What is talent? Be heard on The Science of Sport, and win a dinner with David Epstein and me

13 Nov 2013 Posted by

The 2013 Performance Leadership Summit: Programme and summaries

As you may know, next week (21 & 22 November) sees the inaugural Performance Leadership Summit, a joint venture between the Sports Science Institute of South Africa (SSISA) and the Science of Sport.  We’re looking forward to hosting some of this country’s best and brightest high performance minds over two days.

We’ve now finalized the programme, which you can download here, and read through short summaries of each presentation in our programme to give you some idea of the offerings over the two days.  There are still some spaces available, incidentally, so if you are able, I’d highly encourage you to make a trip to Cape Town and take part in the discussion.


David Epstein in Cape Town

A big drawcard, which I’m very excited about, is that our keynote speaker is David Epstein, the investigative journalist and author of the recent best-seller The Sports Gene.  If you’ve read it, you’ll know that it’s a masterpiece of accurate and appealing science writing, and it offers perspectives on sport that will change the way you view them.  He will speak on the concepts from that book at the Summit.  David will also participate in a panel discussion on doping in sport, and I’ll interview him to get even more immersed in the fascinating questions of talent, training and genetic factors in sport.


Be heard!  And win a dinner with David Epstein

David is in Cape Town for a week, and since I’m sure many would like to pick his brain, and hear some thoughts, but cannot attend the Summit, he has kindly agreed to my idea for a competition of sorts, where I’m offering you a chance to win a dinner with David Epstein!

The dinner will happen on Tuesday evening at 7pm (19 November), somewhere in Cape Town (details TBC), and all you have to do to enter is the following:

  • Write a short essay (maximum 150 words, strictly applied) in answer to the following question:  “What is talent?”
  • Submit your answers, in the form of emails, to me at sportsscientists@nullgmail.com no later than 10 am (SA time) on Monday 18 November.
  • With your entry, please state your name, location (important for the prize eligibility!) and occupation (because it will be interesting to see how different professions answer the question!)
  • Once we have received the entries, David will be the judge, and will rank the submissions according to how thought-provoking they are, and what they contribute to the fascinating discussion of talent

The winner, provided they’re in Cape Town, will be invited to bring a partner along, and join a group of David, my colleagues and I for a relaxed dinner next week.


Best five submissions will be published on The Science of Sport

Obviously, I realize that only those in Cape Town are eligible for the actual dinner, but there’s more.  The top FIVE submissions will also be published on the Science of Sport, because this topic – Talent Identification and Management – is a fascinating one to me, and I’ve always been really blown away by the caliber of readers here at The Science of Sport, and so this is your chance to be heard and to inspire even more discussion on the topic!

So regardless of where in the world you are, get your creative and scientific minds in gear and answer the question:  “What is Talent?”.

David and I are looking forward to reading your thoughts, and we’ll comment and discuss them when we publish those top 5.

I look forward to hearing you, and perhaps, if you’re in the right place at the right time, meeting you for dinner next Tuesday!


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