Dr. Joe Baker is one of our favorite people in talent development, sport specialization, and long term athlete development, and our conversation this week does not disappoint. We talk about David Epstein’s new book Range, discuss sport specialization, as well as the relative age effect, what great coaching looks like, how poor the evidence shows we are at talent ID, our broken talent ID system, and so much more. This is one you are going to want to take some notes on!
Dr. Joe Baker is Professor and head of the Lifespan Health and Performance Laboratory in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science at York University, Canada. He is a world-leader in research on talent identification and high performance athlete development and has held visiting researcher/professor positions in the United Kingdom, Australia and Germany. His research considers the varying influences on optimal human development, ranging from issues affecting athlete development and skill acquisition to barriers and facilitators of optimal aging.
Joe is author/editor of 8 books and hundreds of peer reviewed articles and book chapters. He works with several Canadian high performance sports teams (e.g., Golf Canada, Wheelchair Basketball Canada) and organizations (e.g., Own the Podium, the Canadian Sport Institutes/Centres, the Canadian Paralympic Committee) in their quests for international success. More info on his research can be found at yorku.ca/bakerj
Connect with Joe Baker
Highlights from the Podcast:
Min 10: Being a generalist vs being a specialist
Min 15: How do parents help our kids diversify in sport?
Min 19: What sports transfer well to one another?
Min 25: What role does motivation play in athlete development?
Min 29: Is High performance sport a healthy pursuit?
Min 35: What are the effects of early specialization?
Min 37: Accuracy of professional sports drafts in predicting career potential (We are terrible at it!)
Min 45: What skills need to be developed in order to be successful at the highest levels?
Min 55: What are the consequences of early identification?
The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance (book) by David Epstein
Long Term Athletic Development (website)
Tiger Woods (Biography) by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian
Belichick: The Making of the Greatest Football Coach of All Time (book) by Ian O’Conner
Announcements for Changing The Game Project:
Way of Champions Conference will be in Denver, CO on August 2-4. Visit https://changingthegameproject.com/wocconference for more information!
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