Athletes today are way better. Uh, nah.

Topics without replies are pruned every 365 days. Not moderated.

Moderator: Dux

Post Reply
User avatar
seeahill
Font of All Wisdom, God Damn it
Posts: 7722
Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2005 6:07 pm
Location: The Deep Blue Sea

Athletes today are way better. Uh, nah.

Post by seeahill » Sun Dec 16, 2018 1:41 am

Check out this Youtube video. Warning: it's 15 minutes long.
(Boris, I'd like to discuss swimming, cuz he doesn't mention several new rules.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8COaMKbNrX0
Image

User avatar
Wild Bill
Sergeant Commanding
Posts: 5418
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 2:26 am

Re: Athletes today are way better. Uh, nah.

Post by Wild Bill » Sun Dec 16, 2018 10:08 am

Interesting video.

User avatar
Turdacious
Lifetime IGer
Posts: 20598
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 6:54 am
Location: Upon the eternal throne of the great Republic of Turdistan

Re: Athletes today are way better. Uh, nah.

Post by Turdacious » Sun Dec 16, 2018 3:52 pm

Lots of different types of rules changes.


"Liberalism is arbitrarily selective in its choice of whose dignity to champion." Adrian Vermeule

Boris
Top
Posts: 1517
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 1:54 am

Re: Athletes today are way better. Uh, nah.

Post by Boris » Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:11 am

seeahill wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 1:41 am
Check out this Youtube video. Warning: it's 15 minutes long.
(Boris, I'd like to discuss swimming, cuz he doesn't mention several new rules.)
It's interesting - I talk about this with people from time to time. It's been a while since I've seen this video or read anything about it (and I don't feel like watching it again) so I apologize if I miss major points.

I'd say, yes, swimmers are generally getting faster. The top of the top at all levels is stronger across the board. Expectations have changed and that shifts the psychological game - if the expectation is that, for example, a sub 20second 50yard freestyle is very attainable, you'll have more people attain it.

I coach a high school girls team. Many of the girls on my team now would have been strong performers on my high school (boys) team in the 80s. BUT, overall a good/solid swimmer from the 70s or 80s would still be a good/solid swimmer now.

#1) There are A LOT more teams, more swimmers, and more and better facilities for said teams and swimmers. If you have more kids getting into the sport, you're starting with a larger 'pool' of athletes to work and after you sift out the weak, you're going find some real diamonds. The mutants are mutants - no arguing that.

#2) In a sport where a second can mean a lot, suit and goggle technology matters. They got rid of the full body shark skin suits for a reason, and although they dialed it back a lot, the coverage is still significantly more than it was 20 or so years ago (pre-full body wet suit era).

#3) Streamline & underwater dolphin-kick. There were huge time drops after everyone started doing underwater dolphin kicking. Short butterfly, backstroke, and freestyle events became an underwater dolphin contests until they limited it to 15 yd/m. I don't think any world class swimmers do a flutter kick off the wall anymore - like, no one.

#4) Backstroke turns. It used to be that you had to touch the wall w. your hand prior to turning. You don't have to anymore. I don't know when that changed, but it's huge time advantage equivalent to swimming a meter less each length.

#5) Strength Training. Swim coaches are a pretty conservative bunch, but they've started to come around in this area.

#6) Pool technology. Pools are bigger and faster. A bigger/better pool disperses waves better. Less waves = less interference for swimmers and faster swimming. There are probably other things in this area that I just haven't bothered to keep up with...

User avatar
seeahill
Font of All Wisdom, God Damn it
Posts: 7722
Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2005 6:07 pm
Location: The Deep Blue Sea

Re: Athletes today are way better. Uh, nah.

Post by seeahill » Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:39 am

Boris wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:11 am
seeahill wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 1:41 am
Check out this Youtube video. Warning: it's 15 minutes long.
(Boris, I'd like to discuss swimming, cuz he doesn't mention several new rules.)
It's interesting - I talk about this with people from time to time. It's been a while since I've seen this video or read anything about it (and I don't feel like watching it again) so I apologize if I miss major points.

