Posts

Why talented youngsters rarely make it to the top

Spotting the next major talent is big business in sports, particularly team sports, where youngsters are often scouted and signed to clubs at increasingly young ages. However, the effectiveness of these methods is generally considered to be very poor, with relatively few youngsters thought of as highly talented at a young age progressing through to play at a high level. How can it be that we invest so much into talent identification but have relatively little to show for it? Read more

GAINcast Episode 160: Beyond pathways (with James Marshall)

There are dozens of long-term athlete development models out there that try to explain the best way to turn youth athletes into champions. The problem is that they incorporate much more theory than practice. In reality, success cannot be broken down into one pathway or plan. On this episode of the podcast, leading youth coach James Marshall talks about how the systems fail us and what he’s doing to make youth athletics better in his community. Read more

GAINcast Episode 69: Long-Term Development (with Patrick McHugh)

At North Shore Country Day School students range from age 4 to 18. As athletic director, Patrick McHugh has had a chance to put in place a truly long-term athletic development process. The key word there is process: long-term development is not a model, but a process that is never linear. On this episode he talked about his philosophy and more. Read more

GAINcast Episode 50: Serial Winning Coaches (with Sergio Lara-Bercial)

Sergio Lara-Bercial had a simple question he wanted answered: what makes serial winning coaches so successful. As a senior research fellow at the International Council for Coaching Excellence he was able to sit down with coaches who produce Olympic champions and record holders time and time again. In this episode he talks about his background, the project, and what lessons he learned from talking with the best coaches in the world. Read more

GAINcast Episode 37: Physical Education (with Greg Thompson)

Everyone laments about the current state of physical education, but what are we to do about it? GAIN faculty member Greg Thompson has put it upon himself to find a solution. As a USSF A-License coach and a primary school physical education teacher, he joins us on this week’s episode to discuss his methods for building athletes from the ground up in schools. Read more

GAINcast Episode 36: Physical Literacy

Learning to move is a lot like learning to read and write: you cannot write a novel without first learning the ABCs and how to string them together into words, sentences, and paragraphs. On this week’s episode Vern discusses physical literacy and how it fits into athletic development. Read more

Leadership, Change, and Accountability

The concept of accountability should be right at home in sports. Accountability requires two things: knowing the results of a performance, and acting upon those results. We have no issue knowing an athlete’s results. Sport gives us those answers in black and white: an athlete wins or loses, they run faster or slower. And in sports there is no hesitation in acting upon the results. If you don’t perform, the next kid is waiting in line to take your place. Even if the underperformance is explainable, as in the case of an injury, you might still be kicked out on your butt. Read more

In It For the Scholarship

If you talk to many parents about why their kids compete in sports, one of the top answers is that it will help pay for college. It used to be that kids were encouraged to play sports to have fun, or to lead an active lifestyle. But in recent years it has come to the point that the hope of a scholarship might well be the leading reasons that American kids become involved in organized sports. Read more

Training Talk with Steve Roush

Steve Roush is the former Chief of Sport Performance for the United States Olympic Committee. In that role he oversaw a record medal count for Team USA at the Beijing Olympics. Currently he works as a senior sports performance consultant for TSE Consulting. In this role he advises sports organizations and governmental agencies in improving elite athlete performance by providing strategic advice in areas such as: Athlete Development Pipeline, High Performance Planning, Olympic Games preparation consultation and Evaluation of sports performance systems. Having worked with federations and governments of many countries across the globe, Steve is in a good position to see what works and what doesn’t in sports organizations. I had a chance to talk with him recently about these points. Read more

Talent vs. Potential

At any given level of sport, the most talented athlete at that level will get lots of praise. The trouble with judging talent is that what makes one person more talented at each level is subject to change. Here is why talent is important but not the most important factor for furthering success. Read more