SOME 40 coaches and sport officials yesterday identified the need to employ professional organisations like the Michael Johnson Performance (MJP) across a wider section of the T&T sport landscape. This is in order to assist the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (T&TOC) and T&T athletes and coaches to strive for the TTOC’s goal of 10 golds by 2024.

Olympic legend Michael Johnson, CEO of MJP, and his team of Lance Walker (MJP performance director) and Lindsey Anderson (MJP performance specialist) led a full-day workshop at TTOC Olympic House on Abercromby Street, Port of Spain yesterday. The programme had as its main objective, striving for solutions pertinent to the T&T athlete and local coaching experience and the sporting environment here.

Currently in its fourth year of partnership with the TTOC, MJP has provided scientific and state-of-the-art methodologies and technical support to T&T’s top athletes at its world-class facilities headquartered in Dallas, in the United States. That help from abroad has been supplemented here by MJP with many different camps and workshops over the last four years.

Yesterday, Johnson zeroed in on the coaches’ side of the equation, for the long-term development of T&T’s athletes.

“This workshop today focused on the next four to eight years on how we can leverage the resources and assets unique to T&T - the athletes, coaches, facilities - and how do we develop all of those services and a plan to provide the type of support that athletes would need to compete on a global scale in the next four to eight years,” Johnson said.

Coaches concentrated their discussions and focus yesterday on Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) and some of its elements which include grassroots development, talent identification, integration of academia and sport; evaluation of and planning for athletes; and maximising available facilities.

Today, Johnson, Walker and Anderson will conduct a workshop for athletes, engaging them in discussions and strategies about high performance lifestyle choices and the high performance mindset and mental skill.
“We will be listening to the athletes and what the challenges are, then we can set about forming solutions to those obstacles,” Johnson said.