What’s the point of sport?

In this episode, Jon and I make the case that it’s about education and learning. The culture of coaches used to be educators. They came from a background of using athletics as a means to help student athletes grow and develop. As the top side of the sport professionalized, there’s been a trickle-down effect where College and High School athletics has shifted more and more towards a business model.

What’s a business model? It’s a search for certainty. We think that if we apply business school like ideas, use statistics, create fancy models, and apply ‘moneyball’ concepts that we’ll reach a level where we can control and be certain about performance.

It’s a fools quest.

There are detrimental effects for high school students with the ever growing search for the next great prodigy which is a result of the misuse of the linear growth model. We tend to fool ourselves by seeing progression as a linear, projectile quantity. In our minds, we equate this to a scientific approach. In reality, it’s a cognitive bias gone wrong.

Going into the college and professional ranks, we see contracts and stipends determined by similar linear progressions that bank on an assumption of certainty and linear progression that simply does not exist. This same need for certainty has dumbed our professional sport down into a series of races where athletes demand predictable races.

We end with one simple message: Be Bold!

A few more topics covered:

-36:00- Rabbits

-38:00- Coaches- Stop being Control Freaks

-41:00- The false presentation of the need for a ‘professional’ model

-42:00- The myth of marginal gains and a “secret”

Thanks for giving it a listen, and if you could do us a huge favor and rate the show on iTunes that would be great!

Steve and Jon
@stevemagness

@jmarpdx

Mentioned in this podcast:

A Look at the Progression of World Class 800m runners

Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek

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Episode 40- The Businessification of Athletics and the Need for Certainty
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