ON THE TUNNEYSIDE OF SPORTS March 2, 2015 #530 Up next…Potential!
After further review…The age-old question of how you measure potential in an individual or T*E*A*M will always be in the minds of employers. Gauging the value of a candidate’s unknown future performance will never be simple. Let’s direct our attention to one of the world’s most talked-about sports evaluations – the Combine.
The NFL recently completed its annual “Combine”, during which data on potential players was accumulated. Some called it a “tsunami” of information! Background on each potential draftee’s medical history, psychological profile, functional movement, 40-yard dash time, and a “Wonderlic” score was gathered. This data, then, was pored over and over to the point, perhaps, of paralysis by analysis.
A Wonderlic? What’s that? Developed some 80 years ago by Eldon F. Wonderlic (but constantly updated to reflect changing standards and mores), it’s a test used to assess an individual’s aptitude for reasoning and problem solving. The test consists of 50 multiple-choice questions to be answered in 12 minutes. A score of 20 would indicate average intelligence, corresponding to an intelligence quotient (I.Q.) of 100. Should we refer to it as “Wonderlic” or “Wonder-luck”?
The history and achievements of a candidate are studied. Is his college ability comparable to what he will be facing in the NFL? Can he give or take a “hard hit”? What is his potential for injury and/or recovery time? Those responsible for this collection of data, its analysis and application, must turn the numbers into usable assumptions in order to make a decision on the effectiveness of the candidate. How do we measure the heart of an athlete? Does that really count?
Not long ago I collaborated with former NFL Head Coach and now ESPN analyst Herm Edwards on a book titled “It’s the Will, Not the Skill”. Its purpose was to outline principles and philosophies of success, centering on Herm’s advocacy of the will as the strongest tool in the pursuit of personal goals. His winning aphorisms are plentiful, but the one that speaks most simply and directly is this: “There’s no ‘quit’ in my dictionary.” He is well-echoed by Dick Adler and Jerry Ross in their song “You’ve Gotta Have Heart” from the musical “Damn Yankees.”
Will you include heart in your criteria in evaluating the potential of others?
Be sure to look into the offer of three books authored by Jim: “It’s the Will, Not the Skill”; 101 Best of TunneySide of Sports”; and “Impartial Judgment”. All three titles for just $40. (list price of $60). Please contact via email and include names for whom you wished them autographed.