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Are there "clutch" players or performances in sports?

View Poll Results: Are there "clutch" players or performances in sports?
Yes 26 68.42%
No 8 21.05%
Undecided 4 10.53%
Voters: 38. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
10-12-2012, 02:58 AM
  #1
TroubaFan1
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Are there "clutch" players or performances in sports?

Im just curious what sports fans think about this.

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10-12-2012, 06:14 AM
  #2
garret9
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1) Every player believes that, at the very least, 58 mins of the game anything can happen. Every goal counts and is as important to that player and that team, even when the game is heavily tipped. In fact, landslide games tend to happen because the other team gets desperate and works even harder to score when the game is tipped. Look at the famous flying W play against the Florida. The Panthers were over pinching trying to get back in a heavily one-sided game and it cost them a goal due to their desperation as every goal counted. So we can determine that, for most of the time, every goal matters and that the point of the game is to get more goals than the other. If you look at how often there are one-sided games, and then subtract from those games the time where they could make a comeback even if its a small chance, then I'm sure there are VERY few goals that "don't matter" to that team/individual. So, therefore, pts/toi would be a good determination of results, especially with the large sample size available.

2) For a player to be "clutch" they have to elevate their play relative to every other player. For that to happen either a) everyone else chokes or b) they were drifting throughout the reg season. a) is too rididculous to consider true. if b) were true, I'd want to avoid those players anyways because I'd rather have someone who tries throughout the full season and post-season. What Paradise said about the better fit is a strong possibility, but you'd still see results of certain individuals doing better/worse than normal, in that case.

3) For a player to be clutch, their results would have to improve when it counts. Yet no matter if you divide it by time, games played or when it is in the game, time-and-time-again, there has been no indications of more players getting better than their average results than there is in similar sample sizes of the regular season. If someone is going to be better in big game situations than they'd have to be better in big game situations. The only difference that's seen is that in big games, the top players get more oppertunities/icetime as they are the top players.

4) You have even displayed with your own examples, how people can falsely identify particular players as clutch/fallers/whatever, due to a particular reputation that is completely untrue. It's no coincidence that these misnomers so common in hockey tend to coincide with ethnicity too (not saying yours are lol, just saying general sense). Look at comparing Antropov and Wellwood, one was touted as consistent and the other was not although they scored at the same rate, got primary assists at the same rate, and had similar # and length of droughts. The same went for comparisons of consistency between Jokinen and Parise in the UFA season (yes there are other reasons why Parise>>Jokinen). The eye test is important because without it you can misinterpet stats, but stats are important because without them you can rely on memorable moments as you will not be able to remember everything and every-moment.
*Ladd's when-the-game-counts penalties
*Wheeler sucking in the begining of the season
*Pavelec being an above average goalie on a below average defensive team
*GST being the best 3rd line in the NHL
*Antropov being worse for 5v5 then most of the players on our rotating 4th line
*Hainsey being worse than Stuart
*Team being better without Enstrom
*Particular players disapearing, being clutch, whatever
These all happen because of small strong memorable moments that didn't properly represent what actually happened

5) Naming off a few people who have made a big time goal or appear to have a hot streak in the playoffs/superbowl, can't prove that they are "clutch" when there are hundreds of thousands of pro-athletes for a sample size. It's just variance/luck/streaks.

In summary, all indications is that the difference in regular season to playoffs is: time allocation to particular players, tighter checking = less goals in total, less penalties... but there are no substantial indications that more players elevate/fall-off their games than what you would expect with normal hot/cold streaks and that given enough "big games" all players fall into almost direct line of what you would expect for regular season production.

http://nhlnumbers.com/2012/10/3/clut...ame-performers

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Old
10-12-2012, 07:13 AM
  #3
Gump Hasek
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PS: I voted yes, there are clutch players that often raise their level in big games. They just "want it" more and are able to raise their level of compete when it counts. It is often what separates the pencil pushers in life from the entrepreneurs and C.E.O.s'; hustle and inner drive. It is what separates players of similar skill levels. Some people just have an innate ability to grasp what it takes to accomplish a goal and they ensure that they put in a requisite amount of effort to make it happen. It is why GMs' and scouts seek players with high compete levels; they want that guy that will be "on" late in games, when it most counts. It is a personal trait that often is the differentiating point between success and failure in near any endeavor in life.


