Thoughts on Elite O in Israel – Part 3   Leave a comment

We have an athlete problem, and we have a coaching problem. We also have a planning/strategy problem, which is in some ways similar to the situation in our country: The government, which is replaced every 4 years (in the best case) or 2.5 years (on average), either makes decisions only for the short term, or makes good long-term decisions, but isn't in place for enough time to pressure the bureaucracy/unions/bigbusiness into implementing them.
The national team is managed exactly like that. The ISOA council, elected every 2 years, makes decisions for a one-year period, such as appointing coaches and setting a budget. It then micro-manages the coaches all year, wasting time that should be spent on strategy, and involving people who don't have enough knowledge of elite orienteering. And then, the next year, everything starts over again. And I have to admit that it wasn't better when I was ISOA chairman.
This is what I think should be done: Decide on priorities, and set a budget for elite orienteering for a period of 3 years (at least). Then appoint either one person, or a small committee, who are qualified to do the job of managing the national teams – which means they should have knowledge, experience, and management abilities. Set long-term goals, and then give them a free rein over that period (subject to oversight, of course) to do the job within the budget: create a system, appoint coaches, send orienteers to international events, and everything else involved with elite orienteering.
If it's one person, pay him part-time for the work. If it's a committee, make sure they get some compensation for their time and effort – we don't have the resources for more. Don't get in their way, unless they try to do something really stupid, but make sure to get the right people there in the first place. I'm sure that a few years onwards it will be worth it.

Posted 02/09/2009 by dchissick in Uncategorized

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