Notyalcsdrawkcab’s Weblog

August 5, 2011

The France Fiasco and Late Summer babiez

Filed under: Uncategorized — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 8:05 pm

Sometimes yesterdays news bubbles up to the top of my consciousness.  Yesterday’s news is todays fish and chips wrapping.  We have all moved on.

So the France fiasco – you might think “which one?”.  I am thinking about the national coach and those discussions about race quotas in junior national teams.  Which I did find racist.

But recent discussion of the summer babies phenomen (those born early in the year will outshine those born later in the same year, consistently get chosen for national / rep teams) got me thinking about ONE PART of that discussion.  The French NT Coach was saying something like how the current selection processes were rewarding physically powerful / athletic players more than other types of players.  And those few months of extra development are giving the late summer  babies physical advantages which mean they get all the attention.  So they somehow feel connected to me.

Find a way to reduce the importance of physical advantages in selection (especially when so much is now known about physical preparation and the opportunity for players to catch up physically later has never been better) would essentially triple the size of the talent pool. Crazy maths?
Yes – those born early in the year – 1 group, those born in the middle of year and end of the year – 2 more groups … look at all 3 groups equally, tripling the talent pool!

How?  *Warning* some of the following will be incredibly naive – just a fan shooting the breeze

Hiving off / adding some rep team spots, which would be chosen not on general play / open trial, but based only on a skills based test or criteria.  These spots might be chosen based on getting players to do a bunch of skills based drills, or it could mean having some of the selectors use radically different selection criteria when watching games (player goes to useful spots without the ball, trap ball ability, pass percentage i dunno).

I don’t know much about NFL football – but their use of the combine system could translate well to other sports.  Get a group of athletes together, and rather than running games, they do physical and skills based tests.  This could include small sided games made up of random groups of players, passing drills, skill based drills.  And if players know that drills x, y and z are part of the combine – you can bet that they will start using those drills during the year.

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