Sunday, February 23, 2014

Silicon Beach: Potential Value Addition

Over the last few years, the region in western Los Angeles, California, between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Marina Del Rey and Santa Monica, known as “Silicon Beach” has gain much popular attention.

Yes, there is an existing precedent set over the last 2-3 decades with development and success of “Silicon Valley” near Palo Alto, California. As part of the “Digital Age”, many success stories have emerged and today home to multibillion dollar companies and enterprises such as, but not limited to, Google, Yahoo, HP, Facebook, Sun Microsystems, to name a few.

Silicon Beach has some unique and value-added features which are unique to Southern California. Besides the vast amount of sunshine, sand and surf, over the last decade, the region has attracted multitudes of entrepreneurs, investors, and alike. Currently, besides long-established industry, there are many startups and early stage companies as well as established companies undertaking new ventures including, but not limited to, information technology (IT), social media, advanced computer graphics, imaging and software development.

In addition, there is continual development of the arts, sciences, entertainment industry, aerospace industry as well as internationally recognized higher education institutions such as, University of Southern California (USC)California Institute of Technology (CalTech), and University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), to name a few.

As the past 80-100 year economic-business cycle draws to close, based on current global macroeconomic scenario, there is a burgeoning need for undertaking advanced Research Design & Development (RD&D) of “New Age” products and services in critical technology areas. With the vast manpower, resources, infrastructure, and other added benefits, Silicon Beach can actually leverage potential value addition by an increased and concerted effort for incubating startups and early stage companies. Key cutting-edge technologies in "New Age" sectors may include Clean-Tech (including Clean Energy), Bio-Tech, and Digital Media.

In addition, there may be a need for increased convergence, cooperation and participation between “Government-Corporate-Academia-Individuals” in further enhancing the “New Age” products and services value chain. This may be achieved via new technology parks, industrial hubs, export-zone, free-trade zones and related incentives which specifically target Silicon Beach. Through potential “Private-Public-Partnerships” (PPP), there can be a potential upside for both private and public capital (equity, debt, working capital) in creating new wealth and increasing jobs, employment base as well as tax revenues to Federal/State/Local government(s). Through value-added “New Age” products and services, main emphasis is on providing investors with safer destination for their investment capital while assuring secure return of capital then followed by return on investment. In addition, startups and early stage companies gain from critical seed capital, development funding, expansion capital as well as potential pre-IPO funding.

The need-of-the-hour may entail in creating dynamic mentoring networks to help, assist, guide and advise young and bright talented entrepreneurs and alike through the process of RD&D as well as commercialization of Clean-Tech, Bio-Tech and Digital Media.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Speed Summit 2014

The weekend of January 18-19, 2014 were two (2) action packed and intensive days at "The Running Summit: The Premier Speed Coaching Clinic of 2014" held in Morristown, New Jersey, USA.

The event featured legendary and world-renowned Olympic and USA track & field speakers such as, Coach Vern Gambetta, Coach Gary Winckler, and Dr. Peter Weyand. The emcee of the event was Coach Dave Pavlansky.

Topics covered included, but not limited to, acceleration, sprinting, maximum velocity, and speed endurance which are skills which can be properly taught. In addition, the outstanding speakers highlighted how to teach the various speed skills and drills as well as the effective methodology and approach of coaching athletes at various levels of competition (youth, high school, college, open, elite, masters, etc.). Special emphasis was made on practical, realistic, "mindful" and "common-sense" skills and drills.

Specific details and insights were provided regarding strength training, fitness, stride frequency/length, force application, ground reaction forces, biomechanics, bio-kinesiology, important muscle/tendon/ligament groups, energy mechanisms, training tips and related areas.

Coach Dave Pavlansky
There was extensive discussion on Newton’s laws of motion, gravity as well as Hooke’s law with detailed reference to force application, stiffness, ground reaction forces (impulse and impact forces), forward momentum, and linear velocity.

The speakers provided both qualitative and quantitative information on the various topics presented with ample graphs, videos, pictures, charts, tables, and handouts for the attendees. In addition, demonstrations were provided with respect to proper running technique and running form during acceleration, sprinting, maximum velocity and speed endurance phases. There was extensive discussion of GAIT analysis as well as different key aspects of stance, recovery, toe-off, flight phases of the GAIT cycle.

