Embed from Getty ImagesBrentford have handed a long-awaited debut to left-back Rico Henry in one of three changes for their trip to Sheffield Wednesday – but there is no Lasse Vibe.Henry signed for the Bees from Walsall back in August but had a shoulder injury that has kept him out since mid-August.The highly-rated 19-year-old replaces Tom Field, while his former Saddlers team-mate Romaine Sawyers is also back in the side, after four games on the substitutes’ bench.John Egan returns to the heart of the defence, with Andreas Bjelland making way.Vibe’s absence means the Bees start without a recognised striker, with Sawyers operating through the middle, flanked by Jota and Sergi Canos.Justin Shaibu, a 19-year-old striker who made his Bees debut in the League Cup defeat at Exeter in August, gets his second chance in a matchday squad.Sheffield Wednesday have made two changes to their line-up, both in the full-back positions.Liam Palmer replaces Jack Hunt at right-back, while Adam Reach drops into left-back and Ross Wallace comes into midfield.Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood; Palmer, Loovens, Sasso, Reach; Wallace, Hutchinson, Abdi, Bannan; Rhodes, Forestieri.Subs: Wildsmith, Pudil, Semedo, Jones, MacManaman, Winnall, Fletcher.Brentford: Bentley; Colin, Dean, Egan, Henry; McEachran, Yennaris, Woods; Jota, Sawyers, Canos.Subs: Bonham, Clarke, Bjelland, Field, Kerschbaumer, Jozefzoon, Shaibu. Ads by Revcontent Trending Articles Urologists: Men, Forget the Blue Pill! This “Destroys” ED x ‘Genius Pill’ Used By Rich Americans Now Available In Netherlands! x Men, You Don’t Need the Blue Pill if You Do This x What She Did to Lose Weight Stuns Doctors: Do This Daily Before Bed! x One Cup of This (Before Bed) Burns Belly Fat Like Crazy! x Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch) x Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
Sales is a competition. It is also a zero-sum game. Most salespeople live in the Red Ocean, with fierce competition when it comes to acquiring and keeping clients. If this is where you live, then you would benefit from a plan to displace your competitors, and my book Eat Their Lunch: Winning Customers Away from Your Competition will provide you a strategy.One of the primary strategies you pursue in any competition, including sales, is asymmetry. You want to create a mismatch, a clear and compelling advantage, one where you are strong, and your competition is weak (or more likely, not quite as strong).As difficult as it is for some salespeople to accept, you have to create that asymmetrical advantage.Commanding Mindshare: As of late, one of the most effective ways to create a mismatch is to command a greater share of mind, how your dream client sees their business, their challenges, and their opportunities.See these posts on business acumen, consultative selling, subject matter expertise, and becoming a peer. Also, see chapter 2 in Eat Their Lunch.Win customers away from your competition. Check out Eat Their LunchYour Sales Process: When we talk about prospecting, we talk about selling the meeting. Beyond that point, you want to sell the process. If you are paying attention to how selling has changed over the last decade, one of the primary ways it’s been altered is due to the need for consensus and the resulting nonlinearity. If you control the process, guiding the client through the necessary commitments, you will create an asymmetrical advantage.See The New Rules of B2B Sales, The New Rules of Building Consensus, Controlling the Process, and my second book, The Lost Art of Closing: Winning the 10 Commitments That Drive Sales.No more pushy sales tactics. The Lost Art of Closing shows you how to proactively lead your customer and close your sales. The tendency to lean on your company, your product, or your clients as a competitive advantage isn’t often enough to create an asymmetric advantage, even if, like anything, it works from time to time. Instead, focus on developing yourself so that you can both be and create an asymmetric advantage. Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now
Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now If you make 20 calls a day, you will have dialed 100 numbers in the course of a week. In a month with four weeks, you will have dialed 400 numbers, even if it would be an enormous mistake to dial 400 numbers once, believing that you are prospecting. Over the course of a year, 220 working days, you will dial the phone 4,400 times. Your results will follow your effort.Speed to ResultTo make a point, imagine that dialing the phone 4,400 times is what is necessary for you to hit your goals and max out your compensation plan. You would know what you need to do, and you might be willing to put forth the effort necessary to achieve that goal and that level of income—even if most would not, as only a few are genuinely money motivated.If 4,400 calls guaranteed your goals, you would not have to make those calls over the course of a year. If you wanted to, you could make 40 dials a day, compressing the time it takes you to reach your goals to half the time it might have taken. You could pull the