we train for; the very limited number of hours all of our athletes invest into the sport at present (3 hours max. - quite rightly because we want them to be involved in other sports as well at this stage) and factors outside of our control such as the weather, other commitments etc etc.

The results are attached below and there is a good analysis of them on the Stockport Harrier website. I'm more interested in the stories behind the performances. Congratulations to Lauren who continues to have a wonderfully open mind to her long term development and added the 1200m, to her very long portfolio of events, that she has already competed in, from an early age. In all the time that I have coached her, she has never said that she doesn't want to do an event - real, genuine understanding of where we are going with this. William & Frank are developing into experienced athletes who are competing for all the right reasons and thus there is more consistency in their performances and most importantly their technique. The more effort they put into their technique and the more experience they gain of different events, the more PBs will be achieved. It gives me great satisfaction seeing these two fabulous lads having fun competing and giving it their all across run, jump and throw.

I've left Matt to last for a reason. He is a really good example of all that I am talking about above. In a relatively short period of time, he has willingly and with a great positive attitude trained and competed in a multitude of events. Every time he gives it his very best, understanding that it is all part of of his long term development. He has shown potential in numerous events, but thankfully we have resisted the temptation of the glory of the here and now and he continues to multi-event. At 14 he competed for the very first time in hurdles - with a limited amount of training, he has now got a UK ranking of 36th in the UK! Congratulations Mathew, extremely well deserved. Natural, maturation progression - not progression through specialisation.

A final comment - Bill and Stewart's coaching input is enormous and I thank them again for the time and effort they put into the group.