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Bearman

Will we ever catch up?

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Blimey Steve.

No such thing as natural talent then.

Not quite, but for complex tasks like playing RL it appears that the environment and manner in which someone trains is more important important than anything like "natural aptitude".

There is a huge literature on this. Very interesting stuff, with enormous implications. It's quite counter intuitive until you start to think on it a while. But "Natural talent" doesn't explain why some quite specific localities seem to produce a disproportionate amount of professional players.

It turns out that developing junior players into internationals isn't a numbers game - it's a quality game. Get them the very highest quality of coaching from an early age and build the right culture for them to develop in. That's what it's all about.

On the downside, it's a very much more difficult thing than just throwing vast numbers of twelve year olds into a sausage machine and hoping Andrew Johns appears at the other end. On the upside, you don't need many twelve year olds to produce an Andrew Johns.

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Stevo's commentary and a lack of understanding about how to develop talent or the technical aspects of the game are linked.

Fair point, but Stevo's inane witterings could easily be countered by good coaching at junior level.

If there are any junior coaches who are upset by the implications of what I'm saying - my question to you would be "When did a team that came through the junior coaching system in England last win a Test Series against Australia?"

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We played touch or "held" at School, we used a soft drink can filled with dirt or a tennis ball, at the local park we played 5 a side or often "Forcing's back where two kids could kick for space on a field, if caught on the full you got a 10 yard walk forward (no good for Tomkins) When you were over the try line it was over, you could play in pairs. Its all of these things that contribute to the Aussie game and developing kicking, positioning and catching skills.

Played 'tick' rugby in my schooldays quite a lot during dinner breaks, as well as in the street after school. As a sport, the debates will linger on and on in terms of continued growth. How far we can go in this direction isn't an easy formula to find.

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Fair point, but Stevo's inane witterings could easily be countered by good coaching at junior level.

If there are any junior coaches who are upset by the implications of what I'm saying - my question to you would be "When did a team that came through the junior coaching system in England last win a Test Series against Australia?"

You mentioned British Cycling. Another good example is UK Sport which seems to be run entirely by people who don’t actually like sport but who are very good at identifying where, when and to whom funding should be given to generate Olympic medals – and this is done entirely separately from the widening participation remit of Sport England. Sadly, as rugby league is not an Olympic sport we don’t get the medal-winning money, just the widening the pool cash.

If we were really serious about winning at international level there would a pathway in place for selected kids from about age 14 onwards – and following the UK Sport model it would be controlled and funded by some right bastards.

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Not quite, but for complex tasks like playing RL it appears that the environment and manner in which someone trains is more important important than anything like "natural aptitude".

There is a huge literature on this. Very interesting stuff, with enormous implications. It's quite counter intuitive until you start to think on it a while. But "Natural talent" doesn't explain why some quite specific localities seem to produce a disproportionate amount of professional players.

It turns out that developing junior players into internationals isn't a numbers game - it's a quality game. Get them the very highest quality of coaching from an early age and build the right culture for them to develop in. That's what it's all about.

On the downside, it's a very much more difficult thing than just throwing vast numbers of twelve year olds into a sausage machine and hoping Andrew Johns appears at the other end. On the upside, you don't need many twelve year olds to produce an Andrew Johns.

I'm unconvinced.

I can understand how out of 50 players you can hothouse them to become very good professionals, but as we are seeing it's the skillfull players who make all the difference.

If you lists say the top ten playmakers and gamebreakers like Briers, Brough etc etc I just cannot believe for one minute you can coach them to be what they are.

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I'm unconvinced.

I can understand how out of 50 players you can hothouse them to become very good professionals, but as we are seeing it's the skillfull players who make all the difference.

If you lists say the top ten playmakers and gamebreakers like Briers, Brough etc etc I just cannot believe for one minute you can coach them to be what they are.

I personally would have to agree in part with either side of this argument.

Insomuch as there certainly has to be a degree of natural aptitude in order to stand out from the crowd for certain players to display their own unique abilities, yet also, there can be little doubting the fact that better coaching from an early age will almost certainly weigh heavily favourably towards further enhancing those natural abilities and allowing such players to progress even further.

I would propose that the Melbourne Storm are the nearest to being the perfect example of this in the manner that they can seem to change so many of their playing staff on a regular basis, yet still maintain a very high degree of continuation within the team.

Cronk, Smith and Slater, do carry a lot of that continuity, but they do have to have the rest to help them and the changes rung there just do not seem to cause the disruption that others often suffer due to such occurrences.

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Steve Mays point makes perfect sense to me, it's how much it matters that's in question, but to an extent it's true obviously.

Problem is if you've got excellent coaching, culture and all that with a small base of players, and the other guy(Australia) has the same standards but with more players and better athletes, then you're still going to lose.

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I'm unconvinced.

I can understand how out of 50 players you can hothouse them to become very good professionals, but as we are seeing it's the skillfull players who make all the difference.

If you lists say the top ten playmakers and gamebreakers like Briers, Brough etc etc I just cannot believe for one minute you can coach them to be what they are.

Surely the point is that the "naturally gifted players" will be among those 'hothoused' and will also benefit from the better coaching. Thus, it's not a case of 'either/or', but a case of 'as well as'.

(and I'm not a fan of intense coaching of youngsters)

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I think this is the wrong question to ask IMHO

of course Rugby League in the UK can't achieve the status of Rugby League in Australia

there are two questions to consider I think.

1 What potential does uk rl actually have?

2 What are the chances of it being achieved?

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