results you want forward in time, creating opportunities faster, and producing the results you want sooner.The results you produce are in part the result of your effectiveness and in part the result of your effort. While both your effectiveness and your effort act as a governor on your results, your effort is a variable that is within your control. You can pull the results you want forward in time by increasing the effort, the energy, and the focus you invest in pursuing those results.You Determine the TimeAll things being equal, dialing the phone 80 times a day would allow you to dial the 4,4400 numbers in just 55 days. And 55 dials reduces the time to 80 working days.There is no good reason to dial the phone 20 times a day, and an especially bad reason to do so is that your sales manager requires you to do so. That goal is entirely arbitrary, having nothing whatsoever to with what is reasonable, what you are capable of, or the results you are pursuing. The goal is there only because your company wants some level of activity—and mostly because they fear you will respond negatively to a higher number.You can give 20 dials to your company if you want to, but a better way to think about your effort is determining what number you want for yourself.Are you the kind of person that is going to let someone else set an arbitrary goal or requirement when that number is not going to provide you with what you want?Are you the kind of person who does the minimal work necessary, accepting an average result. Are you the kind that scrapes by instead of what you are truly capable of?You don’t have to wait to produce the results you want when your effort would allow you to have the result sooner. You don’t have to do what is acceptable when it isn’t acceptable to you, and when it isn’t going to serve you. There is never to base your standard on what other people accept. You don’t have to be one of the people that produce average results by doing what most people do and settling for what they accept.If the number of calls bothers you, let me remind you that you don’t work in a coal mine, and you are not bailing hay in the hot, summer sun. It’s unlikely you will ever develop a blister or a callus on your dialing finger.The difference between the top performers and the average is that top performers produce greater results in the same time. A large part of the variable that closes that gap is your effort.
Photographers photograph Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid as he dribbles a ball during media day at the NBA basketball team’s practice facility, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Camden, N.J. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)CAMDEN, N.J. — The chips on the shoulders of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have not softened over the offseason.Both players are eager to prove doubters wrong.ADVERTISEMENT “I’ve seen what everybody’s said on Twitter,” Embiid said Monday when the Philadelphia 76ers held their media day. “It doesn’t bother me. I love it, I love critics and it just makes me better. I love seeing people say I can’t do this and I’m going to go out there and work on it and come back the next game or whenever I can and show that I can do this.”Simmons, the No. 1 overall pick last year, can’t wait to make his NBA debut after missing an entire season because of a broken right foot. He sounded a bit slighted that people aren’t mentioning him as a potential Rookie of the Year candidate.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“They’ll remember,” Simmons said. “I came to the States when I was 15 and nobody knew who I was, so I feel like I’m kind of back at the stage and I got to prove myself again, which is fine. I’m looking forward to that part.”Simmons declared himself 100 percent ready to go when training camp starts Tuesday. But Embiid has not been cleared for 5-on-5 drills, and the team will take a cautious approach in his return from his injured left knee. Embiid said scans look “perfect,” and he’s aiming to be ready for the season opener. “He’s a great player, a good friend and our chemistry is getting better every day and that will play a big role in this team’s success,” Simmons said.Sixers coach Brett Brown said Simmons has been dominating in the gym.“Compared to last year, I’m a much better player,” Simmons said. “It’s not even close.”The 19-year-old Fultz is certain he can fit into a lineup that also includes Dario Saric, Robert Covington, J.J. Reddick, Amir Johnson and others. The Sixers also signed free-agent forward Kris Humphries and center Emera Okafor to complete their camp roster.“You can’t think you’re not going to make it,” Fultz said. “You’ve got to believe it in order to do it.”The Sixers were 47-190 between 2013-16 before going 28-54 last season. Expectations are much higher now and fans are talking playoffs. Las Vegas oddsmakers set the over/under for win total at 42½.