Company / Club:

Philadelphia 76ers

Position inside the Company/Club:

Director of Performance Research and Development

Speaker Biography:

Dr. Martin was hired by the Sixers leading into the 2015-16 Season and has been responsible for implementing a contemporary NBA player support system (e.g., sports medicine and sports science). Prior to working with the Sixers Dr. Martin worked at the Australian Institute of Sport as a Senior Sport Scientist for 21 years.  While at the AIS Dr. Martin initiated an Olympic Combat Center, worked as a Sport Science Coordinator for Cycling Australia, and lead numerous applied sport science research projects focusing on talent identification, thermoregulation, altitude training, competition analysis, sport technology, training methodology and fitness testing.  Dr. Martin provided direct support for Australian cyclists while attending the 96, 00, 04, 08, 12 Summer Olympic Games.  Dr. Martin received his PhD in Zoology and Physiology from the University of Wyoming, his Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology from Northern Michigan University and worked for 2 years as a Research Assistant at the United States Olympic Training Center. 

Presentation Title:

Finding and Developing “Superstars”: Perspectives from Olympic Sport and the NBA

Presentation Synopsis:

The Australian Institute of Sport selected two women with no rowing experience into a Talent Identification Program in 1988.  Eight years later at the 1996 Olympic Games these women won a gold medal. The Australian Institute of Sport has also been successful with an Aerial Ski Jumping Talent Identification program which achieved 3 Olympic Gold Medals from women who entered into the program not knowing how to ski. Joel Embiid is an NBA Player from Cameroon who started playing basketball at the age of 15.  Seven years later, Embiid was nominated to be an NBA rookie of the year and the following year Embiid signed a contract worth $148 million dollars.  Finding athletes with the potential to become super stars in Olympic and Professional sport has become an important part of many sporting programs.  Those responsible for Talent Identification benefit from 1) understanding the current and future demands of the game/sport, 2) characterizing the anthropometric, physiological and psychological characteristics of the world’s best performers, 3) documenting training practices of successful athletes, and 4) having a holistic perspective on the successful athlete’s environment in and out of sport.  Pygmalion Effects, Growth Mindset, Frequent Challenges, Hawthorn Effects, and Belief Effects all suggest that even for supremely talented athletes with great potential that environmental influences are critically important.