I was watching the ninth leg of the decathlon of the London Olympics. It focused on the javelin. The best performance was about 76 metres while the weakest bordered around 50m. The differential is quite significant and is evidence of the comparative strengths of each decathlete in each of the 10 events: three jumps, three throws, and four runs. One weak link can affect the whole chain of performance, through over-training or under-training.
World record holder Ashton Eaton (USA) won gold (8,869 points) in the decathlon, while American teammate Trey Hardee picked up the silver. Cuba's Leonel Suarez claimed bronze and was 346 points behind Eaton.
Decathlon legends Bruce Jenner (USA) and Daley Thompson (UK) were regarded as the ‘Best Athlete In the World’ when they each broke world records. The cumulative points for all 10 disciplines describe the overall performance of each competitor. Thus, they attempt to score as many points as they can for each sport however good or better they are. Often, the decathlete has a few pet events that they capitalize on. What shows up clearly is if they are better jumpers, throwers or runners. Therefore, the extreme difference in distances (100m versus 1,500m) tests the limits of running for each decathlete. Each sport involves long hours honing the skills and techniques required for each discipline. Therefore, it is a grueling sport where total time spent to train can be enormous. When considering sports like biathlon, triathlon, Modern Pentathlon and the decathlon – there is so much to do to display ‘higher, faster and stronger’.
Leadership Lessons: How much hardship can you endure? When in a long-term project, how do you remain patient and committed to completing the task? Do you focus on enhancing your strengths or doing your best in all your abilities and competencies? How often do you address your competencies, or lack of it?