Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete ever


Forum devoted to track & field items of an historical nature.

Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Pego » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:26 am

As a young neurologist, I had a good fortune to sit once in an informal chat with Sir John Eccles, perhaps the greatest neurophysiologist of the 20th century. To him, the greatest example of coordination was Henry Aaron. I still think it is a coloratura soprano :wink: .
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Marlow » Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:40 am

Pego wrote:To him, the greatest example of coordination was Henry Aaron.


In 1934 Lou Gehrig had 579 at-bats. He batted .363 with 49 home runs and only 31 strike-outs.
Think about it.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Conor Dary » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:07 am

I would go with Ted Williams on this.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Marlow » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:14 am

Conor Dary wrote:I would go with Ted Williams on this.

And Rod Carew always seemed to get wood on the ball.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby dbirds » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:16 am

Here's what John Brenkus said on SportsChat today about the greatest athlete project:

Each week for the next 16 weeks, 5 athletes from each of these categories will be chosen: football, basketball, baseball, hockey, tennis, golf, boxing, combat, soccer, track and field, Olympics, endurance, auto racing, action sports and then two special categories: game changers and multisport athletes.

The public will vote on one each until 16 athletes remain then they will be matched head to head until there is a winner.

The metrics used to determine this are: Strength, power, speed, quickness, reaction time, endurance, durability, in addition to weighing in on an athlete's resume, clutch performances and the overall difficulty of their sport. Each athlete will be scored in each category, not only against their peers (the other athletes they played with during their era) but also against every athlete who has ever played the sport (position).

He said, the data for these come, "Through historical biomechanical studies and video analysis. We have a very effective way of coming up with very accurate numbers even for athletes we haven't had in our lab. We devised a ranking metric that allows us to put an athlete's ability in a historical context."

Regarding the distinction between greatest player and greatest athlete, John said, "There have been a lot of lists that have determined the greatest player. But being an athlete is a different analysis. We are not discounting how great of a player an athlete was, but we're factoring in different aspects, for example, we will look at strength, power, speed, quickness, reaction time, endurance, durability, in addition to weighing in on an athlete's resume, clutch performances and the overall difficulty of their sport. We feel this is a comprehensive metric that covers every aspect of being a great athlete."

He also indicated women are included and his team has been working on it for 6 years; he acknowledged Lebron James is one of the 5 finalists in basketball and he implied that Jim Brown and Wilt Chamberlain would be included as well. On the initial podcast, the host listed Jackie Robinson, Billie Jean King, Jesse Owens, Mia Hamm and Wilma Rudolph as example of the "game changers" category. I am not sure if these are examples or the exact finalists chosen although I am leaning towards the latter. He encouraged the fans to vote and he added, "We are comfortable with the five athletes we've nominated in each sport. I'm not worried about the popularity contest, because having a lasting impact on the public is part of being the best athlete. Each athlete should be a part of the discussion. I think you'll like the candidates, but if you don't, write in your own."

Here's the full chat: http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/chat/_/ ... ce-brenkus
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby dbirds » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:21 am

Based on this, I think track will be represented well: Owens & Rudolph in the game changers catergory. Thorpe and Zaharias will probably be in the multi-sport category. I can see Geb and perhaps Nurmi, Zatopek, Bekele or Radcliffe in the endurance category. I'm assuming Olympic category will have other Olympic sports like swimming and gymnastics. I am guessing track will have Lewis, Bolt, Bubka, JJK and Eaton perhaps although there are a dozen other worthy choices.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby jazzcyclist » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:52 am

Conor Dary wrote:I would go with Ted Williams on this.

There's no doubt that Williams had extraordinary hand-eye coordination but the thing to remember is that hitting the baseball with power the way Williams did (as opposed to slap hitting), requires more than just hand-eye coordination, it also requires a minimum amount bat speed/power. It's not a coincidence that baseball's greatest pure hitters (Gehrig, DiMaggio, Williams, Aaron) not only stuck out infrequently, but also hit a lot of homeruns.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Pego » Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:05 am

Marlow wrote:
Pego wrote:To him, the greatest example of coordination was Henry Aaron.


