Traditional talent development pathways for adolescents in team sports follow talent identification procedures based on subjective games ratings and isolated athletic assessment. Most talent development models are exclusive rather than inclusive in nature. Subsequently, talent identification may result in discontentment, premature stratification, or dropout from team sports. Understanding the multidimensional differences among the requirements of adolescent and elite adult athletes could provide more realistic goals for potential talented players. Coach education should include adolescent development, and rewards for team success at the adolescent level should reflect the needs of long-term player development. Effective talent development needs to incorporate physical and psychological maturity, the relative age effect, objective measures of game sense, and athletic prowess. The influences of media and culture on the individual, and the competing time demands between various competitions for player training time should be monitored and mediated where appropriate. Despite the complexity, talent development is a worthy investment in professional team sport.
Darren J. Burgess and Geraldine A. Naughton
Dean G. Higham, Geraldine A. Naughton, Lauren A. Burt, and Xiaocai Shi
The aim of this study was to compare daily hydration profiles of competitive adolescent swimmers and less active maturation- and sex-matched controls. Hydration profiles of 35 competitive adolescent swimmers (male n = 18, female n = 17) and 41 controls (male n = 29, female n = 12) were monitored on 4 consecutive days. First morning hydration status was determined independently by urine specific gravity (USG) and urine color. Changes in fluid balance were estimated during the school day and in training sessions after adjusting for self-reported urine losses and fluid intake. Urinalyses revealed consistent fluid deficits (USG >1.020, urine color ≥5) independent of activity group, sex, and day of testing (hypohydration in 73–85% of samples, p > .05). Fluid balance and intake were observed over typical school days in males and females from the 2 groups. During training, male swimmers lost more fluid relative to initial body mass but drank no more than females. Although both activity groups began each testing day with a similar hydration status, training induced significant variations in fluid balance in the swimmers compared with controls. Despite minimal fluid losses during individual training sessions (<2% body mass), these deficits significantly increased fluid needs for young swimmers over the school day.