Olympians: Time for Olympic athletes to jump out of wheelie bin

Watching some of Britain's prospective Olympians train in the 80F heat of Cyprus this week I witnessed activity which was, frankly, dismaying.

Watching some of Britain's prospective Olympians train in the 80F heat of Cyprus this week I witnessed activity which was, frankly, dismaying.

One athlete was proceeding over a series of hurdles at what was no more than walking pace, pumping his arms and lifting his legs in exaggerated fashion. Didn't he realise that when it came to the heat of the action in Athens he wouldn't have time to stroll around?

Another so-called international performer was at least putting in a bit of effort as he sprinted down the straight, but even someone of the meanest intelligence could have told him he would have gone much faster had he not been been dragging a weight along the track. Talk about making life hard for yourself.

Deciding to get closer to the action in order to offer these misguided individuals the benefit of some much-needed common sense, I encountered something which caused me further deep misgiving - a large green plastic wheelie bin.

Athletes were apparently being encouraged to step into this bin, which was filled with ice and water, immediately after their exertions. The idea seemed to be to offer them a temporary coolbox which would help ease hot and swollen limbs.

Mark Lewis-Francis, one of our leading hopes for an Olympic sprint medal, showed a modicum of sense by choosing only to immerse his legs up to the knee. But Christ Tomlinson - sorry, there I go again, I'll come back to that - but Chris Tomlinson took the full plunge for the requisite five minutes, albeit that he kept his flowing blond locks dry.

With all due respect, what are our coaches thinking of? There may be some fleeting comfort in this ludicrous business, but does no one realise the potentially crippling mental price it involves? What are we saying to our brightest and best, on a daily basis? We are telling them: Get in the bin. We are telling them, yes, deep down we are telling them: You are rubbish.

It can't be allowed to go on.

The power of subliminal suggestion should never be underestimated. I found myself sitting next to Tomlinson's coach, Peter Stanley, a couple of months ago while flying to Budapest for the World Indoor Championships, and in chatting about his boy's prospects that weekend I mentioned that whenever I typed his name it always came out as "Christ" rather than "Chris". I said it might be a subconscious acknowledgement of the long jumper's long, centrally parted hair.

Stanley replied with a grim smile that young Tomlinson, whose performances had been lukewarm up to that point, needed to do the something good in Budapest otherwise he personally was going to crucify him.

I thought that a bit harsh. Fortunately, Tomlinson performed with sufficient honour to avoid the unhappy necessity. But for how much longer will his form endure now that he is undergoing regular demoralisation of the most insidious kind?

Obviously, I will be passing my views on to the relevant authorities. With the Olympics just a couple of months away, something needs to be done urgently.

While I'm at it, I'll be mentioning a couple of other topics requiring urgent attention. Firstly, I have noticed that many athletes race up and down or jump about before their event even begins. Message to athletes: You are wasting precious energy! Keep it for the competition.

Secondly, I constantly see competitors tying themselves up in knots as they prepare for events, doing the splits, bending this, pulling that, you name it...

Message to athletes: Stop! You'll do yourself a mischief!

As I say, all I can do is tell people. I can't force them to see sense. But if any of this helps our Olympic cause, even in the smallest degree, my efforts will not have been in vain.

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth GamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Sport
Karen Dunbar performs
Entertainers showcase local wit, talent and irrepressible spirit
Sport
Members of the Scotland deleagtion walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

BI Manager - £50,000

£49000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...

BI Project Manager - £48,000 - £54,000 - Midlands

£48000 - £54000 per annum + Benefits package: Progressive Recruitment: My clie...

VB.Net Developer

£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...

SAP Business Consultant (SD, MM and FICO), £55,000, Wakefield

£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game