The Hierarchy of Needs in Youth Sports

Originally published in Los Angeles Sports & Fitness, October 2013.

The recent publication of Sports Illustrated writer David Epstein’s The Sports Gene has spurred the age-old nature versus nurture debate in talent development, specifically sports. After five-plus years of the 10k-hour rule after the publication of Outliers and other books, Epstein has shown that there is no rule: Some athletes attain expert levels in far fewer than 10k hours, whereas some athletes take far longer. In Epstein’s view, this difference stems from training adaptations, and these often have a genetic component. Therefore, Epstein concluded that talent development is “100% nature and 100% nurture.”  […]

10,000 hours and coaching expertise

After Malcolm Gladwell, Dan Coyle and others popularized the research of K. Anders Ericsson et al., 10,000 has become the number that most quickly grabs one’s attention. Seemingly, everyone has heard of the 10,000-hour rule, and many see it as “The Way” or “The Answer.” […]

A Story of Athletic Talent Development

Originally published in the March/April 2010 Los Angeles Sports & Fitness. In grade school, everyone talked about the Morrison clan. At that time, they were four brothers (they added a little sister when we moved to high school) grouped between six grades, and each excelled athletically. He was the strongest, fastest child in his grade. Read more about A Story of Athletic Talent Development[…]

The Myth of Early Specialization

Originally published in Los Angeles Sports & Fitness. This summer, Chula Vista Little League won the Little League World Series, and the biography for winning pitcher Kiko Garcia said that he also played club soccer and basketball. In the semi-finals of the United States’ bracket, Chula Vista defeated Warner Robins Little League from Georgia; ESPN Read more about The Myth of Early Specialization[…]