In 1934 Lou Gehrig had 579 at-bats. He batted .363 with 49 home runs and only 31 strike-outs.
Think about it.


I said Sir John was a great neurophysiologist, not a baseball historian :D .
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Conor Dary » Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:06 am

Pego wrote:
Marlow wrote:
Pego wrote:To him, the greatest example of coordination was Henry Aaron.


In 1934 Lou Gehrig had 579 at-bats. He batted .363 with 49 home runs and only 31 strike-outs.
Think about it.


I said Sir John was a great neurophysiologist, not a baseball historian :D .


Glad we got that straightened out... :D
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby rabalac » Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:47 am

I can't wait for this "scientific" experiment to run its course. I've been holding my breath for as long as I've been alive trying to know just who is the greatest (fill in the blanks) of all time.

Well if you haven't picked up on my obvious sarcasm, allow me to spell out how I really feel. The notion that science can be used to determine greatness, and on top of that, across generational lines is about as scientific (and predictive) as a two-bit palm reader predicting ones future.

Look, I, as much as the next guy, have dabbled in a few discussions over the years regarding who is the GOAT in various endeavors. And almost ALL of those duscussions-turned-arguments usually ends with the words, "We'll agree to disagree." Imagine how different those discussion will now end if we can now scientifically bring these age-old "debates" to closure. Well I for one want no part of this nonsense.

Besides, the science community did not put an end to the endless (and heated) debates on global warming (the debates have generated some of the heat to be sure), so why should we expect that these so-called sport scientists will be treated any differently?
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby user4 » Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:19 am

jazzcyclist wrote:
Conor Dary wrote:I would go with Ted Williams on this.

There's no doubt that Williams had extraordinary hand-eye coordination but the thing to remember is that hitting the baseball with power the way Williams did (as opposed to slap hitting), requires more than just hand-eye coordination, it also requires a minimum amount bat speed/power. It's not a coincidence that baseball's greatest pure hitters (Gehrig, DiMaggio, Williams, Aaron) not only stuck out infrequently, but also hit a lot of homeruns.


And Williams' stats dont include what could have been some of his best years (1942-1944, pilot) if played in full. He also lost 1953 to Korea again serving as a pilot. Im guessing that hand eye coordination came in handy with the plane and gun too.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby bambam » Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:21 pm

Marlow wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:Also, I can't think of another sport that places as a high a premium on hand-eye coordination as golf does.

The golf ball is not moving. Try hitting a 103mph fastball or a big-league curve.


Ted Williams said that to Sam Snead once. Snead told him it was true, but that he didn't have to play his foul balls. Golfers do.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby bambam » Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:28 pm

fortyacresandamule wrote:Do golfers qualify as athletes? For if they do, we might as well called ball room dancers athletes also.


As a former pro golfer I will say that I think ball room dancers actually have to have a much greater degree of athletic skill than golfers. We just had to become automatons. Dancers are pretty athletic in many cases. There was a book in the 70s called The Ultimate Athlete and the author concluded he did not know who the ultimate athlete was, but he bet he/she was a dancer.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Marlow » Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:41 pm

bambam wrote:The Ultimate Athlete and the author concluded he did not know who the ultimate athlete was, but he bet he/she was a dancer.

I am now going to admit that my wife addicted me (it's not my fault!) to So You Think You Can Dance. While most of the dancers are not doing highly athletic things, some of them, male and female, do some AMAZING leaps and lifts and spins, that only a highly talented and trained athlete could attain. Those, needless to say, are my favorites. Graceful dancers are, IMO, a dime a dozen.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby marknhj » Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:47 pm

bambam wrote:
fortyacresandamule wrote:Do golfers qualify as athletes? For if they do, we might as well called ball room dancers athletes also.


