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Showing posts from March, 2012

Coaching and Teaching

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From reading (many) coach biographies the themes consistently seem to be that the successful coaches do things differently to how other coaches do things.  The only problem is that they all do things the same as each other.  I'm baffled by how many coaches don't just copy the things that lead to success.  But then I realise, because its REALLY HARD.

I listened to a podcast with Steve Kerr today and he talked about how Popovich (Spurs coach) is incredible at constantly challenging his players but still keeping a great relationship with them.  Its hard to constantly challenge players because it inevitably leads to conflict.  So the easier option is to just let things slide from time to time.  But to consistently challenge AND keep the relationships is next to impossible.  Just like winning all the time is next to impossible.

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The History of Analytics

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I was reading this article about the recent Sloan Conference, where they the writer talks about an interview of Bill James, and his discussion about the importance of luck in analytics (ok - I'm paraphrasing that).
But only a bit.
The example used was, at a specific point in time, analytics said that two baseball players were identical.  One was selected by the Red Sox and he has gone on to win two titles and is now a legend in that town.  The other didn't do much past that specific point in time.
This got me thinking that, no matter what, Analytics is always historical.  Any analysis is based on what has already happened.  Any projection is based on historical data.  The only thing you know for sure is that the information you have is absolutely true at that moment.  At least, you are pretty sure about that.
The point is that Analytics, which is becoming more and more fashionable but has been around in elite sport for at the very least half a century (why is it when an activ…

10,000 Hours of What?

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I've struggled with the 10,000 hour thing (mostly because it is seemingly so arbitrary and definite) but the older I get the more I say things like: "players just don't get 'good' until they are about 25".

The 'deliberate practice' clause has always been in Ericsson's work but it doesn't seem to get much press (until I saw this post on the Talent Code blog). The reality is that it is THE point. Its a lot harder to consistently practice 'deliberately' than it is to just spend 10,000 hours worth of training/activity.  The ability to do THIS has to be the defining trait of the 'expert'.

Another question about the 10,000 theory is whether deliberate practice is binary (its not either deliberate of not, but has a range).  Is 5 hours of 'very' deliberate practice more valuable than 10 hours of 'somewhat' deliberate practice?  And if it is worth twice as much, then does that mean you need 5,000 hours, or does it mean tha…