On identifying sporting talent: The Calthorpe Hypothesis

September 1, 2017

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In my new book, Seconds Out, I describe a fictional idea known as The Calthorpe Hypothesis. It indicates how sporting talent might be identified, and how it transfers from one sport to another. As sometimes happens, fiction can become a reality.

Seconds Out is a thriller with the usual ingredients of a super villain with a plan to dominate the world, a valient team intent on stopping him, few ghostly interventions, and a protagonist facing academic ruin if his research turns out badly. For the last point only, I was able to draw on personal experiences.

The Calthorpe Hypothesis

In the book, the research is based on The Calthorpe Hypothesis, a concept I invented as supporting a theory which might turn out to be completely wrong.

As the story developed, I became intrigued by the possibility that the fictional hypothesis could actually have more credibility in the real world than I originally intended it to have.

Chess Boxing

Sometimes an idea buzzes around in irritating fashion, giving you no peace of mind. It often helps to share your thoughts with someone else.

Chess boxing” I said to Susan one evening, as we were setting out to review progress on construction of the East Cheadle bypass relief road being conducted outside our front door.

“Sorry” she said “I thought you said Chess boxing. That sounds weird.”

“I did say Chess boxing. It’s a new sport. You have boxers who fight and then sit down to play a game of chess. It is the perfect contest requiring brain, brawn, courage and cunning.

“I suppose the chess players put gloves on after a game for fighting, and the boxers take their gloves off to move the chess pieces.”

“Whatever,” I said. “Anyway, it’s going to become big. And it is exactly where we should be looking to recruit much-needed new members for our Chess Club.

I am pinning my hopes on chess boxing as way of restoring my fading academic reputation, but I decide not to mention that to Susan for the moment.

As the story develops, I learn more about the Calthorpe Hypothesis in a conference on sporting excellence

I return to my room to dig more deeply into the implications of the Calthorpe hypothesis. With references from Greg’s paper, I quickly find what I am looking for. Professor Calthorpe is no longer with us. He was based in a department of sports science in Australia’s remote Northern Territories. His largely ignored work suggests it is possible to identify characteristics that suggest which sports are particularly complementary. He collected evidence from a range of Olympic sports such as weightlifting, swimming, gymnastics, and hurdling.

I can hardly sleep as I see the unnoticed implications of Calthorpe’s insights and consider how they will increase my academic survival prospects.

My first success came in the identification of Tim, a promising chess player who according to my ideas, could become successful at both chess and boxing. Tim agrees to become involved:

“I’ll think on it,” he said. “I’m coming over to East Cheadle soon. Got to go now. Lift’s waiting for me out there. I’ll let you know.”

Even if he can only play the last games of the season it might make all the difference. But a half-promise is not enough. My search for players must go on.

He leaves before I have time to learn his name. But before he leaves he says his meeting is to contact an agent for when he turns professional. That sounds even more promising.

A scan of the results board tells me I have been in contact with a Tim Bolton, whose grade makes him eligible to play as our new secret weapon.

The story continues with many a twist, and a final encounter with the evil Lyman Groat. After 60,000 words, I had become convinced that the Calthorpe Hypothesis is not an entirely crazy idea.

Chess Boxing

Chess Boxing is alive and well, and I am grateful to guidance I received when writing Seconds Out from the London Chess Boxing organisation.

Why not capitalize on the idea?

Putting on my Business School hat, I am now developing a research proposal around the hypothesis, and submitting it to various sporting bodies in the real world, seeking sponsorship in identifying their next top athletes from other sports.

I may still do so, but I have given too much of the game away already. Readers of Seconds Out, or even subscribers to this blog post, may beat me to it. If you do so, please buy copies of the book for all your family and friends.

You can learn more about The Calthorpe Hypothesis from clicking this link to the book

 

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Chewbakka Jones and the Temple of Doom

July 7, 2017

Chewbakka Jones?

I was browsing yesterday for a book on horses in the Simply Books No 1 emporium. As I did so, my eye was caught by an instruction manual entitled How Not to Write a Novel.

Horse book nicely installed in its gift-wrapped box, I add How Not to Write a Novel to my purchase. It was a sound investment. And, as they say in many a blurb, I read it long into the evening, as the battles of tennis supremacy at Wimbledon pass me unheeded across the room. I tick off various crimes against publication I commit on a regular basis.

