Search for your sports books:

Featured Publisher: John Blake
Apart form its current publications, John Blake Publishing has a sizeable back list of acclaimed sporting titles. These include biographies of stars such as Roger Federer, WG Grace, Fernando Torres and Frankie Dettori. For more information, visit www.blake.co.uk



Read Review
<back to archive

The Talent Lab The secrets of creating and sustaining success By Owen Slot

Release date: 27th April, 2017
Publisher: Ebury Press

List Price: £20.00
Our Price: £14.88
You Save: £5.12 (25%)
Buy Now

“Normal people do not win one gold medal, let alone a gold medal plus at least one more. Thus, it seems unlikely that super-elite athletes would have normal personalities, normal interpersonal relationships, or fit comfortably into a normal sporting system. Rather, one would expect them to have some idiosyncrasies that make them exceptional.”

The words are taken from a three-and-a-half year study conducted by Bangor University into athletes who had won more than 100 medals at Olympic and World Championship level. More than 1,400 hours of interviews were conducted with these successful athletes to create The Great British Medallists (BGM) study which would form the basis for identifying would-be Olympians. It is one of a number of fascinating asides provided by Owen Slot in The Talent Lab, a book he claims has been in the making since the Atlanta Olympics of 1996 when Britain won just one gold medal.

The turnaround in Great Britain’s Olympic fortunes has been nothing short of dramatic. From a miserable return on investment 21 years ago, in 2012, Team GB were third in the medal table; at last year’s Rio Olympics, they took second place. Yet, as Slot shows, it wasn’t as though sport was starved of cash between 1996-2012.

For instance, during the run-up to the three Olympic Games preceding 2012, a total of £52 million was spent on 282 members of the GB swimming team, yet only one of them, Rebecca Adlington (in 2008), delivered a gold medal – which she did twice.

The BGM suggested that the money needed to be targeted with even greater accuracy, but how? The report answered the question by identifying 16 super-elite athletes, every one of whom experienced a ‘significant negative critical event’ during their early years. This included the death of a parent, another parent who attempted suicide, bullying at school and a host of other motives that would become part of the force driving the child on to sporting success.

It all sounds a little like The Boys from Brazil, but rather than use the athletes’ negative experiences for sinister purposes, Team GB instead harnessed indigenous talent to great effect. Whether than means we’ll top the medal table in 2020 is another matter, although after reading this superb book, you’ll believe sports scientists could give Team GB a chance of doing so.


<back to archive


Toolstation


SBOTM Current Top 10

Crazy: My Road to Redemption By Chris Lewis
The History Press
Read Review Buy Now
Fearless Freddie The Life and Times of Freddie Mills By Christopher Evans
Pitch Publishing
Read Review Buy Now
Unstoppable: My Life So Far By Maria Sharapova
Particular Books
Read Review Buy Now
Over and Out: My Innings of a Lifetime with Test Match Special By Henry Blofeld
Hodder & Staughton
Read Review Buy Now
Football: My Life, My Passion By Graeme Souness
Headline
Read Review Buy Now
Rugby, The Game Of My Life: Battling For England in the Professional Era By Rob Andrew
Hodder & Staughton
Read Review Buy Now
Ali: A Life By Jonathan Eig
Simon & Schuster
Read Review Buy Now
A Clear Blue Sky By Jonny Bairstow with Duncan Hamilton
Harper Collins
Read Review Buy Now
From Orient to the Emirates The Plucky Rise of Burnley FC By Tim Quelch
Pitch Publishing
Read Review Buy Now
Ascent By Sir Chris Bonnington
Simon & Schuster
Read Review Buy Now

Amazon’s top 6 best-sellers

© Sharks Media Ltd 2004 – 2012. Site designed and maintained by Marcus Hamblett for Furydesign.