Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Key to Speed:

Interesting fact from a book I just read, The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle. The book talks about how we develop skills on a neurological level as well the methods to teach and absorb these new skills. One interesting point that he talks about is the psychological aspect as well. I will not go into detail, but an interesting point he makes on why some people are faster than others.

Speed is generally thought of as a natural ability that can be improved but "some people just have it." Right? Maybe not. Think back to when you were in school, who were the fastest kids you knew? Think of the top think of if they had any brothers or sisters. I bet they do and I bet they are older than the speedster. Coyle does not propose this as scientific fact but make some interesting observations about why certain people are speedy.

Why would this matter? Well Coyle believes that growing up as a younger sibling you are often in a situation where you don't want to be left behind. Some more scientific information to back up his point.

Here are the birth order and ranks of the 10 previous world-record holders of the 100 meter dash.

1. Usain Bolt (2nd of 3 Children)
2. Asafa Powell (6th of 6)
3. Justin Gatlin (4th of 4)
4. Maurice Greene (4th of 4)
5. Donovan Bailey (3rd of 3)
6. Leroy Burrell (4th of 5)
7. Carl Lewis (3rd of 4)
8. Leroy Burrell (4th of 5) (Repeat)
9. Carl Lewis (3rd of 4) (Repeat)
10 Calvin Smith (6th of 8)

Of course there are plenty of other factors that play into this, but I thought that this was quite an interesting point. It also give me hope that speed can in fact be acquired you don't just have it or don't.

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