As a former pro golfer I will say that I think ball room dancers actually have to have a much greater degree of athletic skill than golfers. We just had to become automatons. Dancers are pretty athletic in many cases. There was a book in the 70s called The Ultimate Athlete and the author concluded he did not know who the ultimate athlete was, but he bet he/she was a dancer.


I used to reside/train where the Rambert Dance Company, a leading Brit contemporary dance company, was based. In those days they were called the Ballet Rambert and I would agree with the book's author. Dancers are fabulous all-around athletes and incredibly hard workers.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby repmujhgih » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:24 pm

There have been many great High School Track athletes that went on to pursue Football instead of track. But keep in mind, they were great High School athletes, that does not automatically mean that would have gone pro and become amazing athletes in Track had they continued. High jump is the number one example given as to what many Receivers in the NFL did in High School. They were a 7 foot high jumper let's say. There are a lot of 7-0 HJ's in high school. They don't all go on to become amazing HJ's. And in the realm of pro's, 7-0 is below starting height.

Football players tend to be "power" athletes, and can often times struggle with the finesse side of the field events. Do not just assume that they would be good. There is a reason that only a select few individuals in the world are able to score so high in the Decathlon. It is not something that every athletic football player would be able to do.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Marlow » Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:58 pm

repmujhgih wrote:Football players tend to be "power" athletes, and can often times struggle with the finesse side of the field events.

The elite 'skill' players in the NFL have all the requisite ability to master the technical side of T&F. What they do lack is the ultra-elite genetics to reproduce what a Usain Bolt / Tyson Gay, or a Christian Cantwell / Reese Hoffa can do. NFL greats have TREMENDOUS overall strength and athleticism, but what a 9.75 sprinter or a 72' SPer has is a very specific ability in one certain motor pathway.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby jazzcyclist » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:37 pm

Look at someone like Deion Sanders, who was one of the best shutdown cornerbacks/kick returners in the history of the NFL and who also hit over .300 for a season in MLB. IMO, covering Jerry Rice requires a competely different skillset/talent than batting .300 against big league pitching and because of this, I suspect that there's a lot more that he could do at the highest level than play football and baseball.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby cullman » Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:42 pm

Re: dancers as athletes. Google "Nicholas Brothers In Stormy Weather" if you want to see a great athletic tap performance. :D
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Gabriella » Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:09 am

dbirds wrote: Others to consider: if they have women, JJK is a lock.


Why is JJK a lock? If she is, then why isnt a male decathlete a lock?

There are other great women too who have done multiple events and other sports. Irina Privalova has proven great athleticism, she has good HJ and LJ pbs from when she was a junior, had great all-round sprinting ability, and had that background in speed skating from when she was younger.

Heike Drechsler was a fantastic all-rounder, her head-to-heads with JJK were seen as a clash of "the greatest women all-round athletes" by the athletics community. But in addition she was a good swimmer, originally being selected by the GDR authorities for that sport rather than athletics.

Then we have some great sprint-hurdlers, who have superb athleticism; Yordanka Donkova and Gail Devers spring to mind, both with proven (yet unfulfilled) ability in other athletics disciplines.

On pure natural athletic talent alone, we also have Kluft and Ennis. I'm not aware of either of these doing other sports outside athletics though. We also have seen many pole vaulters who have have also been gymnasts at one point too.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby nianchengyu » Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:24 am

Indeed,Privalova 22/11/1968 has great athleticism,here are some of her pbs:
60H:8.16s[31y];100mH:13.56s[31y]:HJ:1.72m[14y around];200m:21.82/+3.1;LJ;6.45m[15y];800m:2:09.40 [34y]
Devers who has huge strength although she is tiny for hep:100mH:12.33s[2000];200m:22.55s/+3.5[1987]:6.77m/-1.6[1988];2.11.07[1982]
When Dreschler was a penthlete,she already set world 15-age LJ best of 6.64m in a 4329p Pentathlon competition in Cuba along with 1.80m HJ,that year she also tried hep as well.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Marlow » Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:27 am

Gabriella wrote:Why is JJK a lock?