I'd say, yes, swimmers are generally getting faster. The top of the top at all levels is stronger across the board. Expectations have changed and that shifts the psychological game - if the expectation is that, for example, a sub 20second 50yard freestyle is very attainable, you'll have more people attain it.

I coach a high school girls team. Many of the girls on my team now would have been strong performers on my high school (boys) team in the 80s. BUT, overall a good/solid swimmer from the 70s or 80s would still be a good/solid swimmer now.

#1) There are A LOT more teams, more swimmers, and more and better facilities for said teams and swimmers. If you have more kids getting into the sport, you're starting with a larger 'pool' of athletes to work and after you sift out the weak, you're going find some real diamonds. The mutants are mutants - no arguing that.

#2) In a sport where a second can mean a lot, suit and goggle technology matters. They got rid of the full body shark skin suits for a reason, and although they dialed it back a lot, the coverage is still significantly more than it was 20 or so years ago (pre-full body wet suit era).

#3) Streamline & underwater dolphin-kick. There were huge time drops after everyone started doing underwater dolphin kicking. Short butterfly, backstroke, and freestyle events became an underwater dolphin contests until they limited it to 15 yd/m. I don't think any world class swimmers do a flutter kick off the wall anymore - like, no one.

#4) Backstroke turns. It used to be that you had to touch the wall w. your hand prior to turning. You don't have to anymore. I don't know when that changed, but it's huge time advantage equivalent to swimming a meter less each length.

#5) Strength Training. Swim coaches are a pretty conservative bunch, but they've started to come around in this area.

#6) Pool technology. Pools are bigger and faster. A bigger/better pool disperses waves better. Less waves = less interference for swimmers and faster swimming. There are probably other things in this area that I just haven't bothered to keep up with...
Thanks Boris

The guy in the video shows how flip turns and gutters that minimize waves made times faster. OK, I had both those things. But I wasn't allowed the underwater dolphin kick on the start now on the turns. I think that single rule would have improved my 50 and 100 literally by seconds. (Well, .75 seconds in the 50.)

Fly was my second stroke. I was very very fast for 50 yards,(put me in the relay, coach) but ran out of gas on the 100. Dolphin kick was my strength. If I could have used that in freestyle sprints I think I could have gone from a pretty fair Division One swimmer to a national class sprinter. But ... well, you know how it is: the older I get, the faster I was.
Image

User avatar
seeahill
Font of All Wisdom, God Damn it
Posts: 7722
Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2005 6:07 pm
Location: The Deep Blue Sea

Re: Athletes today are way better. Uh, nah.

Post by seeahill » Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:48 am

Oh, and we didn't wear goggles. (I remember trying to study in college and all the pages in a book had halos around them.) But I don't really see the advantage of goggles. Remember, my start was above water, all friction that would have ripped goggles off your head. Anyone who tried to wear them gave up after a couple of practice sessions.

Now, with the new start, a guy could keep the goggles in place. But what's the advantage, other than seeing your turn better.
Image

User avatar
Really Big Strong Guy
Top
Posts: 1090
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2007 2:49 pm
Location: Doesn't matter

Re: Athletes today are way better. Uh, nah.

Post by Really Big Strong Guy » Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:47 pm

I think it really depends on the sport.

Reality - sports nutrition, sports recovery and athletic training has improved. The access to real pharma grade PEDs has diminished; but the knowledge associated with "what works" and "how to beat the test" has improved exponentially.

Boxing. Not sure; actually think the quality of the champions today is way watered down compared to previous champions.

Football. Size/speed/etc has improved dramatically.
Basketball. Not sure. There are way more athletic large people these days.
Baseball. Hard to really tell. We have seen a major shift from different kinds of drugs (speed vs. PEDs )

Strength sports - access to quality drugs is less, but the numbers keep going up.

I don't know. I just don't know. Different times and more knowledge always helps.
The cool thing about training is that becoming more sexy is just a side effect........

Boris
Top
Posts: 1517
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 1:54 am

Re: Athletes today are way better. Uh, nah.

