Taming the athlete meme

Treating young athletes as if they were adults is one of the longest-running problems in youth sports. Cutting athletes from teams, traveling to numerous, large, full-weekend competitions, and getting caught up in the megawatt hoopla that usually accompanies such events subjects youngsters to pressures and training they’re not ready for and from which the majority… Read More »

Coaching ‘flow’

The concept of flow is used to describe optimal performance. Characteristics of flow include time dilation (or contraction), using psychic energy to concentrate only on the task at hand, loss of focus on self, and a feeling of oneness between the athlete, the action, and the environment in which the action occurs. In athletic events… Read More »

Is talent identification possible?

The dream of being able to identify sport talent in youngsters is heating up around the globe. Disappointing results in recent major Games has prompted Malaysia to begin testing all 7-year-olds in several performance aspects, and Sri Lanka recently announced a new ‘algorithm’ that can determine the best sport choices for a youngster based on… Read More »

Welcome to the Sportkid Project

How a country develops its national sport program has been one of my interests since the 1980s when I spent a few years coaching swimming in a small Southeast Asian country. The place did not have any kind of national swimming program so it only seemed natural to try to copy the U.S. model —… Read More »

“They might be athletes” or why many sport talent identification schemes fail

Large athlete talent identification projects undertaken by national sport governing bodies are ill-conceived and wrongly based on the premise that sport officials can somehow predict who will become a great athlete sometime in the future. Young, “talented” athletes are identified based on current ability, physical attributes, sometimes results of sport specific testing, and the skill… Read More »