Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Monday, February 23, 2004

Predicting success


Last year I spent some time talking to Peter Snell* about orienteering, his research, running, training and getting old. Peter is always worth listening to because he's achieved some things beyond what most of us can imagine. One of the things we spent some time talking about was predicting success -- how can you look at an athletes and predict how they'll do?

Peter, for example, told me he was only the third best 800 meter runner in his high school. Just a few years later he was the best in the world. Could someone have looked at Peter's training, talked to him, looked at his results, etc. and predicted how he'd perform?

Pick a good young orienteer, let's say John Fredrickson. Will he be the next Mikell Platt (dominant in the U.S.)? Maybe he'll be the next Thierry Gieorgiou (a world champ)? Maybe he'll be the next Doug Hollowell (dominant in the U.S. as a junior....disappeared as a senior)? Or maybe he'll be the first John Fredrickson?

I was thinking about these sorts of questions today after I read an article on how the Baltimore Orioles use psychological test to help them select baseball players. Take a look at the article .

*I googled Peter and came across a link with a short sports resume and a Runners' World interview.

posted by Michael | 7:14 PM


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