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The Angst & Urgency of Talent Development

This article is shared by Player Development Project

Developing talent is a complex journey for both player and coach. Founder of TOVO Academy & regular PDP contributor, Todd Beane discusses the dangers of looking into the past for answers to contemporary coaching challenges.

As I write I am reading the introductory pages to Head Strong by Dave Asprey, which explores our capacity to maximize our brain’s potential. Who wouldn’t want to do that? Although my wife suggests from time to time that I do not have considerable substance between the ears, why not take full use of what little marmalade remains in the cranium. Apparently mitochondria matter.

I share this not to steal Dave’s thunder but to borrow his lightning.  As he writes I sense angst, urgency and passion in his voice. I imagine him sitting on a wealth of research and a trove of life experience that propels every sentence. He is not alone in those that feel compelled to call out from the mountaintop or to write from the desktop. Since the origin of man we have sought out the sages.

Sage:  Someone venerated for the possession of wisdom, judgment, and experience.

(As a side note, I tend to look up words that I use but then realize that I have never actually investigated their meaning. Thanks for indulging in my wandering stream of thought.)

Back to angst. Back to urgency. Back to passion.

We know that there is a better way to develop talent and yet we meander down the pathetic path of the past. This is angst.

We know that we can nurture more talented, intelligent, and responsible athletes starting today.  This is urgency.

We have felt the fire ignite within those who train dynamically and intelligently. This is passion.

So here let me paraphrase and pervert a bit a four-step process that Dave shares with me this morning.


Let’s not conduct one more training founded upon the “this is the way it has always been” rationale. STOP. Just pause to ensure that what we are choosing to do with every intervention with our children is actually accomplishing the learning outcomes desired.


Let’s commit to dynamic and effective interventions. If we choose to do anything with our players today, let’s ensure its credibility and bring to it the energy required to activate the talent.


Let’s make the incremental improvements we must as coaches to deliver a better service. The profound promises of the past must be renewed with contemporary practices and founded upon sound pedagogical principles.

Let’s do right by the child and our profit will come tenfold in the deeds of dignity. 


Let’s offer the purest development process possible. Politics, power and profit are not new to mankind. Being able to negotiate reality with idealism is a craft worth honing and only a fool would think that these elements of human existence will perish. Having said that, we are educators and we know what is proper when it comes to developing young people. We also know very well when we are playing with politics, positioning for power, and putting profit before prowess.  Let’s do right by the child and our profit will come tenfold in the deeds of dignity.

In the end, I understand in part that motivation of my peer Dave Asprey. If you are reading this, you know why I write deep into the mists of cyberspace.

I have an angst rooted in the inadequacies of traditional training.

I have an urgency to rethink and redesign training for my children and yours.

I have a passion to share morsels of wisdom with you.

I am not sure how much brainpower it will take to climb the mountaintop from which you may hear me or how much brainpower it will take to reach you from my desktop.  However, my child’s future and your child’s development is worth every ounce of energy I can muster to seed sensational and sound practices in the training ground you will play upon today.

Image Source: Deposit Photos