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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Talent Code on Nightline; ITF Montreal Grade 3; Muhammad Advances in Las Vegas; USTA Facility Awards; US Boys Play for Semifinal Spot in Jr. Davis Cup

I received an email today from Daniel Coyle, author of The Talent Code: Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown. Here's How, alerting me to a feature about it tonight on Nightline. (If you are reading this Thursday, you may still be able to catch it by going to the Nightline website, where you should be able to view it via the "Watch Full Episodes" option). As I said in my review of the book in July, it will make you think twice before you throw around the word talent. I know I don't use it nearly as often, or with the same meaning, as I did before I read Coyle's book.

The North American ITF junior circuit moved from Illinois to Montreal this week, and the boys semifinals are set at the Grade 3 event, with a US vs. Canada final guaranteed. Americans Mitchell Krueger and Michael Lippens meet in one semi, with Edward Nguyen and Filip Peliwo of Canada in the other. Nguyen, at No. 7, is the only seed remaining. In the girls semifinals, Robin Anderson of New Jersey will play Canadian Amy He, and South Carolina's Leyla Erkan plays Marianne Jodoin, the only seed, at No. 2, of the four semifinalists. Americans Katie Goepel and Jessica Wacnik are in the doubles final. For complete results, see the ITF junior website.

Wild card Asia Muhammad won her opening match this evening in Las Vegas, leading No. 7 seed Heidi El Tabakh of Canada, the No. 7 seed, 6-0, 2-0 when El Tabakh retired. Muhammad and CoCo Vandeweghe also won their opening doubles match last night, defeating the No. 2 seeds Agnes Szatmari and Riza Zalameda 7-6(2), 6-4. Muhammad will play Lauren Albanese twice Thursday, in singles and in doubles. Albanese is playing with Madison Brengle.

In the $10,000 men's event in Laguna Niguel, wild cards Denis Kudla and Raymond Sarmiento lost their first round matches today. Ryan Harrison advanced to the second round with a win over No. 6 seed Nicholas Monroe.

For complete results, see the Pro Circuit results page at usta.com.

The USTA announced its outstanding facility awards today, and I'm looking forward to visiting the Cullman-Heyman Indoor Tennis Center at Yale University in November for the ITA Indoor Championships. Congratulations to all the winners.

The U.S. Junior Davis Cup team advanced to a meeting with the Czech Republic on Thursday, as both teams won today 3-0. The seventh-seeded U.S. team beat India and the second-seeded Czech Republic beat Chile. The winner of Thursday's match will advance to the semifinals. For more, see the ITF junior website.

There is a live stream of one match every day available via this link. Tomorrow it is scheduled to show Great Britain vs. Argentina at 11 AM EDT.


Amtex said...

I read the Talent Code....sort of agree with a lot of it. But not 100% I see kids every day at our tennis club working side by side, the same age, same size, all practicing on the edge of their abilities....just like the book says.

But out of 10 of them, 1 or 2 are amazing, 6 are decent, 1 or 2 are horrible.

If these kids can work day after day together and the other factors are the same how are the 1-2 that are clearly waaaaay better not more talented? The bottom 2 kids could work 10 times more than the top kids yet never be as good.

tennisforlife said...

I read Outliers but not The Talent Code - it's on my list. I think the answer to Amtex's comment is that a base level of talent is required not an exceptional level. As Gladwell says in Outliers - you are as likely to win a Nobel prize with an IQ of 130 as 180 so sell any IQ you have over 130. The same applies to sport.

2 said...

"The bottom 2 kids could work 10 times more than the top kids yet never be as good."
- it's not just working longer but also working smarter... practicing with a purpose; the fact that the kids working at your club are working side by side indicates that the horrible kids don't do anything to cover their weaknesses or develop other weapons. in addition to the talent code and outliers i would also recommend talent is overrated.

Rod said...

Ask Mike Shanahan about this theory.

After Denver won the Super Bowl with John Elway, I think he swallowed this theory. The idea was that he and his coaching staff could take any basic player and develop them. This was especially true for offensive lineman.

Shanahan won nothing without John Elway. Shanahan is now out of a job.

The same thing is happening in Green Bay. Ted Thompson bought into this same theory for the offensive line and Green Bay is having offensive line problems again this year.

I've watched enough sports to realize the kids on the bench usually have a greater love of the game, more drive, and more dedication but less natural talent. Thus they are on the bench. Isn't it interesting that this is usually where your best coaches come from.

If you want to build a nice piece of furniture out of cherry you have to start with cherry. You can't develop pine into cherry.

Mac Attack said...

As a former athlete and current coach talent (Speed, athletic ability, size, strength)is a requirement to have the chance to be great. But talent with out desire or a significant chip on your shoulder will severly limit your achievments. If you are 5-2, and 110 lbs and have slow reflex motor skills you may be a great runner but average to poor high school tennis player. I have worked with average athletes who became solid college tennis players and I have worked with Great athletes who no longer have the desire to play because of the demands required to be great. Give me a great athlete with a huge chip onj his shoulder and then you might have something. By the way I consider great hand eye coordination as a critical componet when looking for our next great player. Spped and strength with out finely tuned motor skills isnt woth much in Tennis.

Puzzled said...

Colette, Whatever happened to Mika DeCoster and where is Christian Harrison?

Colette Lewis said...

I don't know about DeCoster. Harrison is recovering from a hip problem.

McLovin said...

What happened to Bo Seal? I don't see him on the Georgia roster although I see the other 2 freshman.

Go USA said...

Mika is coached by Mike Wolf, the coach of Jack Sock in Kansas City.

get rel said...

A great book to read regarding talent is life (golf) is not a game of perfect. A friend told me to read this and for my child. What an insight. The autho Bob Rotella has dealt with athletes in every sport and top executives.

Colette Lewis said...

My understanding is that Seal is starting in January.