Tag Archives: Sports fan

Attitude Reflects Leadership: A Pre-Title IX mentality in a Post-Title IX World Part I

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By Katrina M. Smith, MBA
Written: June 17, 2013

It’s funny. I turn on the television to channel 171 (the get fit channel) and other cable stations and I see mostly women participating in aerobics, Insanity workouts, jogging, Tae Bo, yoga, zumba, and a variety of overly energetic workout programs. The reasons they workout seem to echo the same messages as those voiced in a Pre-Title IX world: “I want to lose weight.” “I want to get thin.” “I want to stay healthy.” “I want to look great.” “I want more energy.”

I suppose these reasons are good and all. Then again, I cannot help but wonder, just how sustainable are these goals? This is the 21st century. Why are women still talking like it’s 1950? Aside from the “Biggest Loser,” why is there such a low presence of competitive workout programs on television? How does this lack of competitive programs affect the psyche of women in a Post-Title IX World?

Then I noticed the age of many of the women on the screen. They hail from the Baby Boom and Generation X. Baby Boomers were born prior to 1972, 9-27 years before Title IX was drafted. At a young age, boomer girls were taught that dresses were the standard uniform of a woman and sports were reserved for men. This is a far cry from today where we see tennis greats, Serena, Venus, and Maria, demonstrating that women can play hard, sweat, and compete while looking beautiful and stylish in a dress. No, boomers were taught the same message as generations before them- to maintain their appearance for their male counterparts and society. Presentation is everything they say. Workout but don’t sweat.

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Late Baby Boomers and GenX, the sons and daughters of the Silent Generation (1925 – 1944) and early Baby Boomers, were kids at the time Title IX was written. The statute was barely in effect during their developmental years. GenXers dealt with conflicting ideologies. Title IX gave them the freedom to engage in sport and a competitive atmosphere. Meanwhile, their female teachers, the Baby Boomers and Silent Generation, continued to perpetuate ideologies that constrained and discouraged women from sport. So, while Flo-Jo, Jackie Joyner, Evelyn Ashford, and Gail Devers were blazing the track getting gold medals, other women were out Jazzercising and doing Tae Bo.

On the one hand, it’s good to see women doing some form of physical activity to maintain their health. Still, I’d like to see more women above 35 engaging in sport. Perhaps my generation, GenY, will be the generation to profoundly change women’s participation and attitudes towards sport.

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Olympic Predictions- Sprinters

It’s July 25, 2012.  The sun has set.  The clock is ticking.  We are now in the final hours until that majestic Olympic torch is ignited to commence the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England.  What can we hope for in this year’s games for Track & Field?

One can only imagine.

Over the past four years, athletes have trained religiously, day after day exerting impressive efforts per run, jump, throw, and vault.  They have endured the treacherous hills of cross training, strengthened their muscles by weightlifting and resistance training, undergone exhausting pace work, sped through explosive sprint work, and more.   They worked through the pain and will soon enter the world’s stage to receive considerable gains consisting of recognition, admiration, and acknowledgement from their countrymen and fellow competitors.

Before the games begin, here are my predictions for this year’s Olympic Games.

Predictions- Sprint Picks

Men’s
100m- Usain Bolt of Jamaica: 9.4 world record
On paper, Bolts performance in Beijing can be considered epic.  However, visually, it appears he did not run to his maximum potential in 2008.  He coasted the last 40 meters which is unheard of in a 100m Olympic race.  9.7 was fast…and since running 9.7, he’s run a 9.58.  9.58 is amazing but his speed waned the last 20 meters as he looked over his shoulders to measure the distance between him and the other competitors.  Once he was satisfied with the idea that he would win the final, he celebrated for ten meters.

Bottomline:  Usain can go faster if he reserves his moment of celebration until AFTER he crosses the line.  He should have run 9.4 in Beijing.  I think he will in London.

200m- Usain Bolt- Gold
Bolt will no doubt win gold.  Will he go sub-19.19?  Based on his 100m time, he should.

400m- LaShawn Merrit- Gold
Although media continues to hover a dark cloud over Merrit, he should be able to break up the darkness with his shinning performance.

110m Hurdles:  Dayron Robles of Cuba- Gold & World Record
So incredible!  This performance says all:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DaUxXvl-uY.

400m Hurdles:  Javier Culson Perez of Puerto Rico- Gold
If he can keep his form, maintain his steps, and stay strong, he should do well.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syHRw7b26Nk

Women’s
100m- Carmelita Jeter- Gold.
The 100m is death defying race.  Any day, the greatest runner can get snatched, clipped, or falter at the start.  Jamaica has an outstanding lineup of sprinters that will definitely give Jeter a run for her money.  Their times this year have been arguably more consistent (around 10.8-11.1) compared to Jeter.  However, Jeter’s times have been progressive.  Each time she steps on the track, her time lowers.  I suspect she will come out on top in this event.

200m- Allison Felix- Gold
Felix performance at the Olympic Trials was dynamic and jaw dropping.  She devastated the field that day and will do the same in London.  Will she break Flo-Jo’s record?  Not this time.

400m- Sanya Richards-Ross- Gold
Would have been nice for Sanya and Allison to face-off in the 400m this year, but with Felix (and myself) out of the picture, Mrs. Ross has the track to herself.  More exciting than gold, we will have to wait and see what time she runs.  Will she go for a 48?  Will she PR?  She’s more than capable.  (I’ll see you in four years Sanya)

100m Hurdles- LoLo Jones- Gold
LoLo just needs to stay on her feet, run a clean race (no hurdles hit), and cross the line to seal her gold.  In Beijing, she suffered the “agony of defeat,” when she clipped the ninth hurdle, opening the door to the rest of the field.  Tragic!  Today’s a new day!   LoLo can win this.  Concentrate LoLo!  Concentrate!

400m Hurdles- Lashinda Demus- Gold
I’ve known Lashinda a long time.  Bantam year 1994 to be exact.  Since then, I have always said Lashinda is a wise runner.  She’s patient, focused, driven, strategic, and calm.  Her work ethic is impeccable.  Based on these attributes, I’m not surprised she turned to the hurdles and won gold in World Championships.  I pray she does the same in London.  Go girl!

I may be a little biased in my picks on the women’s side  (GO USA!) but what can I say?  The US, for the individual runs, is a force to be reckoned. 

Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for our sprint relay.  Jamaica will win the 4x100m.

More predictions to come!