Our Obsession with Early Bloomers

Discussion in 'SoCalScene' started by oh canada, Apr 16, 2019.

  1. oh canada

    oh canada Silver

    Nov 24, 2017
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    Heard this author on NPR today. Sounds like a great new book. Very relevant in the youth soccer realm:

    “In Late Bloomers, Rich Karlgaard analyzes one of the most powerful myths in America: that test scores and early achievements are the best indicators of success in life. He makes a compelling case that the relentless search for prodigies is bad for kids and blinds us to the extraordinary talents of those who develop normally. A must read for parents and executives.”
    —Roger McNamee, Founder of Elevation Partners and Author of Zucked

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  2. mirage

    mirage Silver

    Jul 8, 2016
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    Fundamentally, agree with the concept of late bloomers and that cognitive abilities need to catchup with the world around an individual.

    In sports context, there are plenty of examples of greatness coming though later in their sports career. Take Michael Jordan, Greg Maddox, Tom Brady to name a few. Tom Brady, who by every measure and account should have failed in NFL rather than becoming the player he is. All the pre draft eval had him so low, he was a 6th rounder. On the other hand, there has been many. many 1st round picks in every position/sports that have gone bust. Clearly, there's a big connection between cognition and physical abilities (see my last sentence).

    Having said that, all of these athletes had something so that they were recruited to play in college and further more had something that gave them an opportunity to be drafted. In other words, only small fraction of college players get drafted so just how "late bloomer" are they, if they were good enough to be recruited to college, much less drafted into pro sports?

    The problem with generalizing what a late bloomers is that there is something about the person that ultimately makes them successful. Not all average person is a late bloomer that didn't get an early chance. There's more to it than that. In the short excerpt provided in the link of Roger McNamee's (RM) book on Amazon, there's a mention of a person that found Forbes magazine who floundered after college and became successful. Well, he also mentions that he attended Stanford, albeit he doesn't know how he got in. The fact remains that he attended Stanford and there was something about the person that made him worthwhile to admit.

    In youth soccer, the only association I see with late bloomers has to do with progression of puberty. The only real cognitive difference are most noticed in terms of soccer IQ and the ability to be creative under pressure on the field, at post puberty stage. The puberty differences overwhelms almost all instance when kids are playing below U14. And before you say there's this player or that player that...., well, there are always exceptions, but generally speaking, you all know that it's true.

    Its worth noting that while RM spoke with neuroscientists and psychologists, he is a venture capitalist and a media person that makes his rounds on CNBC, Bloomberg and Fox Business Channel and alike. His lens and expertise are in startups and pre-IPO companies, and not sports. What I'm saying is that, while there are some similarities and correlations, most of his insight comes from a different world, where cognitive abilities makes a larger percentage of the total "late bloomer" package. In sports, speed, agility and strength plays a major role. Its how the brain manipulates those characteristics and attributes that differentiate the person.
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