The Talent Equation Podcast

The Talent Equation Podcast

The Talent Equation podcast is an 'exploration in human advancement'... mostly (but not exclusively) through the lens of sport and physical activity. Each episode is an 'emergent conversation' with practitioners, parents, researchers, authors (or some combination of all three) taking a deep dive into the ways that people can help others to enhance their developmental journey in whatever field they are committed to. These conversations are not mainstream - you will not hear ideas that are provided on standard education courses - they fly in the face of convention - they will sometimes be controversial and provocative - the show is about doing things differently and doing different things. The people who come on the show are innovators - they are trying to break new ground or swim against the tide of a broken culture - what they say will prompt new thinking or new ideas. All that is asked of the listener is to embrace the conversation with an open mind. Become a supporter of this podcast:


February 22, 2024 78 mins
Adrian Sapp is a basketball coach from Ontario in Canada. He runs a basketball programme called 'Eco Hoops' which states in it's mission statement...

"EcoHoops, driven by a mission to transform youth basketball, places the utmost emphasis on nurturing the whole child. Central to our philosophy is the mental and emotional well-being of every young athlete, ensuring a positive, safe, and joy-filled basketball experience."

I thought th...
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Today, I am thrilled to welcome Phil Kearney back to the podcast. Phil is a renowned figure in the field of sports science, with a particular focus on skill acquisition and talent development. He brings a wealth of experience from his work as the course director for a master’s program in applied sports coaching at the University of Limerick in Ireland.

Key Takeaways:
  1. Impact of Coaches’ Beliefs: how coaches’ beliefs not only affe...
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In this episode, we dive deep into the transformative world of talent development within England Hockey by welcoming back Brett Holland and Sean Kitson, two previous podcast guests and who share their experiences and approaches to nurturing young talent in the sport of field hockey.

Main Themes:
  • The shift from a centralised system to a more flexible, decentralized approach, recognizing the individuality of athletes’ development p...
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Jordan Cassidy (MSc) has worked across the globe since September 2013, from Ireland, to Hong Kong, to the UK, and now in Brisbane, Australia. He has worked all over the world in roles such as a sports scientist, athletic development coach, and physical education teacher.

​Jordan is currently conducting research in skill acquisition and coaching at Queensland University of Technology, while working as a coach and player development ...
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Andrea Enrich popped by to chat about his new book, '50 tipe sof rintelligent players - Vol 2'

It is brillient and full of really powerful insights for players of all invasion games. There are some specific elements to field hockey and stick based sports but most of it applies more generally.

We talk about

'Leading like Michael Jackson'
'Rutuals are not superstitions'
'Using Video Intelligenly'
'Visualise tragendies not commedies'

I h...
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A proper deep reflection about a massive failure trying to be child first with a large group and it’s impact on my interactions with a neurodiverse child that I am still reflecting on and trying to come to terms with!

Become a supporter of this podcast:
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Graeme McDowall holds an MPhil degree in Sports Coaching Education from the University of Birmingham. He is a lecturer at the SRUC in Scotland and an associate lecturer in Sport and Exercise with the Open University. Graeme is made a welcome return to the show to explore the opportunities and challenges of using 2 touch in training.

But before we get to that, we discuss his thoughts on golf coaching, how we can create better experi...
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This week's guest is Andrew Sheaff, a swimming coach who has embraced the concept of non linear pedagogy and the constraints led approach in to his practice. So much so that he was invited by Professor Keith Davids to collaborate on a book all about the constraints led approach in swimming.

If you go onto Andrew's website you will see the following passage...

"It is extremely challenging to help swimmers to develop the skills to win...
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Dr Paul Gamble is the founder of 'Informed Practitioner in Sport' a platform dedicated to supporting talent developers with high quality information that help them to design better environments for young people to explore the limits of their potential (he's my kind of specialist!).

