Toast Fremantle's 1st 2018 National Draft Pick: Sam Sturt [Pick #17]

theGav56

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Somewhat related, there's an ongoing debate in the skill acquisition field about the merits of early diversification vs early specialisation.

Probably the biggest drawback for early specialisation is early burnout, which is why sports that require it (like swimming for example) tend to have quite high early retirement rates. Similarly, it may be a factor in why you sometimes see precocious tennis talents who specialised early lacking intrinsic motivation once they get older (eg Tomic/Kyrgios).

I remember reading somewhere that country areas produce a disproportionate amount of elite sporting talent, which is partly attributed to the fact they traditionally grew up enjoying a lot more unstructured play, as well as a tendency to sample more sports than city kids who often get funnelled in one direction a bit earlier. Similarly, the unstructured play theory could partly explain why countries like England, who put their kids into very structured training environments from a young age, don't seem to produce the same freakish soccer talents as their South American counterparts.

None of this is very concrete of course, because it's difficult to run randomised control trials in a field like this. Maybe England are just crap at everything and Tomic would have been a dick no matter his upbringing.
Actually I fully understand that. Most people would do an alternative sports activity in the off season anyway, more as an adjunct to their fitness program.

The other discussion is about if multi sports people are going to be more likely to have their performances set at a 'different level ' as a consequence.
 

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estibador

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The other discussion is about if multi sports people are going to be more likely to have their performances set at a 'different level ' as a consequence.
Hard to measure directly as I said, but here's one example of a study supporting the idea that playing multiple sports is better for physical development and gross motor coordination.

Differences in physical fitness and gross motor coordination in boys aged 6–12 years specializing in one versus sampling more than one sport

Multiple comparisons revealed that boys aged 10–12 years, who spent many hours in various sports, performed better on standing broad jump (P < 0.05) and gross motor coordination (P < 0.05) than boys specializing in a single sport.
 

theGav56

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Hard to measure directly as I said, but here's one example of a study supporting the idea that playing multiple sports is better for physical development and gross motor coordination.

Differences in physical fitness and gross motor coordination in boys aged 6–12 years specializing in one versus sampling more than one sport
I would assume that most kids who are good at sport play more than one sport because of the seasonality of sport. The way to measure it could be to look at AFL lists and categorize those who were good/elite in a second sport (Sturt with cricket, Moller with basketball), and then see how many actually succeeded. Then see if there is any variance with those and players who either didn't do a second sport or were poor/average in a second sport (Darcy with swimming, Blakely with surfing). Then compare the statistics to see if being good/elite in another sport translates into a greater success level in the AFL.
 

M_rash

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I would assume that most kids who are good at sport play more than one sport because of the seasonality of sport. The way to measure it could be to look at AFL lists and categorize those who were good/elite in a second sport (Sturt with cricket, Moller with basketball), and then see how many actually succeeded. Then see if there is any variance with those and players who either didn't do a second sport or were poor/average in a second sport (Darcy with swimming, Blakely with surfing). Then compare the statistics to see if being good/elite in another sport translates into a greater success level in the AFL.
Slightly off topic, I think the AFL just like to let everybody know that they “poached” an athlete from another junior sport - kinda a chest beating, pissing contest. Otherwise we probably wouldn’t even hear about Sturts cricketing potential. Feels more like an “AFL beats cricket to claim talented junior”, than a “talented multi-sports junior will excel at AFL” kinda story.

No doubt there are benefits to playing various sports as you grow up. But I would imagine some sports complement each other better than others. Be it from a conditioning, skills or focus/mindset perspective. Working in close and vertical leap playing basketball can translate to footy. Tackling in Rugby can translate to footy. Athletics and running can translate to footy. It’s harder to see the link between cricket and footy - other than a personal desire to compete/be the best - or just being patient playing that sport every week over summer, countless hours doing bugger all haha (sorry to the cricket fans).
 

wayToGo_

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It’s harder to see the link between cricket and footy - other than a personal desire to compete/be the best - or just being patient playing that sport every week over summer, countless hours doing bugger all haha (sorry to the cricket fans).
He'll have no problem waiting to be played. The perfect 'project players' are from cricket.
 
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