Baseball is the wealthiest sport in the US. Players move for larger sums of money than even in European football. They are hot commodities that until fairly recently were profiled and rated on five skills, referred to as 'tools'. A five tool player was what the world of baseball was constantly on the lookout for. A young five tool guy could be a superstar.
I used the word 'could' in that last sentence with intent. 'Could' is not a sure thing. Sure things are extremely rare in a world painted in shades of grey.
One way to decipher a little more black and white from these shades of grey is through statistical analysis.
Just over a decade ago, a small group of guys changed the world of baseball forever. Armed with the weapon of statistical analysis, these guys destroyed the credibility of the traditional player profiling system. It turned out that the five tools the whole baseball world had been looking out for were not accurate indicators of a player's future success. Figuring out the more important indicators, these guys built a team on a budget that was around 30% of their rivals and took the game by storm.
If you haven't read or watched 'Moneyball' and are interested in talent recruitment or development, watch it!
Why am I throwing this curveball of an article at you? How can this be of value to you?
Again, I want you to have a think about your training.
In baseball, one of the five tools that scouts looked for was speed. A quicker player is a better player, right? Not necessarily. It's kind of like IQ. Beyond a certain threshold, extra IQ points don't make for a more successful career or happy life.
Increased capacity means nothing if you can't use it within the context you are performing in.
A footballer who sees a weakness in their dribbling at speed may go work on their ability to run in a straight line without a ball and become faster but this may have no carryover back to their dribbling.
Are you spending valuable time on developing aspects of your skills without an appreciation for how you will use your new found freedom in what you do? Are you working on productive things?
I have seen people with potential not materialise it. I have seen people with the finished capacity to do things that they want to do and still choose not to do them.
I want you to do differently.
I want you to forget about potential. I want you to forget about ability. Neither exist other than in our words.
Look at how you do things and the results you currently get doing them that way. Which parts of your actions really make the differences? A five tools guy who isn't performing as well as they would like to probably could benefit from looking outside of his five tools. Maybe you can too. Maybe you can stop overrating potential and start playing Moneyball with your game.