“We have a lot of potential,” Embiid said. “We have to learn to play together. As long as we stay healthy, the future is bright.” Paul and Harden hope bond translates to success on court Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Read Next Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight LATEST STORIES Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:07Nothing wrong with raids on offices of progressive groups—Palace02:02PNP to prove activists’ link to CPP NPA01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Still, Embiid has a realistic outlook.“I’ll be honest, I don’t think I’ll play 82 games,” he said. “That’s not happening.”Embiid, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 draft, played only 31 games last year after missing two full seasons. His career has been riddled with injuries dating to his college days at Kansas. He had surgery onMarch 24 to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.When he played, Embiid looked dominant. He averaged 20.2 points and 7.8 rebounds last season.“People still haven’t really seen what I can do,” he said.Simmons will open as the point guard with rookie No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz joining him in the backcourt.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments
Chelsea boss Sarri: Ampadu can replace Cahillby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is happy to promote from within to replace wantaway defender Gary Cahill.Cahill has been linked with a move Southampton as well as several clubs abroad, and Sarri broached the subject of his future at his press conference ahead of the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg tie against Tottenham at Wembley on Tuesday. “His mind is not completely involved in our situation,” said Sarri.”We have to wait. For Cahill, the situation is different. We have (Ethan) Ampadu so we don’t need a replacement.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
LeBron James Ben SimmonsUpdate: Wojnarowski is also reporting that Cleveland’s next head coach will be assistant Tyronn Lue. Lue and the team have already agree to a multi-year deal.Assistant Ty Lue has agreed to a multi-year deal as new Cavaliers head coach, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) January 22, 2016Earlier: Despite posting a 30-11 record and currently holding the No. 1 seed in the NBA’s Eastern Conference, it’s been reported by Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski that the Cleveland Cavaliers have fired head coach David Blatt. Blatt, who posted a 53-29 record with the team last year, lasted just a season and a half in Cleveland.ESPN’s Brian Windhorst added that there’s been “unrest” in Cleveland’s locker room.Cleveland has fired coach David Blatt, sources tell Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) January 22, 2016The Cavs have fired coach David Blatt, sources confirm. First reported by Yahoo— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) January 22, 2016Despite positive comments publicly, there had been unrest growing in Cavs locker room. Frankly, it had been there since almost day one.— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) January 22, 2016Despite up and downs, Blatt has had one ardent supporter in Cavs organization and that was owner Dan Gilbert.— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) January 22, 2016LeBron James was informed of the decision to fire David Blatt today, he was not consulted on decision sources said— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) January 22, 2016James’ fondness for Ty Lue and his desire to be coached by a former player were well known in the organization. As were issues with Blatt— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) January 22, 2016Blatt, who came over from Maccabi Tel Aviv ahead of the 2014-2015 season, posted a regular season record of 83-40 in his time in Cleveland.
Kenneth Jackson APTN National NewsAn Ojibway teen is sleeping in the stairwell of the Rideau Centre parking garage in downtown Ottawa after aging out of his group home.It’s better than the shelters says the 18-year-old.He was dropped off at the Ottawa Mission shelter a few weeks after he turned 18 on March 1 by staff of the Ottawa group home he was living in operated by Mary Homes.The teen said he didn’t stay at the Mission long before finding a little nook on the top floor of the Rideau Centre’s parking garage.“Ever since then I have been coming here to sleep,” said the young man, who APTN National News can’t identify because he is on extended care with his child welfare agency. For this story APTN is calling him Jason.When it gets too cold at night Jason might go to the Salvation Army shelter a few blocks away but prefers his perch in the stairwell that overlooks Nicholas Street.“It’s a nice spot, overall,” he said.During the day he hangs out in the Rideau Centre using the mall’s free WiFi to stay connected with friends as APTN learned the mall is a popular spot for kids living in group homes in Ottawa.He knows them and they know him – not just because he was once one of them but because a couple months ago he saved the life of a 13-year-old girl who ran away from her group home.That girl was Amy Owen who has been in the news recently for being one of three First Nations girls to die Ontario group homes in the last six months.Amy Owen, 13, is suspected of dying from suicide at an Ottawa group home on April 17.Owen was living in Mary Homes group home when she died in the east end of Ottawa.It’s also the same home where a 16-year-old Ojibway girl had been living at when APTN spoke to her at Rideau Centre on Thurday.