My Trip To China Part 7: Some Closing Thoughts


I’m going to wrap up this blog series by saying that I found my trip to China to be one of the more exciting things I’ve done as a coach and I learned quite a bit despite having a very limited grasp of the language. I believe that China can be dominant in the sport, not just in throwing and long distance events, but also in the sprints and jumps. With China’s immense population (1.35 billion), population dynamics would suggest that they should have some people with genetic predispositions for elite success in every event. The problem is that in many events, especially the sprints, the percentage of the total population that will have the physical requirements necessary to succeed at the highest level will be relatively low. Despite the low percentage though, there should still be a decent size group of people with the physical tools just simply because the large population will yield a large absolute number of outliers. To take advantage of this though, will require better talent identification and / or improving socio-economic standards in the more remote parts of China. This will help ensure that those individuals actually have the opportunity to participate and succeed in sports. There success won’t just be linked to talent identification though. China will also need to continue their commitment to educating their national team coaches and making better use of their huge advantages in resources. China is a sleeping giant on the world athletic stage and I think that there Beijing performance (where they actually won the medal count) is actually just scratching the surface of what the country is capable of.