Because she excelled in the

200
800
100H
HJ
LJ
SP
and
JT

Her 7291 is superior to Eaton's 9039 and he's certainly one of the top men.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Gabriella » Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:55 am

But she didnt excel in the JT and 800m at all; she was more often than not mid 40's in the JT, and that is with the old-old javelin model (she'd be meters less with the new model) and in the 800m we only saw a couple of excellent 800's.

The other point is that, due to the heptathlon scoring tables, athletes that are sprinter/jumpers have an advantage over throwers, so her gap over her rivals is skewed. Athletes like Turchinskaya, Shouaa and Dobrynska are very disadvantaged, as are all strong throwers.

People see 'athletic' as 'run and jump' (speed), but 'throw' (power) is in there too. The decathlon evens things out a bit better than the heptathlon, and throw in the DT & PV and we would see a change at the top of women's multis.

I'm not doubting JJKs fantastic record, but there are other brilliantly athletic women too. I don't think we'll ever know who is truly the most athletic or best heptathlete when things in the 80's were different to now. It's like comparing 80's throwers to Adams, Heidler et al.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Marlow » Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:05 am

Gabriella wrote:But she didnt excel in the JT and 800m at all;

I beg to differ. Her 50m JT in 1986 was indeed 'excellent', as was her 2:08 800. The rest of her marks then were world-class. She was (is) in a completely different class than her 'peers'. And her peers were among the best athletes on the planet.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby nianchengyu » Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:37 am

Marlow wrote:
Gabriella wrote:But she didnt excel in the JT and 800m at all;

I beg to differ. Her 50m JT in 1986 was indeed 'excellent', as was her 2:08 800. The rest of her marks then were world-class. She was (is) in a completely different class than her 'peers'. And her peers were among the best athletes on the planet.

JJK indeed has huge individual pbs but relatively she cannot combined them well in hep ,her total pbs worth more than 7600p but only 7291p WR with below-par HJ and JV,in her 7215p she did not do well in LJ/7.00m and 800m/2.20s.Furthermore,her super scores only from 1986 to 1988,after that she did more usual scores.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Gabriella » Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:46 am

One excellent throw does not an excellent javelin thrower maketh!

And, to reiterate to another bug bear of mine, that 50m throw would not be a 50m throw today. There have been two changes in javelin specifications since and scientific studies have shown that athletes are disadvantaged with today's model compared to the 'old' and 'old-old' model. Current heptathletes are losing many valuable points to previous greats.

JJK is the best heptathle of all-time, then I hope you see Koch as the best 400m runner of all-time, Felke as the greatest JTer of all time, maybe Hellmann or Gansky as the greatest DTer of all time, maybe Lisovskaya as the greatest SPer of all time, and Kazankina or Qu Yunxia as the greatest 1500m runner of all time, Wang Junxia as the greatest 10ker of all time, Donkova as the greatest hurdler of all time and maybe even Flo Jo as the greatest 100/200 runner of all time...

Me, I find it very hard to gauge who is 'athletic' because many, particularly from previous eras, owe their athleticism to something synthetic.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby jazzcyclist » Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:14 am

Gabriella wrote:The other point is that, due to the heptathlon scoring tables, athletes that are sprinter/jumpers have an advantage over throwers, so her gap over her rivals is skewed. Athletes like Turchinskaya, Shouaa and Dobrynska are very disadvantaged, as are all strong throwers.

People see 'athletic' as 'run and jump' (speed), but 'throw' (power) is in there too. The decathlon evens things out a bit better than the heptathlon, and throw in the DT & PV and we would see a change at the top of women's multis.