Last edited by Gump Hasek: 10-12-2012 at 07:19 AM.
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10-12-2012, 07:27 AM
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gump Hasek View Post
PS: I voted yes, there are clutch players that often raise their level in big games. They just "want it" more and are able to raise their level of compete when it counts. It is often what separates the pencil pushers in life from the entrepreneurs and C.E.O.s'; hustle and inner drive. It is what separates players of similar skill levels. Some people just have an innate ability to grasp what it takes to accomplish a goal and they ensure that they put in a requisite amount of effort to make it happen. It is why GMs' and scouts seek players with high compete levels; they want that guy that will be "on" late in games, when it most counts. It is a personal trait that often is the differentiating point between success and failure in near any endeavor in life.
Well said Gump

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10-12-2012, 08:08 AM
  #5
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Of course there are clutch performers in sports. Its the reason I took Claude Lemieux in every playoff pool, the guy was money. Gump Hasek nailed it on the head, some people step up when things get thick, some people step out. Sports is no different; getting things done when it counts the most. To say there is no such thing as clutch performers is out right ridiculous.

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10-12-2012, 08:29 AM
  #6
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Oh god not someone who thinks there is no such thing as being "clutch"

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10-12-2012, 08:59 AM
  #7
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basically there has been no evidence that anyone changes "or wants it more" in playoffs because they don't "want it less" when it's not playoffs. Ya it's a different level and the checking is tighter so scoring levels go down... but pretty much everyone in the NHL wants it harder... everyone is of a pretty high cut to be in the NHL and that's why you don't see anyone who actually does better in playoffs than normal...

Including Claude L. his ppg is same in playoffs and reg season.

There is no variation in playoffs that's different than regular season games at any point in the year... so how can people be "playoff performers" and "dissapearers" if there is no increase in extremes?


Last edited by Hank Chinaski: 10-13-2012 at 03:35 PM. Reason: qdp
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Old
10-12-2012, 09:03 AM
  #8
Paradise
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The boards have been pretty slow around here and I think this is a worthy discussion. There will be a lot of different opinions on this, which is a good thing

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10-12-2012, 09:04 AM
  #9
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Perhaps we should also look at whether fighting wins you games... that's another myth with a cult of belief around it

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10-12-2012, 09:08 AM
  #10
Paradise
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grind View Post
Perhaps we should also look at whether fighting wins you games... that's another myth with a cult of belief around it
How about the "bigger and faster" Western Conference?


Last edited by Paradise: 10-12-2012 at 09:20 AM. Reason: Quotations added
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10-12-2012, 09:16 AM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradise View Post
How about the bigger and faster Western Conference?
what about it? lol

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10-12-2012, 09:19 AM
  #12
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Originally Posted by garret9 View Post
what about it? lol
Sorry, should have used quotations, lol.

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10-12-2012, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradise View Post
Sorry, should have used quotations, lol.
Oh lol I'm slow

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10-12-2012, 09:48 AM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gump Hasek View Post
PS: I voted yes, there are clutch players that often raise their level in big games. They just "want it" more and are able to raise their level of compete when it counts. It is often what separates the pencil pushers in life from the entrepreneurs and C.E.O.s'; hustle and inner drive. It is what separates players of similar skill levels. Some people just have an innate ability to grasp what it takes to accomplish a goal and they ensure that they put in a requisite amount of effort to make it happen. It is why GMs' and scouts seek players with high compete levels; they want that guy that will be "on" late in games, when it most counts. It is a personal trait that often is the differentiating point between success and failure in near any endeavor in life.
I understand that players need to be able to handle pressure, work hard, compete, etc. The thing is that I'm saying that they have that all year round.

There's a problem with "raising your level when it counts" for this. It implies that they don't care 100% in the regular season or they don't try 100% in the regular season or both.
If people actually pick it up in the big games the opposite must be true that they don't try as hard in the not so big games. And really, the games are always big for these guys.

But the point is if that causes a difference that further separates players in regular season, then you would see "separation between the pencil pushers and CEO's" of the NHL... but there isn't any? So why then?

My thoughts and many others is just that most stronger players perform to the best of their ability as consistently as possible... and lady luck creates her variance. That's why you get hot and cold streaks.

