SPORTS COLUMN: Marvel at superstars but learn from them too

Crispin Andrews
Crispin Andrews
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There’s a superhero in the current run of Mighty World of Marvel comics who would be pretty good at sport.

Even though she can’t fly, shoot laser beams out of her nostrils or set fire to your trousers at 500 paces.

Finesse is a teenage girl who can copy any move she sees anyone make. She picks up skills, languages, knowledge and of course fighting styles, with amazing speed.

As long as she’s physically capable of course. So she can’t throw a truck halfway across a country, like the Hulk. Or climb up a wall after watching Spiderman.

When I was coaching cricket a few years ago, the ECB gave everyone this coaching CD-ROM called Howzat.

It was designed for teachers who didn’t know much about the game, to use with kids who hadn’t played that much, if at all.

You could show video footage of South Africa’s Jaqcues Kallis playing a perfectly balanced off-drive or Glenn McGrath sending down ball after ball in exactly the right place over and again.

The idea was that the kids should have a perfect model which they could then strive to emulate.

The difficulty, of course, was getting kids, or adults, for that matter, who don’t have the same physical capabilities as these masters, to actually do it.

Learning, and honing, a sporting skill takes time. Ten thousand hours of practice according to some even at the top level players, are deficient in certain areas – Theo Walcott’s final ball.

Or they develop an issue, midway through their career – Jonathan Trott’s problems with fast short-pitched bowling.

If Joe Root had Finesse’s copycat powers he could watch a few videos of Rahul Dravid, and England would have nothing to worry about, at number three, in Adelaide this week.

Daniel Sturridge could watch Robert Lewandoski in action, and England would have the number nine they’ve been missing since Alan Shearer retired.

Finesse isn’t the only Marvel superhero who’d be pretty useful in a sports team.

With Thor around, you’d never need to bat out the final few hours to save a cricket match. He’d make it rain.

X-Man, Emma Frost, wouldn’t need to know much about Chess, she’d just read her opponents’ mind. Whether he was playing football, rugby or basketball, Spiderman’s spider sense would make him the perfect defender.

He’d know where the danger would be, before his opponents had even started their attack.

Interested in reading about the Marvel heroes? I’ve got back copies for sale, of all the Panini Collectors Editions, you see each month in WH Smith’s, from the last nine years. Lots of graphic novels, too.

If interested contact me on

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