In the morning played a round at Hooper with Mike Fritz. Exceeding pleasant, bright sunshine and we had the course to ourselves. My golf was the usual mixture of the sublime and the absurd, more of the latter of course, though with the benefit of having more of the former at the end, letting me leaving on a positive note. (Though I'm pretty sure I would have left on a positive note anyway, since I seem to be getting much better at enjoying the challenge of the sport while not getting bent out of shape when my performance falls far short of my hopes.)
Lots of good talk, including several holes spent talking about the state of O' in the USA, of which I will mention just a couple of things.
1. At some point Mike asked me to name what I thought were three significant changes in the sport in the USA in recent years. I thought for a moment and came up with one, the introduction of e-punching and its use at most meets, both large and small. Which I though was very cool.
And then I was stuck. So I turned the question back to him. And he offered up the extraordinary successes of our women's teams in the last couple of years as something that he was just stunned by, how good they were doing.
And related to that, meaning that the following contributed to their success, was the establishment of the Sprint Series. Because all of a sudden you could orienteer in many more places. And the organization was a lot easier. And it sure seemed to be making our best orienteers even better.
I couldn't argue with either of his suggestions. But I'm wondering if there are other things that have changed in recent years in our sport (hopefully for the better) that we may have forgotten about. And sometimes it's good to remember things that have done well, and not just think about our shortcomings.
2. And then at some other point we were talking about how make things, more specifically "new" things, happen in the sport, in particular in cases where some money could be found, and whether it would make sense to give the funds to the federation as a whole to see what they could do, or whether it might make more sense to identify certain individuals, the "movers and shakers," and direct the resources specifically to them and see what they could do.
And he asked me, in the latter case who would you choose. And I said that my first choice would probably be Vladimir, because he seems to have more of an entrepreneurial spirit than anyone else. And my second choice might be someone like Greg Lennon, who I have a lot of respect for (though I don't know him well) because he seems to make things happen. And then I was stuck for a third choice.
And I'm wondering here too if there are others that should be added to the list. Because at some point the best way to make things happen, as opposed to endlessly discussing the pros and cons, is to get the resources in the hands of the movers and shakers and just let them do their thing.