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10-12-2012, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garret9 View Post
My thoughts and many others is just that most stronger players perform to the best of their ability as consistently as possible... and lady luck creates her variance. That's why you get hot and cold streaks.
There is no such thing as luck, but rather, the laws of probability. Goals often described as flukes or as lucky are instead easily explained away as a player being in the right place at the right time.

The famous Gretzky quote is "You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don't take. Even though there is only a 1-5% probability of scoring". (The Hockey News - January 16, 1983)

In other words, you make your own luck.

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10-12-2012, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gump Hasek View Post
There is no such thing as luck, but rather, the laws of probability. Goals often described as flukes or as lucky are instead easily explained away as a player being in the right place at the right time.

The famous Gretzky quote is "You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don't take. Even though there is only a 1-5% probability of scoring". (The Hockey News - January 16, 1983)

In other words, you make your own luck.
precicely. the point being the numbers don't add up.

Players "statistically" likely to "make their own luck" at the exact same rate in the playoffs then at another point of the season over the same number of games.

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10-12-2012, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garret9 View Post

There's a problem with "raising your level when it counts" for this. It implies that they don't care 100% in the regular season or they don't try 100% in the regular season or both.
If people actually pick it up in the big games the opposite must be true that they don't try as hard in the not so big games. And really, the games are always big for these guys.
http://kottke.org/11/05/how-giving-1...ually-possible

Quote:
Here's actually a more serious (and more mathematically precise) way to look at this. Economist Stephen Shmanske has a new paper in the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports titled "Dynamic Effort, Sustainability, Myopia, and 110% Effort" that actually brings some stats and benchmarks to bear to figure this out in the context of the NBA.

For Shmanske, it's all about defining what counts as 100% effort. Let's say "100%" is the maximum amount of effort that can be consistently sustained. With this benchmark, it's obviously possible to give less than 100%. But it's also possible to give more. All you have to do is put forth an effort that can only be sustained inconsistently, for short periods of time. In other words, you're overclocking.

And in fact, based on the numbers, NBA players pull greater-than-100-percent off relatively frequently, putting forth more effort in short bursts than they can keep up over a longer period. And giving greater than 100% can reduce your ability to subsequently and consistently give 100%. You overdraw your account, and don't have anything left.
The article may be about NBA player's, but can still relate to others athletics as well.

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10-12-2012, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grind View Post
precicely. the point being the numbers don't add up.

Players "statistically" likely to "make their own luck" at the exact same rate in the playoffs then at another point of the season over the same number of games.
Perhaps; but it is also that same player's proven level of reliability, performance, and drive that causes the coach to put him on the ice late in a playoff game to be in the position to score a key goal to begin with. He garners the opportunity to be put on the ice at that time to score a clutch goal precisely because of an innate drive, compete, and an ability to perform at peak levels in times of high stress that separates him from a player of similar skill level. That is what makes a clutch player.

A perfect example here is Michael Jordan. The guy had amazing skills, but those were coupled with an additional drive that enabled him to step on yet another gear in the playoffs.

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10-12-2012, 10:22 AM
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It's actually a copy and paste from a long back and forth, as can be noted by some of it being a response to slightly off topics (like the value of a goal)... so it wasn't a response to just this... it all stemmed from me saying that if Scheifele doesn't play super well in a big role in the WJC this year doesn't mean that he's going to be a player that doesn't play well in "big games"

but basically there has been no evidence that anyone changes "or wants it more" in playoffs because they don't "want it less" when it's not playoffs. Ya it's a different level and the checking is tighter so scoring levels go down... but pretty much everyone in the NHL wants it harder... everyone is of a pretty high cut to be in the NHL and that's why you don't see anyone who actually does better in playoffs than normal...

Including Claude L. his ppg is same in playoffs and reg season.

There is no variation in playoffs that's different than regular season games at any point in the year... so how can people be "playoff performers" and "dissapearers" if there is no increase in extremes?

