My advice to the young ones who love sports like so many of us have is simple: “Just keep pecking away at it”, the core is solid. You have to sandpaper some. Young coaches particularly. And keep learning.
An example of this is a new book that I mentioned on the blog. THE SPORT GENE by Sports Illustrated David Epstein. Any young coach (and most old ones) will glean much from this painstaking look at where elite athletes come from. Nature or Nurture? Genes or hard work? Gladwell’s “ten thousand hours” or Grandpa? I have taken some “nuggets” the book (below) hoping to direct some to this fascinating new source of research and insight into the world of sport.
• Michael Jordan, Muhammed Ali, Michael Phelps, Ursain Bolt, Steffi Graf, Veronica Campbell- Brown, Kenyan (“Kalajins” specifically and VERY interestingly) marathoners, Jamaican runners, pole-vaulters, and many more: HOW DID THEY DO IT? And an update; Kenyan finished in 5 of the top 7 spots in the Boston Marathon—2014. Our “American” winner was actually from a small country neighboring Ethiopia.
• What is the link between pain and emotion in “elite” athletes? How can they “play hurt”?
• Blacks and swimming?
• White men can’t jump? Or white men can’t reach? What makes J.J. Reddick unique in the NBA?
• Tiger Woods and practice with his father.
• Why train runners in Denver.
• Why did the “cattle thieves” have so many children?
Have I stirred your interest enough for you to search out THE SPORT GENE? Trust me on this one. PS: “Men are twice as likely to be left-handed.”
While I’m at it here’s another one worth checking out: DAVID AND GOLIATH by Malcolm Gladwell. This book of course was on the top of the bestseller list for a lengthy period of time. An admitted Gladwell fan (see OUTLIERS, THE TIPPING POINT, BLINK and others) I mention this multi-faceted book for number of reasons. First of all it is a good read with a lot of implications for a lot of areas. But I’m mentioning it here because of its connections and comments on sports. And families.

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