Post by Boris » Thu Dec 20, 2018 4:06 am

seeahill wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:48 am
Now, with the new start, a guy could keep the goggles in place. But what's the advantage, other than seeing your turn better.
Being able to see is big, not just for turns, but for body position and breathing. (though I don't know if there's any research on these things - I'm basing this on my own experience)

Most significantly, the ability to train more is huge.

As far as better goggles = faster swimming, no - I overstated that. Good enough is good enough.

User avatar
Turdacious
Lifetime IGer
Posts: 20598
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 6:54 am
Location: Upon the eternal throne of the great Republic of Turdistan

Re: Athletes today are way better. Uh, nah.

Post by Turdacious » Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:00 pm

With the possible exception of baseball (which has gotten better in the post steroid era), every major team sport has gotten worse from a fans perspective. The games and rivalries are sanitized, athletes are cookie cutter, and there is no room for old school enforcers. With the exception of draymond green, I can’t think of one charismatic athlete with an outsized personality outside of combat sports.
"Liberalism is arbitrarily selective in its choice of whose dignity to champion." Adrian Vermeule

User avatar
Fat Cat
Jesus Christ®
Posts: 38145
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2005 4:54 pm
Location: 鬼ヶ島

Re: Athletes today are way better. Uh, nah.

Post by Fat Cat » Thu Dec 20, 2018 7:07 pm

Turdacious wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:00 pm
I can’t think of one charismatic athlete with an outsized personality outside of combat sports.
Is the advent of legitimate professional combat sports part of the problem? Guys that used to get channeled to other sports may now have an outlet in MMA, grappling, kickboxing, etc. Jon Jones brothers are all pro ball players, so they are drawing on the same pool of athletic talent.
Image
"Prepare your hearts as a fortress, for there will be no other." -Francisco Pizarro González

User avatar
Turdacious
Lifetime IGer
Posts: 20598
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 6:54 am
Location: Upon the eternal throne of the great Republic of Turdistan

Re: Athletes today are way better. Uh, nah.

Post by Turdacious » Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:49 am

Fat Cat wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 7:07 pm
Turdacious wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:00 pm
I can’t think of one charismatic athlete with an outsized personality outside of combat sports.
Is the advent of legitimate professional combat sports part of the problem? Guys that used to get channeled to other sports may now have an outlet in MMA, grappling, kickboxing, etc. Jon Jones brothers are all pro ball players, so they are drawing on the same pool of athletic talent.
Possibly. I think a bigger part is that pay in combat sports are gate and PPV driven— the athletes have to help bring the crowd. Not the same in other team sports.
"Liberalism is arbitrarily selective in its choice of whose dignity to champion." Adrian Vermeule

User avatar
Turdacious
Lifetime IGer
Posts: 20598
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 6:54 am
Location: Upon the eternal throne of the great Republic of Turdistan

Re: Athletes today are way better. Uh, nah.

Post by Turdacious » Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:49 am

Fat Cat wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 7:07 pm
Turdacious wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:00 pm
I can’t think of one charismatic athlete with an outsized personality outside of combat sports.
Is the advent of legitimate professional combat sports part of the problem? Guys that used to get channeled to other sports may now have an outlet in MMA, grappling, kickboxing, etc. Jon Jones brothers are all pro ball players, so they are drawing on the same pool of athletic talent.
Possibly. I think a bigger part is that pay in combat sports are gate and PPV driven— the athletes have to help bring the crowd. Not the same in other team sports where PR teams rule. Fans want the end of this run, not just the run itself:

"Liberalism is arbitrarily selective in its choice of whose dignity to champion." Adrian Vermeule

JimZipCode
Top
Posts: 1428
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:48 pm

Re: Athletes today are way better. Uh, nah.

Post by JimZipCode » Sat Dec 22, 2018 4:45 pm

Turdacious wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:00 pm
I can’t think of one charismatic athlete with an outsized personality outside of combat sports.
Ray Lewis retired, but wasn't that long ago.
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman

JimZipCode
Top
Posts: 1428
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:48 pm

Re: Athletes today are way better. Uh, nah.