“Amy and I were really close. We were like sisters,” said the girl who APTN can’t identify as she is ward of the state.Owen’s room was right above hers.Each morning she would knock on the ceiling and Owen would knock back to let her know she was awake. They’d come out of their rooms and meet at the stairs and hug.The day after Owen is suspected of dying by suicide in the home the 16-year-old knocked on the ceiling like she always had.She had forgotten Owen had died.“I burst into tears,” she said, adding she ran away shortly after that.This is the 16-year-old girl who says she ran away from the group home after Amy Owen is believed to have died by suicide.APTN confirmed with Ottawa police a missing person’s report was filed in her name but she was located a day later.She said she talked to her social worker and told her she is staying with a friend until they find a new group home.She remembers when Jason saved Owen’s life.Owen had ran away and Jason tracked her down on Montreal Road near St. Laurent Blvd. where she was running into traffic trying to commit suicide.“It is true. He found her and took good care of her,” said the 16-year-old.“I stopped her from jumping in front of a car,” said Jason. “I told her if she killed herself she would be hurting people around her rather than just herself.”He said he saw Owen a couple weeks later and she thanked him for saving her.It was the last time he saw her. She died April 17.Owen, Jason and the 16-year-old are all from the Kenora area, near the Ontario/Manitoba border. Each were placed in Ottawa group homes by Indigenous child service agencies that operate under the Ontario government.APTN spoke to Jason’s former child worker with the Weechi-it-te-win Family Services in the Kenora area.Andrew Letander said he traveled to Ottawa about a month ago to see if Jason would return back to Kenora but he refused.“I did go there and he did not want to go back with me,” he said. “He said he had it all planned out.”Letander said he is aware that Mary Homes dropped Jason off at the Mission.Letander said it was explained to Jason that the group home needed his bed for other children, as most kids in the home were much younger than Jason.Letander said Jason is on what’s called “extended care maintenance,” which he will be on until he’s 21 unless he decides he doesn’t want to be, which he’d then need to follow steps to do.Jason up on his perch in the Rideau Centre parking lot stairwell.When he turned 18 he got a new worker that specializes in youth transitioning out of group homes but that worker has been on sick leave for a month said Letander.“I gave him a heads up about what was going to be happening when he turned 18 and Mary Homes gave him a heads up on that, (too),” he said.Letander said Jason is supposed to receive food assistance funding every month but they don’t have an address to send the cheques.Jason has no parents to go home to. Both his parents died when he was a young child – his mom from suicide and his dad from cancer.“He’s been bounced around from group home to group home all his life,” said Letander. “I am worried about him.”As for Jason he said he’d like to finish school, as he only has his Grade 9, and go to college.But that seems like a million miles away from his perch in the Rideau Centre mall.He went to go get a Social Insurance Number Friday so he could at least get a job but was told he needed his birth certificate.Service Canada wouldn’t accept only his status card.He’d also like to do something else.“I’d like to shut group homes down,” he said.Mary Homes didn’t respond to questions by the time this story was [email protected]
When Angels star Mike Trout went down for six weeks with a thumb injury at the end of May, it suddenly looked like the American League’s most valuable player title was anybody’s to claim. Would it be rookie sensation Aaron Judge? Or perhaps diminutive Astros sparkplug Jose Altuve would claim his first MVP crown. Could Boston’s strikeout machine Chris Sale work his way into the conversation? The race seemed wide open.Four months later, it’s becoming clear that we may have underestimated the best player in baseball.Trout returned from his first career DL stint after the All-Star break and started knocking home runs like he’d never left. In 51 games since his recovery, Trout has slashed .305/.457/.563, accruing a total of about 21 runs above an average player. Trout’s hitting has been so otherworldly that he has almost entirely closed the gap between himself and the best offensive players in baseball. Here’s a chart showing Trout’s Weighted Runs Created, which quantifies a player’s total offensive value, relative to the rest of the league since the start of the 2017 season. Throw in Trout’s decent defense and proficient base-stealing, and you have the league’s fourth-highest WAR total. And he’s gaining fast on current AL leader Altuve, who slowed down