Talent is Overrated!


#1

I just put up an article on the book “Talent is Overrated” by Geoff Colvin. If you haven’t read this book definitely give it a shot. If you don’t have the time, check out my article which takes the reader through the basic outline of the book. A lot of pretty powerful lessons to be learned from Colvin’s work.

http://danblewett.com/2010/01/07/talent-is-overrated-summary-and-reaction/


#2

Really good work Ben. I don’t know if he mentioned it in the book, but the guys I know that have made it have another aspect not mentioned in your excellent piece. It is a sort of…vision…I’d say they “practice” more but they likely don’t even realize it…it’s second nature to use an old over-used cliche. I remember stories of how Maddux always threw against his brothers older friends…from a real early age…second nature…just what he did…a fierce, deep, competitive, nearly pathalogical need…think Michael Jordan…he’d compete with anyone…even cheating in cards against a friends mom…had/has to win…to compete…think…Pete Rose…


#3

the book touched on something like that…Colvin called it the “rage to master”


#4

My personal opinion is that this one thing is the “thing”. Tebow…he outlifted the Pouncy twins…for fun…you just think on that…that kid…played against Palatka (Just down the road from me…Andy shut em out :wink: ), for an entire 2nd half with a broken leg…pathalogical…
Never even gave it a second thought…


#5

Great article and after reading that I think this book is a must read.

Does this have to be purchased online or would it be available at a book store like Barnes&Noble?

Thanks for posting this, I really appreciate contributions like this.


#6

I think this is a must read, some of it may be hard to swallow for some people.

It does not however touch upon the politics of sports.

i.e. velocity is king for pitchers, the 90 mph milestone.

There are guys who will roll out of bed and throw 90-95 mph. these guys will get the chance to play proball.

Then there are guys who bust their ass in high school and college who put together a good career but because they have an 85 mph fb they wont get a 2nd look.


#7

colvin is on my short must read list. it is outstanding. i use it and good to great by jim collins to teach college level coursework.

another book that fits with it is outliers by malcom gladwell. it talks about the same things. yes they are talented or they wouldn’t get the chance, but the work ethic and engaging in directed practice is the difference between the truly great in any field.


#8

[quote=“Pustulio”]Great article and after reading that I think this book is a must read.

Does this have to be purchased online or would it be available at a book store like Barnes&Noble?

Thanks for posting this, I really appreciate contributions like this.[/quote]

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/store.asp?EAN=9781591842248&distance=2


#9

[quote=“UndersizedRHP”]I think this is a must read, some of it may be hard to swallow for some people.

It does not however touch upon the politics of sports.

i.e. velocity is king for pitchers, the 90 mph milestone.

There are guys who will roll out of bed and throw 90-95 mph. these guys will get the chance to play proball.

Then there are guys who bust their a** in high school and college who put together a good career but because they have an 85 mph fb they wont get a 2nd look.[/quote]

Who in particular “just rolled out of bed” and throws 90 mph? It’s kind of a special case, I think, with baseball in that mechanics play a HUGE role in velocity and strength to a lesser (though not insignificant) extent. Throwing 90 is as much trial and error as anything. By trying to throw the ball hard people’s bodies kind of discover how to move to generate those high velocities. For most people, though, it doesn’t just click like that early on (it would probably click for more if there was an emphasis on velocity over control and command). The question is how to speed up the trial and error process to getting to high level throwing. Obviously some people’s bodies can figure that stuff out on their own (when young, usually, and when an emphasis is placed on throwing the ball FREAKING HARD). The rest of us, if we didnt get it right the first time, began developing and ingraining bad movement patterns. The state of pitching instruction is not helping things either, given how rare it is to find a coach who consistently takes guys from low level to high level throwing mechanics. Sure guys take players with decent mechanics and get them to 90 by adding the missing element (in this case strength), but it almost never happens the other way around.

I don’t even remember what I was trying to say in this post anymore. Hope something in there made sense.

Edit. Ah, yes. My point is that baseball is a special case (velocity is king, relies on mechanics, which require a certain amount of chance - working on the right things through trial and error until it “clicks.”)

So the rest of us need to take a very different approach than those people who “naturally” get it. An analytical approach. This isn’t because they are more talented, I think they were just given the opportunity to discover or develop high level throwing from a younger age.

Nyman frequently commented that a good pitching coach can be seen as just someone who can shorten/condense that trial and error process for the player.


#10

I wasn’t really referring to anyone particular that you would even know, but i have 3 teammates on my college team who don’t work hard at all and just from playing ball since they were little they throw 90.

2 of them over 90 actually.

When i refer to players who “roll out of bed and throw 90” im usually referring to the ones who have no formal pitching instruction but have always been athletic enough to create 90 mph off the mound.

Some of us slave over pitching mechanics, sometimes the littlest tiniest things and wont ever gain another mph.

Then some outfielder will be brought in to throw cos hes always seemed to have a good arm and pops 90

that is all im referring to.


#11

[quote=“UndersizedRHP”]I wasn’t really referring to anyone particular that you would even know, but i have 3 teammates on my college team who don’t work hard at all and just from playing ball since they were little they throw 90.

2 of them over 90 actually.

When i refer to players who “roll out of bed and throw 90” im usually referring to the ones who have no formal pitching instruction but have always been athletic enough to create 90 mph off the mound.

Some of us slave over pitching mechanics, sometimes the littlest tiniest things and wont ever gain another mph.

Then some outfielder will be brought in to throw cos hes always seemed to have a good arm and pops 90

that is all im referring to.[/quote]

I have heard a theory that might explain some of this.

Too often players are more concerned with “looking” like a pitcher, rather than just throwing the heck out of the ball.

Form vs. function.


#12

I believe that contributes to why i throw hard. In high school i had no aspirations to be a pitcher. I was an all-state centerfielder with offers from multiple schools.

The school i’m at now the recruiting coach was at a tournament in cocoa beach fla and i happened to be pitching in a throw away game to fill innings. I coincedentally was throwing 87-88 (i had no idea at the time) and i got offered soon after.

Then my senior year i pitched for the very first time and i was a thrower thats for sure. I threw the ball as hard as i could every time i picked up the ball when i was younger all the way through highschool…

Then i made the mistake of turning to all pitching in college… Not that many DI’s allow two way players on the roster anyway.

I miss hitting every day.


#13

a mule never won the kentucky derby. neither did a racehorse that wouldn’t carry a jockey.

major league scout