Sports performance data is just showing us what we've done. Why can't it tell us more?
Then a thought occurred to Gladwell: what if the source of genius wasn’t starting really early in life, nor having a mythical, genetic natural talent gene? What if, he mused, it was as simple as “fit”? The performer was lucky to stumble upon a sport, a discipline, an art so early in life and it just “felt” right and, because it was so natural and fun, they just kept doing it. And doing it. For years.
Greatness as a reflection. We watch because we see a glimmer of ourselves, of our potential selves or the potential of our tribe. We see something when we watch sports.
I was listening to Terry Gross interview Jeff Daniels and his comments about acting made me stop running and replay them. He was talking about the style of great actors: Clint Eastwood, James Cagney, Meryl Streep
When you're Victoria Azarenka, the best player on the planet, you can say things like this:
She’d said she needed a hitting partner; just show up, she said, hit for a few hours a day and I’d have the rest of the day to hang at the beach. The South of France sounded really good from where I was sitting, in a cube in San Jose, California. I was a lousy engineer so quitting wasn’t hard.
I have a strange habit. I like to imagine what world-class athletes would be doing if they weren’t world-class athletes. Because the odds of them, of anyone really, becoming great at something has to be a combination of hard work, opportunity, dumb luck and perhaps some mystical, fate-driven push from the gods.
Performance experts tell us that the most important ingredient to mastery is deliberate practice, playing at the edge of our abilities for hours and days and years. That's academic-speak for failing.
I'm fascinated by the deepest biological reasons that create world-class performance. When you strip it all down, we are a fantastic arrangement of ...
How much further can the science of training and nutrition improve an athlete’s performance? I wonder if ...