his pace of production slightly as the summer wore on, posting his worst on-base plus slugging rate in September. It’s a long shot, but Trout could pass Altuve in the next couple of weeks.Trout has been among the best players in baseball each full season he’s played. But he’s not only the best in his generation, he’s also the best player in history through ages 21-24. He’ll have to make up a little ground on Ty Cobb to extend that streak to age 25, but there’s no doubt that he’s on his way to an inner-circle Hall of Fame career.Even if Trout doesn’t manage to catch Altuve (or Cobb), he still has a legitimate shot at his third AL MVP award. While the WAR leaderboard doesn’t care about how good your team is, the same cannot be said for MVP voters. And that may be the best argument for Trout’s claim: The Angels are unexpectedly in the running for a wild-card spot, and they owe much of their success to Trout’s bat. To the Angels’ credit, they managed to slightly improve their playoff position in Trout’s absence, but their chances didn’t really take off until he came back.In retrospect, perhaps it was inevitable that Trout would make a run at league MVP. He is the king of consistency, after all. We can just add “injury” to the long list of factors, such as aging and opponent adjustments, that could end a mortal man’s career but barely seem to slow Trout.
Ultimate should be fertile ground for analytics. The mostly amateur sport first blossomed at universities and remains popular with engineers, computer scientists, mathematicians and teachers — curious, creative nerds eager to break down the sport and share what they learn. Its profile is growing, too. This summer, the International Olympic Committee made the sport eligible to be included in a future Summer Olympics.When I attended the under-23 world tournament in England this summer, I saw hundreds of the sport’s future stars coached by some of its brightest minds, but I also saw a sport missing something vital: detailed data.It’s easy to take sports data for granted in an age when cameras track and quantify the movement of players and balls in baseball, basketball, tennis and soccer. The biggest challenges for analysts in those sports is how to wrangle and make sense of all that data and to get fans to look past traditional box-score numbers.But in ultimate, there are hardly any traditional box-score numbers. Other sports have digitized stat-keeping even at the college or high-school level. But for ultimate, even at a relatively organized and well-run event like the under-23 worlds, the sport’s best young players checked opponents’ scores on schedules filled in by hand. Coaches — including my FiveThirtyEight colleague Jody Avirgan, an assistant coach for the U.S. men’s team — carried clipboards to log who played each point, with paper flapping in the wind and ink blurring in the rain. Players got a glimpse of what wealth can bring to a sport every time they walked past one of Watford FC’s brand-new 500,000 pound ($750,000) fields, but rope fences made clear that the Premier League team’s training ground was off-limits — as were stats as advanced and sophisticated as the EPL’s.At best, ultimate box scores — such as those posted on the under-23 worlds website — contain just goals, assists and Ds (discs knocked down or intercepted). “That is Stone Age material to work with,” said Sean Childers, an ultimate player and co-author of a study on ultimate presented last year at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, in an email. “Imagine a baseball or basketball box score from 50 years ago, but worse.”Ultimate coaches dream of stats corresponding to some of their favorites from other sports. Several wished hockey assists — the pass that leads to the pass for the score — were tracked. Bob Krier, head coach of the U.S. men’s under-23 team, wants to see a shooting percentage for the most difficult passes into the end zone. Others want stats on “pulls,” ultimate’s version of kickoffs: Coaches suspect pulls matter a lot in helping a team set up its defense, both for how long they hang in the air and for where they land.A catch-all metric for player value such as wins above replacement would be nice, too. But Martin Aguilera, who coached the U.S. mixed team at the under-23 championships this year, said, “We’re so far away from that.”Many coaches said they look to basketball for stats they want to see for ultimate. On the surface, ultimate has more in common with football (passing toward a score in an end zone), soccer (a field sport with fluid positions and no play clock) and tennis (starting a point on offense is like serving, and scoring on a defensive point is called breaking). But ultimate has similar defensive principles to basketball, with players switching suddenly from offense to defense and both teams resetting after each score.Plus, basketball has lots of cool data. Ultimate nerds speak with envy and awe about SportVU, the system of cameras that ring NBA arenas and produce data about where the players and ball are at every moment of each game. And they cite the shooting charts of FiveThirtyEight’s Kirk Goldsberry as models for