Sports Science: Week in Review, May 15-May 21

“We all see farther by standing on the shoulders of giants, then grouse when others try to perch on our own,” writes journalist Ryan Avent in a recent essay on the tradeoffs between competition and collaboration in 1843 Magazine.

Navigating those tradeoffs is a defining experience in sports even though it is rarely considered as such. The sociology is compelling.

Professional athletes work under constant pressure to perform, and to collaborate with teammates, coaches and front office. Environment and circumstance affect what an athlete can accomplish and how accomplishments are understood by co-workers and by fans.

  • Swansea City’s Gylfi Sigurdsson: A Big Fish In A Small Pond & That’s OK (uMAXit Football, Raj Bains)
  • Daniel Murphy Is a Value-Adding Teammate (FanGraphs Baseball, Travis Sawchik)
  • Paul Pogba Can’t Save Manchester United Alone. Nobody Can. (The New York Times, Rory Smith)
  • Coaches have critical responsibilities to shape athletes’ roles and translate those expectations into strategic decisions.

  • Steve Kerr’s Absence: The True Test Of A Leader (, Chris Ballard)
  • Confident and capable: how Paul Clement saved Swansea City (The Guardian, Stuart James)
  • Mark Sampson: Reviewing Progress (The FA, The Boot Room)
  • Undervaluing and overvaluing athletes’ talent is topic one in Moneyball sports. Scouting and analysis move evaluation beyond players and into the team and coaching domain. Judging the compete-collaborate dynamic is one aspect of the assessments (of many) that still need to be figured out.

  • You’re Recruiting The Wrong Kind of Talent–Here’s Why (Fast Company, Sam Walker)
  • What’s the best way to identify talent? The statistics vs visuals debate (These Football Times)
  • Game Theory – The changing landscape of footballing scouting (Back Page Football)
  • How does Mexico national team scout? Juan Carlos Osorio trusted assistant reveals all (ESPN FC, Tom Marshall)
  • Improving Opposition Analysis by Examining Tactical Matchups (Hockey Graphs, Ryan Stimson)
  • Running Backs Are Finally Getting Paid What They’re Worth (FiveThirtyEight, Benjamin Morris)
  • Athlete Screening Part 2: Performance Screens (Driveline Baseball)
  • How football clubs fail and succeed after reaching England’s Premier League (The Conversation, Rob Wilson and Dan Plumley)
  • NBA’s Eastern Conference teams worry whether they will ever be able to compete with LeBron James (The Washington Post, Adam Kilgore)
  • It’s hard to tell what sort of priority the compete-collaborate dynamic is when it comes to talent development. It probably should matter more but the never ending debate on what are the right and wrong things to do invariably gets in the way.

  • ‘This Doesn’t Sound Legal’: Inside Nike’s Oregon Project (The New York Times, Matt Hart)
  • Overachieving Ivy League students are learning the wrong lesson about what it takes to be successful (Quartz, Emma Seppala)
  • Do Some People Not Respond to Exercise? (Runner’s World, Sweat Science blog, Alex Hutchinson)
  • What know-it-alls don’t know, or the illusion of competence (Aeon Ideas, Kate Fehlhaber)
  • Athletic Bilbao’s methods provide lessons for Premier League clubs (Sky Sports, Nick Wright)
  • NBA — Cavs favor machine for training edge (ESPN NBA, Dave McMenamin)
  • U.S. Soccer’s New Goal: Attracting the World’s Young Stars (OZY, The Huddle, Edgar Acero)
  • The numbers—and the truth—about baseball’s PED problem and why it may never go away (, Tom Verducci)
  • The full and fascinating detail of the meticulous training regime a Lions squad faces (Wales Online, Matthew Southcombe)
  • Grad Hunter Becomes Gym Rat to Learn New Techniques (Nebraska Athletics Official Web Site)
  • More things that I read and liked last week:

  • Fifa ex-medical officer criticises decision to end health project (June 15, BBC Sport)
  • Everything We Know About Treating Tendon Injuries Is Wrong (May 19, Outside Online, T.J. Murphy)
  • How an early-season challenge brought innovation for KU basketball (May 19, The Kansas City Star, Jesse Newell)
  • New York Mets’ injury issues go far beyond the disabled list (May 18, ESPN MLB, Jerry Crasnick)
  • What employers need to know about fitness trackers (May 16, Employee Benefit News, Gary Cassidy )
  • MLB Is Having a Midlife Crisis (May 16, The Ringer, Zach Cram)
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