Showing posts from July, 2016

Ifs, Ands & Buts

(aka the Steve Jobs effect) We have all heard the expressions: 'He’s a great competitor BUT……', 'She’s great technically BUT……', 'The kids always get better, BUT…….', 'Its a great program, BUT…….' Whenever I hear these things, I can't help wondering whether we are burying the lead. Steve Jobs used to be considered a genius. Then later, people would acknowledge his genius and quietly say: 'BUT I've heard that he's a bit of an arsehole'. Now when people talk about him, Jobs is a genius AND also an arsehole. And you know what, I much prefer this last description. Though what I'd like most is to think of what he would have been like IF he was a genius and not an arsehole. I recently read  this, horrible story  where a former player described the sports program as 'a very good program, BUT we played under fear'. This is a program where it seems likely players were abused physical, mentally, emotionally and sexually, B

Decision Making (Part 2)

Good quality decision making requires information. Lots of information. The more information the better, I guess. Or at least, the right amount of information to make a decision would be good. But what if 'the right amount' is only 50% of the information available? And that 'right amount' makes it clear that a particular decision is the right one. This is ok - right? What about the other 50% of the information available. What if someone else had that information and it actually was clear, that the the opposite decision was the right one. Who is right? Who is wrong? The answer is, of course, that neither is wrong. This scenario happens all the time, and it creates two problems: having made your decision, you don't accept that there are plausible alternatives that others may have having gained more information, you don't revisit your decision and change it if it is no longer valid ( Photo Credit )

What’s the Difference?

I was recently reading through a Facebook post about the importance (or not) of timeouts in professional men’s volleyball. Many of the comments would say that they are sure the data is accurate for men’s professional volleyball in Italy and Poland, but that the data wouldn’t hold up in their level (whatever their level was). This reminded me of a few other similar conversations I’ve had over the years……… In a previous job I was working with elite level beach volleyball players. A friend who worked with college division 1 players commented that it must have been great working at that level, because the athletes must have been so focussed, so great at learning skills, so supportive of each other. Basically, they must have been great in every facet because they were better at playing volleyball than the players she coached. I explained that, in any group of 12 players, there are all the same positives and negatives of a group. Some were great athletes, some were hard workers, some

Optimising the Focus

We hear a lot about 'narrowing the focus' in terms of developing athletes. But what does this really mean? Fundamentally, the implication in sport is that you should work fewer athletes so that you achieve greater success. But fewer than what? Fewer when (at what age)? And, how do we know that simply 'narrowing the focus' really means you will have exactly the right resources for those truly worthy? I had a situation once where I was told I needed to narrow the focus. I explained that every single athlete I was working with could conceivably, in my opinion, achieve success in the proscribed level. I was told I needed to cut athletes regardless. I explained that, in my expert opinion, I knew two things: I didn't know enough about the athletes to be able to narrow the focus more than I had already I knew more about the athletes than anyone else Does this mean I was carrying athletes who might not make it? Of course. But in my opinion I was ONLY carrying a