And ps I don't think it was diatribe... there was no personal attack on it.
Actually, there is:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/...utch-performer

The author does a great job at maintaining balance but does show evidence of how there can be a clutch performer in sports. The author gives the mentally and the physiological strains on a high stakes game, or playoff, or Olympic event and says that that there is a clutch is the opposite of choking.

http://www.athleticinsight.com/Vol6I...erformance.htm

Good article by an academic articulating the difference of a regular season prep to a playoff one. Clearly showing that stress, pressure, media, spotlight, and all sorts of intangibles can effect a players game. His job? To ensure that that the player is physically and mentally ready. Like the aforementioned article stated, a persons mind and body optimal stress reflect can be the difference between a players best game and their worst game.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/...ch-performance

A good unbiased article of the mystery of clutch performers. The point I like in this one that is that ones response to stress (i.e. playoffs, Olympics) is related to skill set and experience. I think that is extremely important. This combined with mental and physical preparation can show that there can be such thing as a clutch performer. To rely of stats like PPG is fine, but there are intangibles that obviously can't be calculated, like passion, confidence, experience, etc. These need to be considered. Oh, and the reason why I picked Claude Lemieux in the playoffs was not because of his PPG (he did win the Conn Smyth one year), it was because he had the 'X' factor to raise his teammates up as well. You knew that a role player like him stepped up and during his prime he WAS money in the playoffs.

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10-12-2012, 10:34 AM
  #20
Paradise
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Actually, there is:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/...utch-performer

The author does a great job at maintaining balance but does show evidence of how there can be a clutch performer in sports. The author gives the mentally and the physiological strains on a high stakes game, or playoff, or Olympic event and says that that there is a clutch is the opposite of choking.

http://www.athleticinsight.com/Vol6I...erformance.htm

Good article by an academic articulating the difference of a regular season prep to a playoff one. Clearly showing that stress, pressure, media, spotlight, and all sorts of intangibles can effect a players game. His job? To ensure that that the player is physically and mentally ready. Like the aforementioned article stated, a persons mind and body optimal stress reflect can be the difference between a players best game and their worst game.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/...ch-performance

A good unbiased article of the mystery of clutch performers. The point I like in this one that is that ones response to stress (i.e. playoffs, Olympics) is related to skill set and experience. I think that is extremely important. This combined with mental and physical preparation can show that there can be such thing as a clutch performer. To rely of stats like PPG is fine, but there are intangibles that obviously can't be calculated, like passion, confidence, experience, etc. These need to be considered. Oh, and the reason why I picked Claude Lemieux in the playoffs was not because of his PPG (he did win the Conn Smyth one year), it was because he had the 'X' factor to raise his teammates up as well. You knew that a role player like him stepped up and during his prime he WAS money in the playoffs.
Nice finds

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10-12-2012, 10:39 AM
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There is no such thing as being "clutch".

I will however give credence to performing, when it counts, under pressure and upping your game.

The playoffs are a different animal. Your playing the same team at least four games in a row, sometimes 7.

Your going to see other players rise to the occasion and produce as sometimes the big stars are focused on defensively.

There's no doubt that Claude Lemieux is a great playoff performer, but it's not like he didn't have a scoring touch. There were years that he was non-existent but for the most part he potted between 25-30goals and even got 41 one season.

Line ups get changed, injuries happen and there's more of a chance that some if your lesser players will perform better.

Also anyone notice that its always a lower level if player that gets this particular label. No one says that Crosby or Ovechkin is clutch...because that level of performance is expected from them.

Either way, clutch ness is easily explained.

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10-12-2012, 10:41 AM
  #22
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Originally Posted by Gump Hasek View Post
Perhaps; but it is also that same player's proven level of reliability, performance, and drive that causes the coach to put him on the ice late in a playoff game to be in the position to score a key goal to begin with. He garners the opportunity to be put on the ice at that time to score a clutch goal precisely because of an innate drive, compete, and an ability to perform at peak levels in times of high stress that separates him from a player of similar skill level. That is what makes a clutch player.
A perfect example here is Michael Jordan. The guy had amazing skills, but those were coupled with an additional drive that enabled him to step on yet another gear in the playoffs.
the problem is, he isn't "getting" unfound talent drive/etc when the games on the line. It's not hiding. His physiology doesn't improve at a clutch moment. His brain doesn't get smarter. His legs don't get stronger. He just "tries" harder (consciously or subconsciously).

the issues is then, why the **** isn't he trying that hard in every game?

