Bubba's Olympic experience: Time to hit the road
July 21, 2008
As most of you know, I'm serving as the Olympic men's track and field coach, and, with the Beijing games just around the corner, I thought I'd update you on my schedule over the next month and what I'm planning on doing.
In addition, even though I'm going to be all over the place, I'm going to try and check in as much as possible over the next few weeks. I'll give all of you a different perspective on the Olympics and I'll definitely give you some insight on how the Longhorns are doing in China.
Before we get to the upcoming month, let's go back in time a little bit. For those of you that don't know, the U.S. Olympic Trials is one of the toughest meets in the world and some feel that it may be tougher than competing at an Olympics or World Championships. We had some great performances as a country and I was really proud of how well The University of Texas was represented.
By now, you know that Andra (Manson), Trey (Hardee) and Leo (Manzano) all made the team. I'm really looking forward to seeing how the guys perform in China. Competing at the Olympics is a special experience, but I know those guys aren't going for just the experience. They want to win and get on that medal stand. It's going to be tough because it's the world's best, but I know they are going to give it their best and not only represent the U.S. but Texas in the process.
As for me, I'm in Sweden right now. We left on Friday to come to Stockholm for a meet. We bring our 4x100 relays to these meets so that they can get comfortable with each other and work on passing the batons. You can have the best relay team in the world, but if you have sloppy exchanges, you can get beat, so it is important that we get some work done and make sure we don't have any problems there. We'll do the same thing in a few days in London. I'm hoping that the two meets will give the guys a chance to adjust to each other.
After the Europe trip, I'll be back in Austin for a couple days before we leave for Beijing on the 29th. I'll travel with Andra, Trey and Leo to get them used to being in China. Then, we'll be joined by Mario (Mario Sategna/UT Assistant Coach/Manson and Hardee's coach) and Vig (Jason Vigilante/UT Associate Head Coach/Manzano's coach) a few days later. They'll come out and train with the guys and get them ready to compete. It's good that Mario and Vig will be there because they can focus on the guys. I'll be working on so many different things and focusing on the entire team.
It's a heck of a deal. It seems like yesterday that they asked me to be the head coach and we've put a lot of work in to make sure that everything is set and ready for our athletes. We're doing everything we can to make our athletes comfortable. Our job is to get them to the line and from there, it's on them to perform.
I'm really excited about the team we have. I think it may be one of our best. I don't know how many medals we'll win, but I know this group is going to compete.
I definitely want to thank everyone for the support this year. We had a great year at Texas and we've continued to see the support throughout the summer.
I'll check in with you soon.