Howe Comms 07-09 Respond to L Norman

From: Nottingham Andy (
Date: Wed Jun 03 1998 - 14:23:05 BST

Howe Commentators 7-9

Howe's article gives a convincing argument that talent does not exist
Lehmann backs this up by stating that performance levels have
increased over time. A good example is Roger Banister the first man
to run the mile in 4 mins, this now is a level of achievement many
runners can reach. At the time he could have been considered a gifted
runner but compared to modern performances he would be mediocre.
Modern performances are no doubt improved by available training
equipment and improved methods. However there has also been a
relatively recent empathasis on professional sports, back at the
start of the century it was rare for an individual to make their
living as a sportsperson, instead time would be split between work
and training part-time. In the target article Howe states that if
talent exists then much practise and effort is necessary for the
talent to fully realise itself. The improvements in world records and
performance ability reflect changes in technology and understanding,
this does not discount talent as a factor merely that performance is
enhanced by improvements in technology.

Starkes et al. discuss the irregular distribution of sportsperson in
regard to excellence. They note that people seen as excelling in
sports are most often born at the start of a cut off point between
age barriers in high school sports, this means that they are as old
as they can possibly be to compete in the catagory. This age
advantage is seen as giving them an advantage of being more mature
which pays off in their choosen sport. They see this advantage
progress through to adult sports teams as well. It's clear why this
pattern of results may occur in school teams but they do not
highlight why it progresses through to adulthood. They may have made
an implicit assumption on the basis that if a child performs well in
school at a particular sport they receive alot more encouragement,
training, and have better opportunities to excell. This gives them
more practise time and therefore better opportunities to excell.
Again this article makes no contribution to the argument on whether
talent exists or not, the best athletes receive all the best training
and have huge amounts of practise, but agian both of these are
features necessay to make talent show.

The final article by Stevenson again adds nothing to the debate on
talent merely stating that ones motivation to learn can be
manipulated to produce greater learning results.

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