There are too many abstract discussions in the performance space these days about how to train and rehabilitate athletes. These circular arguments usually yield nothing substantive or actionable because providers spend too much time defending their ideology and trying to articulate why they are in the right instead of just being transparent and “showing their portfolio”. As an example, investors should demand that financial advisers share their own portfolios instead of pontificating about macroeconomic theory. Words matter but what people do when they have skin in the game reveals more about them than their explanatory justifications for said actions.
The point of these case studies is not to suggest that what we did in any of these situations is particularly good. If we’re being honest, we don’t always have robust outcome measures to suggest that what we do really “works”. More often than not, we default to the eye test. We coach and own our decisions. The intent here, therefore, is to be completely transparent about what we did when an athlete’s time, money, and readiness was at stake in hopes that other providers share their experiences and contribute to a more genuine collective conversation.
Russell Roberts is interested in how the essential insights of economics can help us understand the world around us and lead better lives. He is a research Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and host of the weekly podcast EconTalk–hour-long conversations with authors, economists, and business leaders. His latest book is How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness (Portfolio/Penguin 2014). It takes the lessons from Adam Smith’s little-known masterpiece, The Theory of Moral Sentiments and applies them to modern life. He is also the author of three economic novels teaching economic lessons and ideas through fiction. A three-time teacher of the year, Roberts has taught at George Mason University, Washington University in St. Louis (where he was the founding director of what is now the Center for Experiential Learning), the University of Rochester, Stanford University, and the University of California, Los Angeles. He earned his PhD from the University of Chicago and his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Courtney Reardon recently became the 68th American woman to summit Mount Everest and survive. An unlikely person to find herself at the highest point on earth, she has worked in Finance in New York City for the past 12 years and is currently a Senior Vice President in Business Development at an asset management firm. After graduating from Columbia University, she began working on Wall Street at Bear Stearns and subsequently BofA Merrill Lynch and BMO Capital Markets. Courtney developed her love of the outdoors later in life, during the depths of the Financial Crisis. Swapping out her usual dresses and high heels, she uses her vacation time from work to climb some of the world’s highest peaks, such as Mount Everest, Denali, Kilimanjaro, and Vinson Massif in Antarctica among other peaks.
David Epstein is the author of the forthcoming Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, and of the top 10 New York Times bestseller The Sports Gene, which has been translated in 21 languages. (To his surprise, it was purchased not only by his sister but also by President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.) He was previously a science and investigative reporter at ProPublica, and prior to that a senior writer at Sports Illustrated. David has given talks about performance science and the uses (and misuses) of data on five continents; his TED Talk has been viewed 7 million times, and was shared by Bill Gates. Three of his stories have been optioned for films. David has master’s degrees in environmental science and journalism, and is reasonably sure he’s the only person to have co-authored a paper in the journal of Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research while a writer at Sports Illustrated. David enjoys volunteering with the Pat Tillman Foundation and Classroom Champions. An avid runner, he was a Columbia University record holder and twice NCAA All-East as an 800-meter runner.
Warren Sinclair a 5th degree black-belt in Vee Arnis Ju-Jitsu, and a master practitioner of Combat Arnis. This street style combat system is a combination of Judo, Ju-Jitsu, Filipino Arnis, Kuntao, Muay Thai, with elements from Kung-Fu, Karate and Aikido. Warren has trained agents from various government agencies, including the FBI, NYPD, FDNY, EMT/Paramedics, correctional facility officers, local and international detectives, military service personnel, and numerous executives as personal clients. Additionally, he teaches practical self defense to children, the elderly, people with disabilities, and assault and rape victims.