Showing posts from February, 2015

Fast Track or Short Cut?

Impatience is a very common trait in high performance sport. Mostly because people involved in HP sport like winning, and not many of the teams or athletes who are competing actually get to do that. Coaches are impatient, fans are impatient, parents are impatient, sponsors are impatient, and funding bodies are impatient. Probably the people with the most patience in sport are involved in training developmental athletes. These people generally have a keen understanding that things take time. I remember once being in a meeting where a developmental coach was asked which 4 of his 8 athletes were the most likely to succeed. The point being that by focussing on 4 instead of 8 the coach would be able to provide more attention and therefore fast-track their success. This point of view is very common, and problematic in a number of ways: How do we know that having only 4 athletes would actually be more likely to achieve success than 8 athletes? Really, what evidence do we have? How

Don't Learn What You Don't Need

I've been spending more and more time thinking about Technical Excellence. How important it is, how hard it is to achieve, what is really is and what it isn't. There are two points of clarification to start with: I am not talking about Motor Development , or the gradual progression of technical abilities. I'm talking about Technical Excellence, specific to whatever stage of the development the athlete is at. I'm not talking about Technical Perfection or Competence. Excellence fits into a scale of technical development. If you look at the development of technical ability as a scale, Technical Limitations and Technical Perfection are at opposite ends of the scale. Both are pretty obvious. Athletes often develop technical limitations that prevent them from succeeding at an elite level (as always on this blog, we are talking about elite as athletes who win medals at World or Olympic level). Athletes occasionally develop technical perfection, which is great, bu