8 thoughts on “It’s the brain, stupid

  1. ‘”The idea is that there is no repetition of drills, no correction and players are encouraged not to think about what has gone wrong if they have made a mistake,” explained Schoellhorn, an expert in kinesiology or human movement.’

    I can think of at least one coach who wouldn’t be happy to employ these methods…

    1. Ah, but is this an approach to youth development or building a professional team?

      I can see the merits in getting the player to use his brain on an individual level, but I am sure that repetition can be useful when helping players to play as a team.

      1. That, I think, is a very good question. Could a team be defined as intelligent or what would an intelligent team consist of? A collection of intelligent individuals? Something that would seem to evolve / adapt almost outside of the people who happen to be involved in it? Or is it a system comprising specialised or adaptable units?

  2. In Australia, intelligence in public figures is derided. Being macho, never changing your mind, never doubting anything, being tough rather than compassionate, are the ingredients for success. Academics, teachers, experts of any kind are scorned.

  3. When I clicked the link to this article and started reading, I remembered an article I had read some years before in the New York Times Magazine section one Sunday regarding how the Russians develop such talented female tennis players. I went digging for the article and found it:


    I have no opinion on which approach is more promising (how could I really?), but if you found the first article interesting, I think you’ll find the comparison interesting.

  4. I’m sure this is what made Johnny Haynes so outstanding. He didn’t just have the technique, he knew how and when to use it, defining a new role (playmaker) before others had seen the possibilities. He also developed his peripheral vision and awareness, (one of the more esoteric human abilities known in footballing circles as having eyes in you backside) beyond the levels that more ordinary mortals could attain.

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