After watching the world championships this past week, it makes me wonder, where’s all the analysis? Why aren’t their people breaking down the meet, the good, the bad, the ugly? Every other sport has great analysis.
It’s because our sport has a problem with honesty. Pole Vault, like the rest of track, wants to paint a picture of a friendly nice sport, where everyone is kind and caring. Everyone hugs each other after every event and no one can be criticized. And then there’s that topic you are never suppose to talk about, PED’s. Did everyone forget that track is a competitive sport and no one is perfect. Our sport is filled with come from behind wins like Isinbayeva’s first Olympic gold and world record in Athens 2004, and terrible chokes like Renaud’s loss in Brazil 2016. Why don’t we get these stories? Is the IAAF and USATF preventing true reporting from happening?
Anytime anyone starts to analyze an event or an athlete’s performance there is tremendous backlash. Weird because people have no problem writing nasty comments on high school athlete's jumps. Or ripping coaches for they way they coach those athletes. However the elites are untouchable? Why? If we can’t analyze these events and athletes then how does it become more popular. How do we create a buzz.
Talking heads like Steven A. Smith, Max Kellerman, and Ariel Helwani help popularize a sport and educate the fans. Ariel Helwani was one of the first people to cover MMA (UFC being the most well known MMA organization in the U.S.) and help educate fans and provide the stories of the great wins losses and journeys that athletes go on. People like Ariel were needed for the sport to grow, and his stories were never edited or manipulated by the UFC. He was even kicked out of a press conference once.
Many people think that only someone who has jumped “high” should analyze jumps. Is this how it works in other sports? As an example Steven A. Smith played college basketball, but nothing past that level. He never played pro. He also analyzes football, boxing, and other sports that he has never played at a high level. And yet he is one of the most well respected analysts out there.
Let’s talk about honesty again. People are analyzing these events and athletes anyway, just behind closed doors. The thing is if it was out in the open then it would help educate people about our sport so they could understand why we love it. And then maybe they would love it too. If an athlete blew through their pole, and didn’t go up on the next jump. Wouldn’t it be fair criticism of the coach and athlete to say they should have gone up? And with this analysis people would learn more
about the sport.
We need analysis! And anyone out there that wants to do it, should start. And don’t let the negative comments stop you. You’ll find that there are way more people that will be interested in what you have to say than the people who get pissed.