I guess my biggest issue is this,
we are either assuming
A )the player isn't playing at 100% when it's NOT clutch
B) most NHL players aren't capable of playing in clutch moments (thus making the "clutch" player important)
C)Clutch players have a magic power that increases their intelligence, reflexes, talent, strength, or general ability to play hockey when it counts.

of these three, A and B are possible . A is the most likely, but not something that should be rewarded. B is harder to believe but is most favorable to the clutch theory.

I haven't checked the bunks articles but i'm going to read it now.

I think a big issue with "clutch" is, as i stated in a post on the bottom of the last page, there's also been Psych studies that highlighted peoples tendancy to give "noticable" performances, actions, and people more importance in retrospect then the mundane events. (examples: a flashy goal as opposed to an innocuous one. A loud/outgoing person in a discussion group was considered "most important" in solving the problem the group was tasked with-that person purposefully put forth only superfluous contributions, none of which we used to build the solution).

the problem with the coach having this guy as a "go to" clutch player, is that if he gave the opportunity to almost anyone else (except those who do actually "float") statistically, the probability that they're just as effective will be similar. But it builds this idea cult by being a self-fulfilling prophecy. You can't prove your "clutch" if your never on the ice in a "clutch" situation...

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10-12-2012, 10:54 AM
  #23
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Originally Posted by Grind View Post
the problem is, he isn't "getting" unfound talent drive/etc when the games on the line. It's not hiding. His physiology doesn't improve at a clutch moment. His brain doesn't get smarter. His legs don't get stronger. He just "tries" harder (consciously or subconsciously).

the issues is then, why the **** isn't he trying that hard in every game?

I guess my biggest issue is this,
we are either assuming
A )the player isn't playing at 100% when it's NOT clutch
B) most NHL players aren't capable of playing in clutch moments (thus making the "clutch" player important)
C)Clutch players have a magic power that increases their intelligence, reflexes, talent, strength, or general ability to play hockey when it counts.

of these three, A and B are possible . A is the most likely, but not something that should be rewarded. B is harder to believe but is most favorable to the clutch theory.

I haven't checked the bunks articles but i'm going to read it now.

I think a big issue with "clutch" is, as i stated in a post on the bottom of the last page, there's also been Psych studies that highlighted peoples tendancy to give "noticable" performances, actions, and people more importance in retrospect then the mundane events. (examples: a flashy goal as opposed to an innocuous one. A loud/outgoing person in a discussion group was considered "most important" in solving the problem the group was tasked with-that person purposefully put forth only superfluous contributions, none of which we used to build the solution).

the problem with the coach having this guy as a "go to" clutch player, is that if he gave the opportunity to almost anyone else (except those who do actually "float") statistically, the probability that they're just as effective will be similar. But it builds this idea cult by being a self-fulfilling prophecy. You can't prove your "clutch" if your never on the ice in a "clutch" situation...
You should probably read the article I also posted on "Dynamic Effort, Sustainability, Myopia, and 110% Effort"

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10-12-2012, 10:58 AM
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You should probably read the article I also posted on "Dynamic Effort, Sustainability, Myopia, and 110% Effort"
110% effort....that sounds like magic to me

reading through these first three right now, only finished one and i liked it.

players elevate their game, but the issue being, most players elevate their game,
meaning since everyones clutch, no ones clutch.

would be interesting to investigate...

generally your "clutch' players are your depth guys. Which leads one to wonder, is it that these guys are exceptional, or ar they just as clutch as most players, but since playing in a reduced role, are exponentially more likely to be on the ice vs another depth player, who's more likely to be one of the black-sheep-no-clutch players....

just a thought.. i'll go back to reading...

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10-12-2012, 11:06 AM
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110% effort....that sounds like magic to me

reading through these first three right now, only finished one and i liked it.

players elevate their game, but the issue being, most players elevate their game,
meaning since everyones clutch, no ones clutch.

would be interesting to investigate...

generally your "clutch' players are your depth guys. Which leads one to wonder, is it that these guys are exceptional, or ar they just as clutch as most players, but since playing in a reduced role, are exponentially more likely to be on the ice vs another depth player, who's more likely to be one of the black-sheep-no-clutch players....

just a thought.. i'll go back to reading...
It's like pixie dust, it only last for a limited time....
or gummy berry juice

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