charts they’d love to see, ones that would map success rates for players’ shots at the end zone by field position.Other sports are also seeking better data than their traditional, limited box scores provide. In volleyball, “the official stat sheet is basically useless,” said Todd Dagenais, coach of the University of Central Florida women’s team. He’s seeking better stats to help his team but says there’s a dividend for spectators, too: A smarter sport is more fun to watch. “When an offense is run well, fans love that, which causes the defense to have to make more spectacular moves and more spectacular plays, which is also very entertaining,” he said.Ultimate’s stats are stuck in the Stone Age in part because it takes a lot of work to get not a lot of insight. To improve on the kind of time-consuming, manual stat-keeping process that some coaches at the world championships were using, ultimate players developed an app to track players moving around the field. The Ultiapps Stat Tracker can generate heat maps showing the best scoring spots. Childers and a fellow researcher used data from the app to figure out where those spots are and which players were best at getting the disc there. What they found mostly reinforced basic tenets of the sport, like the importance of keeping the disc in the middle of the field. The heat map above, which is from the paper by Childers and Jeremy Weiss, shows a team’s likelihood of scoring from different points on the field. As a team moves closer and closer to the end zone (at the top of the chart), its chances of scoring increase (the higher the number, the better). The large dip in the 40-percent zone — shown as 0.4 — suggests that a team is just as likely to score from about 50 yards outside the end zone (marked as 20 on the heat map) in the middle of the field as they are from 35 but stuck on the sideline.But data collected at one level of the sport with, say, little wind may not translate into a different level in windy conditions. Partly because of limitations like that one, teams mostly have stopped using the app to collect data.“Teams liked our analysis but found collecting and inputting the data was too onerous to justify the time investment,” Childers said.Part of would-be ultimate analysts’ challenge is that top ultimate players don’t play that many meaningful points1Each game of ultimate is played to a certain number of points, and each team must keep the same group of players on the field until the next point is scored. in a season. Players might play during only eight or 10 points of a game because top teams are deep, usually with more than twice the number of players on the sideline as are on the field at any time. And the roster is rarely the same from tournament to tournament.2Even in an age when ESPN is airing ultimate, no one makes a living playing the sport. Top players often skip tournaments because of personal or job conflicts.Even if everyone could agree on which new stats are needed in a sport like ultimate, a tough question remains: Whose job should it be to collect the stats? Tournaments are mostly run by volunteers focused on tasks such as ensuring players find the right field, have enough water and uphold the sport’s unique spirit of the game during play. That leaves coaches to keep any extra stats they’d want for analysis. But they’re also busy doing lots of other things during tournaments. It’s often easier to collect advanced stats during tryouts or practices instead.For the under-23 tournament, U.K. mixed coaches had to choose 26 players from 93 who showed up at trials. They divided them into six groups and filmed them, rating them in 24 categories. None was scores, assists or Ds. The categories were more subtle: essential but hard-to-measure ultimate and interpersonal skills. One, for example, was “nicehead,” which gauged how well someone played with others. “What we didn’t want to do is pick very skilled players who couldn’t interact with other human beings,” coach Megan Hurst said. She and her fellow coach Felix Shardlow entered all the stats into a big spreadsheet and looked for players whose low ratings came in categories they could easily improve, like catching. Aguilera thinks that more ultimate should be filmed and that more film should be watched. He filmed games at the under-23 worlds from atop a ladder he’d bought for 30 pounds ($45) just before the tournament. Many top college basketball players have seen hundreds of games by the time they get to campus. Incoming college ultimate players might have watched fewer than 20 ultimate games, Aguilera said.Absent data, coaches have to rely on scouting to get ahead. Film analysis has become a hallmark of the best college and club programs in the country. And it was on display at the tournament in England, too.Take, for example, the women’s final between the U.S. and Japan. Mike Whitaker, the head coach of the U.S. team who’d been scouting that Canada-Colombia game with his assistants near the start of the tournament, said that Japan used “advanced scouting more than any other team at the worlds.” The Japanese team brought personnel dedicated to the practice, which played a