Paul joined me to talk about his latest book 'Sports Parenting: Negotiating the challenges of the youth sports journey to help kids thrive'.

'Sports Par...
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This episode features Christian Gompert an English Teacher and soccer coach from New Hampshire who is a long standing member of the Talent Equation 'Conclave' learning community.

It is recorded in my car as Christian and I were driving from one venue to the next as he was on the UK filming a documentary on the constraints led approach for a study he was conducting for his school.

The episode covers:

The constraints and opportunitie...
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In today's competitive world, teamwork and leadership skills are essential for success in sports and life. In this episode, I speak with John O'Sullivan, co-author of "The Champion Team: Eight Timeless Lessons to Connect, Compete and Lead in Sports and Life," to explore the power of selflessness in sports and society, and how being outwardly focused can lead to greater individual and team success.

One of the key factors in creating ...
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In this episode I chat with Andy Hailey, Director of Swimming at Brighton College, about his unique coaching philosophy and innovative training techniques. In this episode, we dive into the world of ecological dynamics, constraint-led approaches, and the benefits of implicit learning in swimming. Andy shares how his journey, from a PE teacher to an aquatics professional, has been shaped by key mentors like Rick Shuttelworth, and An...
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Wayne Goldsmith's journey began with packing boxes and evolved into a successful career in coaching and talent development. A chance encounter and someone's belief in Wayne's potential led him to pursue a career in sports science.
  • Wayne has worked with organizations like Swimming Australia, Triathlon Australia, and the Wallabies.

  • He conducted research on the post-host phenomenon surrounding the Olympics and the factors that influ...
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Back in the UK following my trip to the US where I was speaking to an amazing community of Ice Hockey Coaches at the USA Hockey Level 5 coaches symposium.

Sharing reflections of the event and the great work that the organisation does!

Become a supporter of this podcast:
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Mark Bennett MBE makes a welcome return to the podcast. Mark has been a very popular guest in the past and he is back by popular demand. Mark was part of the physical training team within the Royal Marine Commando training school before taking his ideas about human development into civiian life with a major focus on sport.

As always, it is a fascinating this episode we cover...

- Performance Development Systems (PD...
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Chris Kilmurray is a renowned coach in downhill and enduro mountain biking, with a background in sports science and coaching education having spent time working all over the world as a coach educator for the UCI.

We had a wide ranging conversation that felt like we we were on a mountain bike going downhill at great speed!! We had a healthy discussion / debate about the realative applications and limits of the ideas that are propose...
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Joe Baker makes a welcome return to the podcast to talk about his latest book 'The Tyranny of Talent'. We had a great conversation and covered a LOT of ground including...

1. Talent in sports is a far more complex concept than most people assume, and the traditional understanding of talent as a fixed, simple, and unidimensional capacity is flawed.

2. Coaches often lack training in talent evaluation and prediction, making it difficult...
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-Talent Equation Conclave is a group of ecological explorers that get together once a month to discuss coaching challenges and co create solutions.

This month we had a book club featuring guest Rob Grey, author of "How We Learn to Move." and his new book 'Learning to optimise movement'

Here are the key takeaways...

- Affordances are invitations from the environment, conveyed by information, and are relative to an individual's action...
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Phillip O'Callaghan (@mrtenniscoach on Twitter) hosted another one of his Twitter Spaces discussions recently and I was asked to join with Marrianne Davies, Alex Lascu and Cal Jones to talk all about isolated practice.

Here are the key takeaways...

1. Skill and technique are distinct concepts; technique refers to a movement pattern, while skill is the application of technique in response to a problem presented by a sport, activity, ...
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Hey there!

I just finished recording an incredibly insightful conversation with Nick Smallridge, whose journey from playing soccer in his small hometown to experiencing the professional setup in Finland has given him unique perspectives on coaching and player development.

We discussed the transformative experiences that led Nick to adopt the ecological approach, and the challenges faced when implementing this approach. Throughout ou...
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