Rest Day Read 3-15-10

Rest Day Read (SR-15)
The Physical Genius by Malcolm Gladwell
“If you think of physical genius as a pyramid, with, at the bottom, the raw components of coordination, and, above that, the practice that perfects those particular movements, then this faculty of imagination is the top layer. This is what separates the physical genius from those who are merely very good.”
What makes the great ones great? The million dollar question. I have been fascinated with the concepts of this article by Malcolm Gladwell, originally published in New Yorker Magazine in 1999, ever since I stumbled across it. I particularly like the Gestalt, or the space/form recognition component.
I used to get really funny, odd looks and blank stares from administrators, parents and some other coaches when I would talk about these concepts. I would use Gestalt methods in offensive lineman drills every day so that the lineman would see the patterns the opposition would employ to stop us. Recognize and repeat, repeat and repeat over and over again until it was embedded. We would watch game film of the opposition as much as possible, then during practice a offensive scout team ran the opposition’s formation and plays. Recognize and repeat, repeat and repeat over and over again until it was embedded. Everyone knew our scout team was not as good as our upcoming opponent, but the important things was to present the patterns.
The great ones “see” (visualize and process) things in a different, advanced manner. They have the raw components, the desire to practice to obsessive perfection and they possess the factor of imagination that vaults them to a completely different level than the rest of us. For an example of “the faculty of imagination”, think of the spontaneous moves involved in a Barry Sanders breakaway run.

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