big role in the final’s outcome. He noticed Japan made adjustments to its defense after its group-stage game against the Americans (the U.S. won 17-13) and scouting other U.S. games.Eri Hirai, Japan’s head coach, said the team tracked which players on other tournament teams threw the most long passes and which ones ran the most. Harai said this kind of scouting is standard practice in Japan. “It’s very important because we knew nothing about other teams before the tournament,” she said in an email interview conducted through a translator. By the end of the tournament, the Japanese team knew enough about the Americans to win the final in a big upset, 17-15. It was the only game any U.S. team lost in the tournament. ST ALBANS, England — On a field 20 miles north of London, three people were camped on the edge of a field wearing USA Ultimate hoodies, notebooks open in front of them. They were the coaches of the U.S.’s under-23 women’s team, and they were scouting two of their biggest Ultimate Frisbee rivals, Canada and Colombia, who were about to play in a group-stage match of the 2015 world championships. The coaches barely even had any data on their own team — but there they were, scrounging for some on their future opponents. Read more: A Plea For More Frisbee Data From A U.S. Ultimate Coach Riley Erickson records video of future opponents for the U.S. mixed team. Carl Bialik Head coach Mike Whitaker and assistant coaches Carolyn Matthews and Lauren Boyle of the U.S. women’s team. Carl Bialik
Since the beginning of collegiate athletics and the birth of the NCAA, a war has been waging.Should student athletes be paid?These players, particularly in football and basketball, help bring in potentially millions of dollars at major universities, but because of NCAA restrictions, they are unable to profit from this themselves.But if they want to make money, and have the talents to do so, why can’t they just skip a level and head straight to the professional ranks? Nothing is making these student athletes attend college, right?Again the NCAA rears its ugly head.Although certain sports like baseball and soccer currently have no restrictions on when an athlete can start making money in their given field, basketball players have the option to be “one-and-done” and head to the NBA after their freshman year, and football players can leave campus after three years.ESPN reported that Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said Wednesday that the idea of forcing athletes to attend a university before they go into the field is ludicrous.“Maybe in football and basketball, it would work better if more kids had a chance to go directly into the professional ranks. If they’re not comfortable and want to monetize, let the minor leagues flourish,” Delany said.These years spent in college are often for the protection of the players, and it would be incredibly difficult for a player to make the jump directly from high school to the NFL due to the change in speed. I tend to agree with Delany.Before the NCAA and NBA implemented the rules in basketball that forced a player to wait at least a year before joining the league in 2005, there were numerous athletes who made the jump and succeeded. Players like Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant in 1996, Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard in 2004 and Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Garnett in 1995 have all been perennial All-Stars since joining the league. Not to mention the fact that Miami Heat forward Lebron James in 2003 will go down as one of the greatest players in the history of the game without ever playing a minute of college basketball.Sure for every Lebron there is a Kwame Brown, center for the Philadelphia 76ers, that cannot cope with the speed and physicality, but they should be allowed to take that risk themselves.If a player judges they are capable of holding their own in the league, that should be their choice and theirs alone, not one of a larger governing body.In most other fields, this sort of thing would come off as utterly ludicrous. Imagine if Michael J. Fox or Justin Timberlake were forced to postpone their careers in entertainment for a couple of years because a group decided they needed the experience college could grant them.Even if a player does have that extra experience, there is no guarantee they will become a star. Former Ohio State center Greg Oden is considered one of the NBA’s biggest busts because of suffering through a multitude of knee injuries. Oden even spent his required year in college instead of just jumping straight from high school.While the discussion continues about whether or not players should be paid. it is time for a change in the NCAA rulebook.The removal of a player’s requirement to attend college will slow, at least partially, the number of scandals involving student athletes being compensated that have surfaced in recent years.Overall, a rule change would be beneficial to all parties involved, so it would only make sense if such a rule change were to be implemented.Delany said it best.“Why is it our job to be minor leagues for professional sports?”