The G-Factor

26 February 2013
lol balotelli robinho

Balotelli and Robinho celebrating over their 2-0 win over Barca was pretty funny 😀

Daniel Coyle, a New York Times best selling author of the Talent Code wrote a blog post back in 2011 titled “The Way to Identify Talent: The G Factor“. I found it today after Jordan shared it on Facebook and it sums up my work method amazingly. The post talks about the technique coaches, people are traditionally identifying talent in sports, music, etc as an grossly ineffective way. It’s a “little better than rolling a dice” Coyle says. I’m pasting and underlining/highlighting alot of key points that are made about this g factor.

“According to much of this new work, what matters is not current performance, but rather growth potential – what you might call the G-Factor — the complex, multi-faceted qualities that help someone learn and keep on learning, to work past inevitable plateaus; to adapt and be resourceful and keep improving.. G-Factor can’t be measured with a stopwatch or a tape measure. It’s more subtle and complex. Which means that instead of looking at performance, you look for signs, subtle indicators — what a poker player might call tells.  In other words, to locate the G-Factor you have to close your eyes, ignore the dazzle of current performance and instead try to detect the presence of a few key characteristics. Sort of like Moneyball, with character traits.

So what are the tells for the G-Factor? Here are two:

One is early ownership. As Marjie Elferink-Gemser’s work shows, one pattern of successful athletes happens when they’re 13 or so, when they develop a sense of ownership of their training. For the ones who succeed, this age is when they decide that it’s not enough to simply be an obedient cog in the development machine — they begin to go farther, reaching beyond the program, deciding for themselves what their workouts will be, augmenting and customizing and addressing their weaknesses on their own.

Another tell is grit. This quality, investigated by the pioneering work of Angela Duckworth, refers to that signature combination of stubbornness, resourcefulness, creativity and adaptability that helps someone make the tough climb toward a longterm goal.

This to me makes perfect sense! It sums me up. The problem with professional soccer and sports in general is that coaches have a extremely limited time to prove themselves and only want the very best players NOW so they can win games – looking forward a few years in the future doesn’t work for them, so it’s a tough perspective to bring in to the older age groups and senior level. But definitely for the younger age groups — THIS is what they have to be looking for. The G-Factor.

Woke up this morning looking forward to playing in a match. I opened up my curtains to see white dust everywhere – but a check of my email and no cancellation message had me thinking the match was on. With no phone(I lost it earlier), it took me an hours scramble, cold, lost in a foreign country asking for directions, cycling around in circles until I to eventually get to the grounds we were meant to be playing and saw that the whole place was deserted. Bummer. Yet another match cancelled! Apparently a Tuesday friendly is arranged though.

Didn’t end up going to Berlin, but a had a good social time in Amsterdam anyway. Didn’t go to any Damsko sessions because I’m stupid.

I was thinking today what makes the greatest players and athletes. I was almost feeling like I’m peaking in my ability, like I’m running out of things to improve on – but knowing myself and knowing what makes great athletes, businessman, etc – that’s a bunch of fucking nonsense. Infact I can’t believe I was thinking that –  I’m friggin 19 and if I were THAT good, I’d be playing in the premier league by now. I want to learn more what makes the great, legendary athletes  and apply their methods to my own game and goals. Is it mental? What characteristics? Leadership? That one quality that Arsene Wenger talks about? I’ve already seen a bit about Michael Jordan and how important the mental side of the game was for him. That’s something I have to explore this more.

Goal Journal

My Vision
Long term goals
Play professionally by end of summer 2013
Short term goals
1. be more explosive
doing this, more pullups, more pushups and core. Using Kettlebells, clean hangs, etc. 
General comment: Really focusing my workout exercises on more dynamic, explosive ones. Focus less on the arms now.
2. quicker plays
again, using squash courts and small spaces bouncing off walls pretending theres players on me 
General comment: really trying to replicate the amount of time on average you would have in the premier league for a touch and a shot.
3. Build LinkedIn network
didn’t add many contacts this week. Add more next week.
accomplished: be stronger off the ball
Plan & Checklist
Monday: Gym and Personal Training and match analysis
Tuesday: club training + stay behind and champions league match analysis
Wednesday: Gym and damsko session and champions league match analysis
Thursday: club training + stay behind
Friday: damsko session and gym
Sat: match analysis
Sunday – game
Do 18 hours of work! MUST BY ANY MEANS DO 15 BY FRIDAY (missed 3 from the 20)
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In 2009, I was an average soccer player with a dream. I started this blog to document my journey from local underdog to getting offered over $100,000 in soccer scholarships, a contract to play professionally and the experience of playing in Europe.
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