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Take personal responsibility, focus on solutions rather than on the problems and having a plan, a strategy and priority for your training and performance. Those were the three key take-away messages Olympic legend Michael Johnson delivered to coaches and athletes during their three-day workshop in Trinidad and Tobago that concluded Thursday.

President of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) Brian Lewis said the pathway to vision 10 or more Olympic Gold medals by the year 2024 is clearer.
Athletes and coaches at the recent Post Rio 2016 High Performance Workshop hosted by BpTT, the Michael Johnson Performance Centre (MJP) and the TTOC (Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee) had maxim input.

The main objective of the workshop was to engage athletes and coaches in a discussion about formulating strategy to improve the local high performance sport environment. Held both in Trinidad and Tobago, the three day workshop catered to Olympic, and aspiring Olympic athletes in both team and individual sports and gave the athletes and coaches “a first-time opportunity to be part of the Team TTO strategic planning process for Tokyo 2020 and vision 10 golds24.”

Athletes were able to express their views, concerns, ideas, fears, goals, needs and wants in a planning framework aimed at clarifying the next step and action plan. Olympic legend Michael Johnson, Lance Walker (MJP performance director), Lindsey Anderson (MJP Performance specialist) and Tobias Ottley (Sport Company of T&T Executive Manager Elite Development Unit) were involved in the High Performance Strategic review sessions for local coaches and athletes.

Mickey Reuben, owner of Speed Factory Track and Field Club and University of the West Indies track and field coach, described the workshop as “powerful” and further said there is no price tag you can place on Michael Johnson’s knowledge, experience and understanding of what needs to be done and the mindset required to be an Olympic and World champion.

Rio 2016 Olympian boxer Nigel Paul thanked the TTOC for the opportunity to part of the workshop "it was informative, inspirational and motivational as I prepare for Tokyo 2020." Other key messages athletes heard were the importance of prioritizing your lifestyle to follow that of a high-performance athlete and focusing on the things you can control.

The Michael Johnson Performance team also met with 1976 100m Olympic gold medalist Hasely Crawford, NAAA President Ephraim Serrette, Ottley and Lewis to brainstorm an integrated and collaborative high performance strategy aimed at producing consistent Olympic and World Championship podium success.

TTOC President Brian Lewis stated now that Rio 2016 is history, “we have to focus forward-take on board the lessons, keep our eyes on vision 10 or more Olympic gold medals by 2024, ensure that athletes are at the core of every single thing we (TTOC) do and above all clarify our plan and strategy.”

“The feedback from in particular the athletes has been extremely positive and constructive. We must continue to include the athletes and seek their input,” Lewis concluded.