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The Science of Talent RFU May 2013

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Ross Tucker

on 19 June 2013

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Transcript of The Science of Talent RFU May 2013

The science and strategy of talent identification, management and training ± 10,000h ± 8,000h ± 5,000h Best experts Good Average Practice makes perfect. On average “The development of expert performance will be primarily constrained by individuals’ engagement in deliberate practice and the quality of the available training resources” – Ericsson et al 2009 Ericsson et al.2006; Ericsson et al 2009, NYAS On average... ...to become a Master Fast-responders 3,000 h 11,053 ± 5538 hours the eternal grafter 25,000
and counting 28% of elite athletes in one study had participated for less than 4 years in their sport – “quick learners” who had played 3 or more sports before settling on the main one Elite sportsmen rarely do 10,000 hours Early or late specialization in CGS sports? - Moesch et al 2011 Study on elite Danish athletes in CGS sports
Quantified training time & age of specialization among "ELITE" and "NEAR-ELITE" athletes Presentation overview A conceptual framework for talent ID The (unnecessary) polarization of talent vs training The science of talent vs training "Sporting inertia" and strategic LTAD LTAD: An example resource optimization plan From IRFU Long term player development model 17 May 2013 August 2028
Olympic Games November 2027
RWC February 2026
Six Nations 24
27 10 - 13 Where is he today? What? Where? When? How? By who? A conceptual framework for Talent ID Process of recognizing current participants with the potential to excel in a particular sport Process of providing the most appropriate learning environment to realize this potential TID TDE From: Durandt et al, 2011 349 U/13 rugby players Represent their provinces at national competition What % continue in the pipeline? 2005 1 in 2006 5 in 2007 107 in 2008 Conversion to U/16 level (next 3 yrs) From: Durandt et al, 2011 Conversion to U/18 level 2 in 2008 36 in 2009 77 in 2010 Net result:
± 1 in 4 conversion From: Durandt et al, 2011 From: Durandt et al, 2011 76% Physiological fate? Testosterone levels of elite female rowers is 112% higher than non-elite rowers Participants not currently involved Vaeyens et al 2008 Cook et al 2012 Physiological determinism Aerobic capacity Body size Muscular strength Endurance Speed Co-ordination Players who played in Craven Week Non-Springbok Non-Springbok Springbok Springbok The importance of physiological attributes, which are only partly trainable, makes the delay in talent ID & selection vital Agility Tactical ability Given that 10,000 hours is clearly NOT a pre-requisite for sporting success, a pre-occupation on early specialization & youth training may be unnecessary, and possibly even 'harmful' for long term success Determines when (& where) resources are allocated Vaeyens et al 2008 TID TID TDE TDE The emerging picture from such studies is that ten thousand hours of practice is required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world-class expert – in anything…no-one has yet found a case in which true world-class expertise was accomplished in less time - Daniel Levitin, quoted in "Outliers" (Gladwell) It doesn't take 10,000 hours of specific training to become world class in sport
If a player is going to take 10,000 hours, they probably don't have the "intangible" necessary to become world class
The conversion of U/13 to U/18 talent is relatively poor - 76% of U/18 players did not play at U/13 level
The benefit of U/13 competition is questionable Over-competitive? The conflict of competition Learn to Play stage: 12 - 14 yrs

"At this stage the players’ capacities allow them to learn through exploring. Trying out new approaches, pursuing solutions and new experiences in a controlled environment will facilitate the development of the player" Train to compete: 18-21 yrs

Players have now committed themselves to rugby as their chief sport and are willing to invest a significant amount of time and energy to become successful. This is the ‘business end’ of rugby, elite/professional sport is about winning and there’s not much consolation in losing. Analysing & exploiting opponents weaknesses while hiding and protecting your own weaknesses is a main characteristic of this stage There is conflict in that the competitive environment seeks & rewards rapid development, whereas LTAD attempts to 'delay' high performance long enough for all players to arrive at the same point simultaneously Five key challenges facing talent management Talent ID challenges How do we identify talent without: Destroying it? Neglecting unrealized talent? By over-valuing physiological traits that predict success, and failing to develop attributes as a result By being 'fooled' by physiological differences due to early maturation or relative age, leading to omission of potentially more talented players Awareness Minimizing competition pre-physiological development Smart coaching Attitudes Changing mindsets How do we act to overcome the inertia of sporting attitudes? LTAD Prevalent mindset Delay competition
Winning not important
Technique & execution, not result/outcome Compete early
Winning matters - more than a sport
Win at all costs Balance competition demands How do we maintain healthy, but not destructive & conflicting competition? Competition is fundamental to sport
Competition system must support coaching recommendations in terms of what it demands of participants Exist in a competitive environment How does embracing long-term talent management affect rugby's standing in sporting society? Current climate drives specialization early (scholarships, academies, contracts, careers)
Embracing LTAD, thus delaying specialization & competition, is in conflict with general societal attitudes
If policy changes begin to affect career paths, what is the "cost" to rugby? Stakeholders and responsibility? Who else is involved in LTAD, and does rugby carry the entire burden for early life training? Parents
Other sports federations
Education & health departments Stakeholders It is not viable for a sport to carry the entire burden Thank you A question of resource allocation Vaeyens et al 2008 TID TDE TDE A question of resource allocation “Now, if this be the case with stature, then it will be true too as regards every other physical feature – as circumference of head, size of brain, weight of grey matter, number of brain fibres…and thence, a step on which no physiologist will hesitate, as regards mental capacity” - Francis Galton, 1869, Hereditary Genius This model holds that genetic (innate) factors are responsible for determining the level of performance reached in a given task Two opposing views Practice sufficiency “distinctive characteristics of exceptional performers are the result of adaptations to extended and intense practice activities that selectively activate dormant genes that are contained within all healthy individuals’ DNA” - Ericsson et al 2009 This model holds that time spent in deliberate practice determines performance, without a ceiling - practice is sufficient X Y It takes... 10,000 hours ...to become an expert Gobet & Campitelli 2007 Gobet & Campitelli 2007 Gobet & Campitelli 2007 Practice poorly explains performance variability Duffy et al. 2004; Gobet & Campitelli 2007 Helsen et al 1996; Helsen et al 1998; Baker et al 2003; Oldenziel et al 2003,2004 Tracking the physiological response to training Average increase in VO2max Heritage white Heritage black STRRIDE study DREW study Relative change in VO2max after supervised training progammes Dr Ross Tucker 17 May 2013 Two trajectory theories 1. Early pressure model 2. Physiological development model High training volumes lead to burn-out
Delayed onset of high volume improves chances of later success
Motivation? Peer/parent pressure Future performance is unclear until adolescence
Early achievement (synonymous with early physical development) encourages higher earlier training volumes
Alternatively, less innate ability necessitates higher training volumes early
Post-adolescence, physiological differences separate elite from near-elite decisively Long term talent strategies should reflect that evidence suggests delayed high volumes are favorable, especially when combined with evidence that 10,000hrs are not required The questions of talent management Ross Tucker
The Science of Sport http://www.sportsscientists.com
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