About ten years ago, a survey was conducted among college coaches asking
them to describe the ectomorphs of the "perfect" sprinter and the "perfect"
distance swimmer. The result surprised some: The coaches wanted a tall (6'-
4" or taller), thin (180-200 lbs), with large hands and feet. The
collective wisdom was that a tall athlete, all other things being equal,
will be cover a given distance (short or long) faster than a shorter one.
The prejudice in favor of taller players also extends to water polo. I
think it was Ed Newland who wrote an article a couple of years ago
describing what he was looking for in a national team player. Ed wanted
speed (21 seconds in the 50 or faster, but not "drop dead" speed-- they had
to have some endurance), strength, and-- surprise!-- size (6'4" or taller).
Newland also described some non-physical attributes, but I think he was
pretty insistent that if you didn't have the strength, size, and speed, you
weren't going to be in the pool.
Marv Harshman (sp?), the former basketball coach at the University of
Washington, was once asked why he recruited tall, strong players rather than
short, quick players. "Quick guys get tired," he responded. "Big guys
Now, my question is: when there is so much evidence of outstanding "smaller"
athletes, why do coaches instinctively or reflexively favor athletes who are
6'4" and taller?
Weight: 210-215 (depending on the day)
Significant Athletic Accomplishments: None