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David Epstein (@DaviidEpstein) is the author of Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, and of the New York Times bestseller The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance. He has master’s degrees in environmental science and journalism and has worked as an investigative reporter for ProPublica and a senior writer for Sports Illustrated. He is also one of the smartest and most fascinating people to talk to when it comes to ideas about nature vs nurture in sports, the 10,000 hour myth, multi-movement vs single sport specialization, and more. This interview was first recorded when Range was released in 2019, and is such an amazing conversation we had to share it again.    Highlights from the Podcast:

  • The debate between Epstein and Gladwell, and why the 10,000 rule is wrong
  • “Breadth of training predicts breadth of transfer”
  • “Teaching with hints”
  • How to use “spacing” to increase learning
  • Why current performance is not a good indication of learning
  • Sport sampling and the fear of leaving the “sports pipeline”
  • The world’s finest youth academy is not the best developmental system
  • The diversity of movement and lowering the chance of overuse injury
  • The true meaning of GRIT and the studies that explain it

Resources Mentioned:

  • The debate between Epstein and Gladwell [video]
  • Joy of the People [article]
  • Relative age at U17 euros [article]
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman [book]
  • The Talent Lab: The secret to finding, creating and sustaining success by Simon Timson [book]
  • Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth [book]

Connect with David Epstein


Do you want to access all of our videos from the 2021 Way of Champions Conference? They are now available here: Click Here to Learn More. This includes sessions with Steve Kerr, Brad Stevens, Cindy Timchal, Jenny Levy, George Mumford, Tara VanDerveer, and Quin Snyder along with Anson Dorrance. It is hours of top level coach education on connecting with your athletes, building your culture, and winning the “Inner Game.”

This week’s podcast is brought to you by our friends at Sports Refund. Many of you probably buy trip insurance, every winter I buy ski pass insurance, to make sure that if I get injured I can get my money back on that expensive investment. Well, many of us spend thousands of dollars on our kids sports club fees, but what if they get hurt? In many cases you cannot get your money back, but now with Sports Refund you can. And it’s not just for long term broken bones or torn ligaments. It is only a 14 day waiting period, so you even get a refund if you roll that ankle or pull a hammy! For just pennies on the dollar, you can make sure that if your child gets sick or injured and misses a month or more you can get your money back, or your club can get paid. It’s a great product, just go to and get your free quote, and if it sounds good you can either get your club to sign up, or you can purchase on your own. 

Become a Podcast Champion! This weeks podcast is also sponsored by our Patreon Podcast Champions. Help Support the Podcast and get FREE access to our most popular online courses, a $300 value. If you love the podcast, we would love for you to become a Podcast Champion, ( for as little as a cup of coffee per month (OK, its a Venti Mocha), to help us up the ante and provide even better interviews, better sound, and an overall enhanced experience. Plus, as a $10 per month Podcast Super-Champion, you will have access to never before released and bonus material, including:

  • Downloadable transcripts of our best podcasts, so you don’t have to crash your car trying to take notes!
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