A friend of mine has used the analogy of a running race to describe how he believes Nationals Standards will appear for families. As he pretends to be a sporty type he has used the running race to describe this.
Imagine a race….
There is a start line but because of timing and a range of circumstances some of the racers have broken the start and have a significant lead, some are right on the line, some are behind and some well behind- none the less the race starts-sound fair?- too bad, the race is on it is 8000 metres, after every thousand metres the races are placed, a megaphone screams out their place "1st, 2nd, 3rd... last!" Some of the very slow runners actually started disadvantaged, they came in late, they had never run a race before, bottom line is they are slower runners than the first few who incidentally had run plenty of races, were well nourished, had water stops along the way, knew how to use their energy (and prior knowledge) well.
As you can imagine as the race goes on the gaps widen (how could it not?)- Coaches are allowed on the track- they do their best with every runner, those in the lead can listen, interpret and apply the new learning’s from the coach easily and use this to go even faster- those at the back are struggling with the concept of running full stop, they feel overwhelmed, they are falling further behind- and at every 1000 meters they are reminded just how far behind they are.
The race goes on, for the front-runners the finish line is in sight -as the tail-enders pass 4000 metres, by 6000 meters after constant reminders of their position in the field only the incredibly resilient of the slower runners continue.
The coaches of those who had a head start and came nourished and "pre race ready" are being publicly applauded, the winners are proud of their achievement.
The coaches of those who came to the race unprepared and well behind the start line are in for public ridicule and their jobs re at risk- why couldn't they "fix up" these runners and get them to catch up? Perhaps shouting their position louder would have helped (this is suggested by the race organisers for the future) also how about those slow runners have a wee i-pod type devise that allows them to know more regularly where they are in the race, they could also set smaller goals to help them catch up- won't this motivate them to run faster and also help the coach to do a better job?
Oh by the way when the event started none of the contestants knew it was a race- they thought it was a Fun Run, to enjoy the stunning scenery, the friendship, an opportunity to learn more about the track, the event, the joy of running- they only found out about the race after 999 meters.
Consider national standards...