I'm not doubting JJKs fantastic record, but there are other brilliantly athletic women too. I don't think we'll ever know who is truly the most athletic or best heptathlete when things in the 80's were different to now. It's like comparing 80's throwers to Adams, Heidler et al.

Great post! Obviously I agree with you. 8-)
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Marlow » Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:28 am

Gabriella wrote:One excellent throw does not an excellent javelin thrower maketh!

Just looking at her top Heps, she threw over 50m more than once, so it was not a fluke.

nianchengyu wrote:JJK indeed has huge individual pbs but relatively she cannot combined them well in hep ,her total pbs worth more than 7600p but only 7291p WR with below-par HJ and JV,in her 7215p she did not do well in LJ/7.00m and 800m/2.20s.Furthermore,her super scores only from 1986 to 1988,after that she did more usual scores.

Regression to the mean tells us that if you have outlier performances, the probability of replicating them on a regular basis is diminished. For her to be at the top of her game across the board - when 'her game' is defined as world-class in 5 events, and 'excellent' in the other two - is well nigh impossible. Her sustained excellence in all the events makes her the GOAT of GOATs, in this one man's opinion.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby dbirds » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:54 am

For basketball, My picks are Jordan, Lebron and Wilt for sure. The other 2 will be interesting: Havlicek, Olajuwon, Dwight Howard, Iverson, Dr J..several more

3 that they should look at are Steve Nash, Danny Ainge and Nate Robinson..for multi-sport reasons

I hope they dont fall into the trap that most basketball fans/"experts" and just pick leapers like Vince and Blake Griffin and Dominique...sure they are good athletes too but not the elite...in my opinion
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby dbirds » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:08 am

Why is JJK a lock? If she is, then why isnt a male decathlete a lock?


Why because she dominated the heptathlon, was a great long jumper and played pro basketball. Not to mention, this is an ESPN list and they are biased for North American athletes. Privalova and Drechsler both deserve to be included but I doubt either will.

Gabriella wrote:
The other point is that, due to the heptathlon scoring tables, athletes that are sprinter/jumpers have an advantage over throwers, so her gap over her rivals is skewed. Athletes like Turchinskaya, Shouaa and Dobrynska are very disadvantaged, as are all strong throwers.

People see 'athletic' as 'run and jump' (speed), but 'throw' (power) is in there too. The decathlon evens things out a bit better than the heptathlon, and throw in the DT & PV and we would see a change at the top of women's multis.

I'm not doubting JJKs fantastic record, but there are other brilliantly athletic women too. I don't think we'll ever know who is truly the most athletic or best heptathlete when things in the 80's were different to now. It's like comparing 80's throwers to Adams, Heidler et al.
Great post! Obviously I agree with you.


I 100% agree with post as well!
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby 18.99s » Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:05 pm

Gabriella wrote:And, to reiterate to another bug bear of mine, that 50m throw would not be a 50m throw today. There have been two changes in javelin specifications since and scientific studies have shown that athletes are disadvantaged with today's model compared to the 'old' and 'old-old' model. Current heptathletes are losing many valuable points to previous greats.

They didn't adjust the scoring tables to account for the javelin redesign?
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby 18.99s » Fri Oct 19, 2012 3:10 am

cullman wrote:Re: dancers as athletes. Google "Nicholas Brothers In Stormy Weather" if you want to see a great athletic tap performance. :D


Thanks for alerting me to that incredible performance and the movie. I see it also has a number of other legends like Lena Horne, Bojangles (Bill Robinson), Fats Waller, and Cab Calloway. I have to buy or rent it!
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Blues » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:55 am

18.99s wrote:
Gabriella wrote:And, to reiterate to another bug bear of mine, that 50m throw would not be a 50m throw today. There have been two changes in javelin specifications since and scientific studies have shown that athletes are disadvantaged with today's model compared to the 'old' and 'old-old' model. Current heptathletes are losing many valuable points to previous greats.

They didn't adjust the scoring tables to account for the javelin redesign?


