Championship Thinking in Sports

Jim Meier

Championship Thinking in Sports – Why should Coaches, Athletes and Parents care about the ‘Sports Gene’?

What makes elite or best in the world athletes? Is it a product of nature-genetics (call it hardware)? Is it a product of nurture-training and environment (call it software)? Is it both? And if so, which matters most? Is the 10,000 rule a good measure for success?

Why couldn’t Albert Pujols, Barry Bonds, Mike Piazza and other major league stars hit Olympic pitcher, Jennie Finch. Is emphasis on reaction time overrated and emphasis on perception and cognitive map creation underrated? Why are members of Kenyan’s Kalenjin ethnic group year after year the world’s best distance runners? Is 20/20 vision good enough to hit a 95 mile fast ball? In this show Guest David Epstein*, author of the recently released New York Times bestseller, The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance**, addresses these and other questions. But so what? Why should coaches, athletes and parents care? Because answers to these questions will enhance the listeners knowledge related to:1) Selecting (recruiting) players, 2) Positioning a player where he/she will best perform, 3) Conditioning more safely and effectively, 4) Better determine length of and number of practices by team and individual (what is too much, too little, just about right, 5) Identifying and choosing appropriate physical assessment tools, 6) Knowing the correct skills to teach and practice e. g. perception in the context of a particular sport, 7) Creating cognitive maps 8) Sports psychology, and 9) More. Expect to be stimulated, enlightened, challenged, educated anew and acquire insights that lead to you being a better coach, athlete and parent of an athlete. *David Epstein is an award winning journalist who writers for ProPublica with a special interest in sports science. Before ProPublica he was a staff writer at Sports Illustrated. David was a reporter at Washington, D.C.-based Inside Higher Ed. His work has appeared in a variety of national publications, including Scientific American and U.S. News and World Report, and he has appeared on a range of television shows and networks from the Newshour with Jim Lehrer to CNN and the NFL Network. David has master’s degrees from Columbia University in environmental science and journalism.** The degree of research, supporting graphics, charts and studies and numerous stories coupled with Epstein’s globetrotting field work make the Sports Gene a gem of applicable knowledge for anyone who seeks to improve performance in any sport.