Dating site for hockey lovers

But who tends to be the "best" player at age 8 or 8?The oldest, of course -- the kids born nearest the cut-off date, who can be as much as almost a year older than kids born at the other end of the cut-off date.So a 100-degree day in midwinter in New York is an outlier: It's too extreme to make sense. In sports, I'd reserve that term for athletes who simply defy expectations.I wouldn't call Tiger Woods an outlier, because we're familiar with the idea that golf can be dominated by a single individual.Sure enough: Many more were born early in the year than late. You see the same pattern, to an even more extreme degree, in soccer in Europe and baseball here in the U. It's one of those bizarre, little-remarked-upon facts of professional sports.They're biased against kids with the wrong birthday.Merron: How do you define an "outlier" when you're talking about sports?

Some of it's common sense -- hard work, good fortune, the support of a community -- no big revelations when these factors are discussed. The book is subtitled "The Story of Success," and the first chapter focuses on a very surprising major factor that connects the best junior hockey players in Canada.

I looked at the rosters of soccer teams in Europe and there are cases where you literally cannot find anyone born in the last three months of the year.

In other words, you can be the most naturally gifted athlete in the world.

I asked [an official] why he didn't just start a parallel league, with a cut-off in late summer. And if we're this bad at sports, imagine how bad we are at other things -- like getting the most out of young people's brains? First of all, we place way too much emphasis on it. The only thing we can do something about is the nurture part, and that's why we ought to spend so much more time talking about it.

It seems that with this book you're taking on the old "nature versus nurture" argument head-on. Yes, Michael Jordan was born with extraordinary physical gifts. And no one's putting up a statue of Tarpley outside their arena. Right now, for instance, like everyone else, I'm fascinated by Mike Leach. Doesn't that mean that a pro franchise ought to spend way more time selecting and developing its coaching talent than it does now?

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