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Most people who enjoy collective sports like football, baseball or hockey will follow a blog to read about the sport, the players and technical comments about each game in a competitive season.
In individual sports, especially in strength sports, the reality is unfortunately different. We have very few blogs devoted to providing news or competition commentary. From the top of my head, I can name only one in powerlifting (Powerlifting Watch). We have, however, hundreds of blogs where training advice is offered in the form of bullet proof methods.
Most strength sports bloggers offering training advice, service and products, like online coaching, e-books and seminars have no background in sports science, exercise physiology or the biological sciences in general. Some even offer nutritional advice, again with no background in nutrition, human physiology or biochemistry. Obscene scientific heresies are published every day.
Nothing regulates this market: anyone can put up a blog and, with smart marketing strategies, promote themselves as new gurus.
Sport blogging in the strength sports simply doesn’t exist. People who are interested in competition commentary are left with forums, where participants will, at best, offer their own view of things they can barely see through streamline. The great majority of strength sports lovers are left with guessing and partisan views of what really happened in every event.
Simple things in sports journalism, like interviewing judges, organizers and athletes to offer the sport lover a wide perspective on the event is completely neglected. I have never read any commentary where judges were interviewed and spoke about how hard it was to judge some lift, or how scary it was to be close to a good catch from spotters. Instead, the day that follows an important competition is littered with “youtube referees” that will simply ignore the fact that three certified judges were sitting on their chairs and go into endless debates about whether a squat was high or deep, whether there was or was not hitching on a deadlift and other technical issues that belong to an expertise called “judging”.
Very few times an athlete is interviewed right after the meet to speak about how he felt during the lifts, about breaking a new record, or about failing to do so. There is nothing about how the athlete and his coach are handling an important injury. Instead, there are hundreds of blog entries about how they should do it.
As I read sports blogs from other sports, I can’t but conclude that the organizational and cultural deformities in strength sports are responsible for the inexistence of decent journalistic blogging.
We have recently lost a historical publication, “Powerlifting USA” . It was created in 1977 by Michael Lambert and lasted until 2012, 35 years later. Serious powerlifters mourn the loss of this important publication. Lambert’s concern was precisely to offer good sports journalism.
As in other areas where such deformities are manifested, I believe it is our role to confront them: produce sound written commentary, promote the magazines that are trying to do that and the people who try to do a serious job in sports blogging and journalism.