Control in South Africa

As I sit here in South Africa, I can’t think of one unifying theme to write about this week, maybe it’s the sun and the whole atmosphere relaxing me to the point where my brains actually allowed itself to turn down a few notches, or maybe its because we’re training this afternoon I haven’t had my mct oil yet today. Either way, I’m just going to start writing about some of the things that occurred this week so far, then I’ll try and pull it all together at the end some how.

Plane Food

I don’t think there’s any single person on the planet who would argue that the food they serve on board air craft nowadays would constitute a ‘good meal’. Not only does it usually taste garbage but sitting at just under 90kg of all man, the portion size leaves more than a little to be desired if you ask me.  So if this means I have to travel with a kilo of cooked and seasoned mince beef, 10 cooked sausages, a variety of nuts and raw vegetables, then that’s what needs to be done to see me through my 16 hour flight.

I actually had a small panic at security in Heathrow when I thought the peanut butter smothered inside my pepper halves was going to get confiscated due to the possibility of being an explosive based paste. Luckily this was not the case and all snacks were allowed on board the plane.

Pole Courier

Anyone who has ever tried to travel anywhere with a 20kg package that is over 5 metres long knows what a pain in a$$ it is. As I semi-predicted last week, the poles did not turn up on time. They got held up in customs at Cape Town airport. This morning was supposed to be our first big pole vault session since arriving here Monday afternoon, we moved it to the afternoon to give the poles that extra chance of arriving so that our training plans for the whole trip don’t have to change too much, but don’t worry, there’s already a plan b, c, d, e, and f in place in case this doesn’t occur.

*Saturday addendum – The poles only arrived this morning, Saturday, the day after “the first big pole vault session”. Some went with plan d, others are vaulting now as per plan f

Steve Fudge

A quick conversation with Steve Fudge, coach to James Dasaolu and Adam Gemili among others, earlier this week revealed his innermost thoughts on training camps, he hates them. He says that training camps can be a nightmare for coaches. You’re taking you’re athletes out of the environment where you have control over near enough everything, and taking them where the track may be busier, you may not have the access to weights when you want, Certain equipment may not be available, etc. He says he struggles for about 2 and a half weeks before returning to the level of control that he prefers, then he will happily admit that the camp is going pretty well and he’s glad he came. Luckily his time here will last three weeks.


So in order to try and tie this together I’m going to pull in two quotes which I find myself going back to regularly, the first:

Control the controllable’s

If there’s something you can do to control a situation, or an aspect of a situation, do it. Don’t leaves things up to chance and you won’t need to be lucky.

Obviously there are some situations where all aspects can’t be controlled so:

If you can’t accept it, change it. If you can’t change it, accept it.

In the same vein, if you can make a change and control a situation then do it, but if its beyond your control and you can’t do anything about it, then you just have to accept it. Stressing and worrying doesn’t help anyone. This one was told to me by ex Head Coach of Welsh Athletics John Dagata who lead us as a team to a successful last Commonwealth Games, he liked a good quote.

More blogging about vaguely South Africa related subjects next week. Shares, comments and feedback all gratefully received.

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