Mind reeling from what I had learned, I cross out a load of post-modern film-flam from my uncompleted novel. My previously unnamed narrator gets a memorable name, and  faces more heroic challenges.

The title? One comes to mind. But I fear for legal challenges at a later date. Still, I can at least make it the topic of this week’s blog post …

“Chewbakka Jones and the Temple of Doom”

Sports psychologist Chewbakka Jones is attempting to rescue his academic career by identifying the ingredients of sporting success. His most promising pupil is Tim, a would-be chess-boxing champion.

 His research, which takes place in a sleepy community centre, is disrupted by an invasion of bats, and disturbing ghostly manifestations. The setbacks are connected to a feud between a wealthy businessman and the Dalai Lama, leader of a secret society operating at the Hall.

When Tim and the Dalai Lama are kidnapped, Chewbakka is reluctantly dragged into a perilous rescue attempt.


Klitschko Joshua: The other face of boxing

April 26, 2017
Boxing has been mythologized in countless movies as a mix of human motives and emotions. Exploitation and nobility, courage and crookedness, bravery and betrayal. A contest between good and evil.The match between Vladimir Klitschko and Antony Joshua is being heavily marketed as the battle of the good guys.
A contrast
The fight has attracted more attention than any I can recall in recent years. It has been in complete contrast to the shock-horror trash talk has increasingly been boxing’s marketing plan A.
From Muhammed Ali’s inspired and witty “I am the greatest” creations, the performances have become increasingly crude and violent. There has been a convergence with the pseudo-violence in other martial sports. The pre-fight press-conferences were depressingly characterized by Tyson Fury in his brief spell in the limelight recently before his medical condition and drug dependency were revealed.
Tyson Fury was named by his father after heavyweight champion Mike Tyson famed for his uncontrollable violence in and outside the ring.
The noble art …
In contrast, the Klitschko Joshua rumble has been presented as a battle of heirs to the noble art of boxing. Both were exceptional Olympic champions. Both talk intelligently about boxing.Klitschko, (like Lennox Lewis) is an accomplished chess player.
It is probable that if they wanted to, he and Joshua could compete in the increasingly fashionable sport of chess boxing.

Chess Boxing: No April Fool’s Joke

March 27, 2017

 

Chess Boxing is one of the world’s fastest growing sports, part mind-game, part physical bravery and athleticism. I received notification of an event in London scheduled for  April 1st including a political grudge match between UKIP and Lib Dem contestants. I checked to see it was all an April Fool’s prank

Not at all, I was assured. Get down to London to see it happen.

As Leaders We Deserve has more than its fair share of chess-playing subscribers, I thought the event might be worth a little more publicity.

The Chess Boxing Event

Pity the Fool!
Saturday April 1st

Headline bout: the BREXIT BELT
Featuring UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott vs LIB DEM activist Toby White

In this headline bout with political clout there is more at stake than just personal honour. Jonathan “The Tactician” Arnott is a strong club level chess player who fits boxing training around his duties annoying fellow MEPs in Brussels. His opponent and veteran of two previous chessboxing bouts, Toby “Slowby” White will be looking for payback after campaigning unsuccessfully for the Remain camp last summer.

The undercard has a strong Finnish theme with appearances from the giant Viking Lars “Lazarus” Bjorknas and his compatriot Ville “Jukola” Makinen from Helsinki. Cameron “The Hurt Locker” Little, the 6ft 7inch London favourite, returns following defeat in December last year. Also  will be hitting the ring, a wily boxer and former junior chess player, Guy Cohen, making his York Hall debut this April.

PLUS: full undercard, live cabaret, DJ, dancing, special guests, announcer extraordinaire Matt Andrews, big screen projection and live commentary so you won’t miss a move!

Venue: York Hall, 5 Old Ford Road London E2 9PJ
Closest tube: Bethnal Green (5mins)
Doors: 7pm. First bout 7.45pm
London Chessboxing has established a loyal cult following over the last six years winning rave reviews from all corners of the media for its totally bonkers mash-up of brains, brawn and pure entertainment. Chessboxing is an unforgettable experience!
“Chessboxing… the muse of our era, crystallizing the symptoms of the system for all to discern.” Karl Ouch, 2015

Meanwhile up north

Your editor is writing a fictional story involving chess boxing, entitled Seconds Out . [Title under protection through ISBN number, 2017].

A well-known regional chess player and amateur boxing enthusiast has offered to audition for the starring role of Tim Hagrid, if film rights are obtained.