#GlobalNews: “Connor McDavid: the anatomy of a generational player”


Connor McDavid drops jaws night in and night out with his speed and skill. Kids coming up through the ranks would love to know the secret to becoming a generational player like McDavid.

It turns out, physiologically, they can get there. Scientists haven’t identified any genes that help to create a superstar.

READ MORE: Wayne Gretzky calls Connor McDavid the best 19-year-old hockey player he’s ever seen

If you look at the data from McDavid’s preseason fitness test, it wouldn’t stand out amongst his teammates.

“Comparing him to other players on the team, they are very similar in their fitness levels,” said Alex Game, director of the Sport and Health Assessment Centre. “Some guys would be higher, say in strength than others, or that aerobic fitness that allows them to play 25, 30 minutes a night.

“They are very similar in their physiological makeup.”

READ MORE: NHL stars in awe of Connor McDavid: ‘It’s incredible how fast he is’

That means that hard work and a lot of practice really pays off. And note to parents, you don’t need your kids specializing early to reach the skill of players like McDavid and Sidney Crosby.

“You don’t have to start when you’re young,” Game said. “Basically, being physically active would’ve helped any of those players, regardless if they were solely in hockey or if they did other sports, to become that well-rounded physical athlete.”

READ MORE: Sidney Crosby gets 1,000th point, then leads Penguins by Winnipeg Jets in OT

Where generational players like McDavid stand out, is in their brains.

According to University of Alberta sport psychologist John Dunn, the list of psychological traits includes:

  • Lack of fear of failure
  • Commitment to train
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to identify marginal gains
  • Unwavering confidence and resilience

“They never ever lose that deep down belief that they are who they are and it’s going to come back,” Dunn said. “Whereas I think the rest of us, I don’t think we’ve got that same unshakeable belief that they have in themselves.”

WATCH: Oilers’ Connor McDavid scores incredible goal in first game back from injury

These types of special athletes also don’t see pressure the same way as the average athlete.

“They focus on what they can gain,” Dunn said. “The regular person focuses on what they might lose and as a result, that change of mindset allows them to flourish beyond what the regular good athlete is capable of achieving.”

READ MORE: Gretzky defends McDavid’s fiery outburst; says targeting comes with superstar territory

Most importantly, according to Dunn, is passion.

“It fuels all the behaviours that are necessary to train, to commit, to make the sacrifice, to endure the hardship, to fuel the ability to rebound from disappointment,” Dunn said.

For those asking, Dunn says this level of mental fortitude can’t be trained.

“There’s no one on the planet that has the formula to create genius. That’s why we talk about generational players, otherwise we would have them all the time. “

Watch below: Milan Lucic said he signed with the Edmonton Oilers because of Connor McDavid.

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Note: “Previously Published on: 21 March 2017 | 11:29 pm, as ‘Connor McDavid: the anatomy of a generational player’ on GLOBALNEWS CANADA. Here is a source link for the Article’s Image(s) and Content”.

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