Post by JimZipCode » Sat Dec 22, 2018 5:13 pm

Really Big Strong Guy wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:47 pm
Football. Size/speed/etc has improved dramatically.
Basketball. Not sure.
Oh hell yes on basketball.

It's obscured a little bit by the central importance of skills; there's always a place for the player who can shoot and dribble. And a lot of basketball skill is cognitive; "vision", spatial awareness, recognition/anticipation, etc etc. A guy who is great in those areas can find a way to compete without great size.

But: Lebron is a 6'8" 250# "small forward". Keven Durant is a 6'9" 240# shooting guard. Teeny tiny Steph Curry is 6'3"; about the same size as David Thompson was 40 yrs ago. Dirk Nowitzki was about the same height and 20# heavier than Kareem – and floating around the perimeter nailing three's.

It's not that there weren't big players back in the day, not at all. The great players from yesteryear, they generally have sizes that would fit right in among today's players. I think the thing is, now EVERY team in the NBA has guys who could match up with those older great players. Where great size was clusters, now it's evened out. Where it really showed up was on defense: made the court effectively smaller. NBA had to do some rules changes to open up offenses.
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman

JohnDoe
Staff Sergeant
Posts: 281
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 6:35 pm

Re: Athletes today are way better. Uh, nah.

Post by JohnDoe » Sat Dec 29, 2018 9:17 pm

Crew is an interesting thought experiment. Guys have been tall for a bit, but now they're tall and thicker. Like hoops, the heroic 'little' guy in the 2004 US mens eight was 6'1 in a boat that averaged 6'4+. The Canadian mens eight in 2008 was 6'5 and 225 or so, if I remember right.

-Wooden shells with steel riggers to all carbon fiber shells, but the hull design has changed too. Still long and thin, but a marine architect would say they're different.
-Wooden oars with 'pencil' blades (very narrow and long) to carbon fiber oars with a much more efficient blade shape. Much higher load, which changed technique markedly and likely makes athletes more muscular from the training alone.
-And all the other training and access stuff. Year round, bigger pool, and so on.

Depending on conditions, the US high school national champions in the eight are usually the same speed as the 1960 German gold medalists.

User avatar
Turdacious
Lifetime IGer
Posts: 20598
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2005 6:54 am
Location: Upon the eternal throne of the great Republic of Turdistan

Re: Athletes today are way better. Uh, nah.

Post by Turdacious » Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:06 am

JimZipCode wrote:
Sat Dec 22, 2018 5:13 pm
Really Big Strong Guy wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:47 pm
Football. Size/speed/etc has improved dramatically.
Basketball. Not sure.
Oh hell yes on basketball.

It's obscured a little bit by the central importance of skills; there's always a place for the player who can shoot and dribble. And a lot of basketball skill is cognitive; "vision", spatial awareness, recognition/anticipation, etc etc. A guy who is great in those areas can find a way to compete without great size.

But: Lebron is a 6'8" 250# "small forward". Keven Durant is a 6'9" 240# shooting guard. Teeny tiny Steph Curry is 6'3"; about the same size as David Thompson was 40 yrs ago. Dirk Nowitzki was about the same height and 20# heavier than Kareem – and floating around the perimeter nailing three's.

It's not that there weren't big players back in the day, not at all. The great players from yesteryear, they generally have sizes that would fit right in among today's players. I think the thing is, now EVERY team in the NBA has guys who could match up with those older great players. Where great size was clusters, now it's evened out. Where it really showed up was on defense: made the court effectively smaller. NBA had to do some rules changes to open up offenses.
They can match up size wise, but can they match up otherwise? We don't know if the modern players can play the old game because they've never experienced the nasty physical play of the old NBA. Dave Cowans was a 6'8" HOF Center who was undersized even in his era and still led the league in rebounds multiple times. Bob Pettit played multiple seasons with a broken hand (and used his cast as a weapon because he could). And with today's rules, how would the greatest players of yesteryear compete (Dr. J, Magic, Kareem, Wilt, Larry, MJ, Russell, etc...)?
"Liberalism is arbitrarily selective in its choice of whose dignity to champion." Adrian Vermeule

Post Reply