One might assume that they'd somehow adjust the scoring tables, but based on quick examination, Olympic heptathlon javelin distances in Seoul in 1988 seem to have generated the same point scores as identical distances in London, 2012, despite the women's javelin modification of 1999.

Interestingly though, in the 2012 London competition, 9 of the competitors had significantly longer throws than the best throw in Seoul despite using the newer type javelin, although I'm not sure if the temperature, humidity, and wind in London may have been more conducive to longer throws.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby cullman » Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:41 am

18.99s wrote:
cullman wrote:Re: dancers as athletes. Google "Nicholas Brothers In Stormy Weather" if you want to see a great athletic tap performance. :D


Thanks for alerting me to that incredible performance and the movie. I see it also has a number of other legends like Lena Horne, Bojangles (Bill Robinson), Fats Waller, and Cab Calloway. I have to buy or rent it!

You're welcome. Bill Bojangles Robinson apparently held a record at one time for sprinting backwards.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Marlow » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:06 am

cullman wrote:Bill Bojangles Robinson apparently held a record at one time for sprinting backwards.

The intrawebs really do have everything!

http://www.recordholders.org/en/list/ba ... nning.html
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby j-a-m » Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:07 pm

cullman wrote:Bill Bojangles Robinson apparently held a record at one time for sprinting backwards.

At least that event makes more sense than racewalking. Seriously.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby j-a-m » Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:09 pm

Marlow wrote:http://www.recordholders.org/en/list/backwards-running.html

In addition to holding world records from 400m to the mile, Thomas Dold is also quite good in running upstairs, including multiple wins at the Empire State Building tower run.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby 26mi235 » Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:05 pm

nianchengyu wrote:
Marlow wrote:
Gabriella wrote:But she didnt excel in the JT and 800m at all;

I beg to differ. Her 50m JT in 1986 was indeed 'excellent', as was her 2:08 800. The rest of her marks then were world-class. She was (is) in a completely different class than her 'peers'. And her peers were among the best athletes on the planet.

JJK indeed has huge individual pbs but relatively she cannot combined them well in hep ,her total pbs worth more than 7600p but only 7291p WR with below-par HJ and JV,in her 7215p she did not do well in LJ/7.00m and 800m/2.20s.Furthermore,her super scores only from 1986 to 1988,after that she did more usual scores.


Usually the athletes PRs etc come spread out over time with different event getting better and worse. However, with JJK the two Hepts she did when she set that so-far untouchable record would, when combined, give her over 7400 points if I recall my calculations correctly. Those two meets were not that far apart in time.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby fortyacresandamule » Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:55 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:
fortyacresandamule wrote:Do golfers qualify as athletes? For if they do, we might as well called ball room dancers athletes also.

The fact that women can't compete with men tells me that there is some athleticism involved in golf, though John Daley proved that you don't have to be in shape. Also, I can't think of another sport that places as a high a premium on hand-eye coordination as golf does.



I think a table tennis player and in cricket ( top class batsmen) require much more hand coordination than golfers.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby jazzcyclist » Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:07 pm

fortyacresandamule wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:
fortyacresandamule wrote:Do golfers qualify as athletes? For if they do, we might as well called ball room dancers athletes also.

The fact that women can't compete with men tells me that there is some athleticism involved in golf, though John Daley proved that you don't have to be in shape. Also, I can't think of another sport that places as a high a premium on hand-eye coordination as golf does.



I think a table tennis player and in cricket ( top class batsmen) require much more hand coordination than golfers.

Those sports put a good deal of emphasis on strategy and quickness in addition to hand-eye coordination. Hitting major league baseball pitching requires a combination of hand-eye coordination, strategy (guessing the pitch), power and quickness. In golf, quickness is a non-factor, strategy is a very small factor (most golfers approach all the holes the same way) and power is a non-factor (most adult males have enough power). The only talent golf requires in abundance is hand-eye coordination.
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