Coach Gambetta presented; “History of Sprint Training”, “How to Train for the 400 Meters”, and “Foundation of Coaching Pedagogy”.

Coach Vern Gambetta
Coach Winckler presented; “Training Design…Do’s and Don’t’s”, “Elements of Speed Development”, and “Technical Training in the Hurdle Events”.

Dr. Weyand presented; “Maximum Velocity Sprint Mechanics and Performance” and “Mechanics and Fatigue during Long Sprints”.

All of the above presentations were excellent, informative and very interactive with the various attendees that included many track & field coaches and athletes. Ample Question & Answer (Q&A) period was allocated at the end of each presentation which enabled direct interaction between the speakers and the audience. As an added value to the event, the attendees, for extra cost, were allowed to have both lunch and/or dinner with the various speakers. This allowed additional small group interaction beyond the normal presentation schedule for informal Q&A with the speakers.

With Coach Andrew Grant
With Coach Dave Pavlansky & Attendee

Friday, January 10, 2014

Continual Inspiration of Eric Liddell

"Samastha Loka Sukhino Bhavantu" - Sanskrit Saying

We are again nearing that time of the year for celebrating the upcoming annual Academy Awards on March 2, 2014 and bestowing the Oscar for "Best Picture". It is also nearly nine (9) decades since the 1924 Paris Olympic Games and over three (3) decades since the release of the Academy Awards Best Picture movie Chariots of Fire which were centered around world-renowned athletes including; Eric Liddell, Harold Abrahams, Jackson Scholz and Charles Paddock (who later inspired Jesse Owens).

In today’s global sports and athletics world, there are multiple scandals of sorts, countless accusations and allegations, rampant doping due to performance enhancement drugs (PEDs), and so many other controversies. The list goes on and on. Especially, in the current scenario, it is so refreshing to draw upon the continual inspiration of Eric Liddell and his world-class accomplishments in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 400 meters. In addition, a remarkable feat was his winning a bronze medal in the 200 meters and gold medal in world record time in the 400 meters at the 1924 Paris Olympics (the 400 meters in the Olympics was an event which he never trained for and most naysayers outright doubted Eric Liddell will do well, if not fail).

It may be true, based on today’s modern athletic standards, Eric Liddell may not have had an optimal running form or style, advanced sprint and speed dynamics coupled with proper biomechanics. Also, he may not have had sound technique, efficient stride frequency and stride length as well as ample force application which are deemed essential in running.

From a GAIT analysis viewpoint, as a world-class sprinter, Eric Liddell did not have proper "acceptable" Stance / Recovery / Toe-off / Flight phases during his acceleration, sprint, maximum velocity and speed endurance mechanics. He did not have his head in-line with torso, pelvis and leg. Nor did he have his hip extended, knee extended, or ankle extended. His back was not straight nor top of his lead-leg thigh parallel with ground nor his foot in neutral position. Rolling his head back and hands often “grabbing” in the air may have been very awkward for a world-class sprinter. His training may have lacked proper state-of-the-art coaching, fitness, strength conditioning with proper structured methodology, approach and program format as well as routine. The naysayers often came up with much more adverse critique on Eric Liddell's biomechanics. It was even said that he ran like a "wild animal".

Yes, in recent years, the global sports and athletics world has come a long way from Eric Liddell's time and has been advanced significantly with respect to health, nutrition, fitness, training, and competition as well as professionalization, multimillion dollar endorsements, and lucrative shoe and apparel contracts of sorts; all may be well and good in its own way.

However, just for a moment in time, it is truly amazing to watch, better understand and hopefully better appreciate the remarkable achievements of Eric Liddell as well as how he did; what he did; where he did; why he did; and when he did. Many times it has been said, in life, it is not what we are outside, but, who we are truly inside. Looking back, Eric Liddell celebrated global humankind and life. He may not be a global icon, but, truly is a continual inspiration and role-model for generations-upon-generations from all over the world from various walks-of-life.