identification process. However, research has been focused mostly on club team players, 2 , 5 – 9 and the information that describes national team players and their recruitment/selection process seems to be scarce. At the national team level, the pioneer work of Erčulj et al 10 examined the physical parameters
Jorge Arede, António Paulo Ferreira, Oliver Gonzalo-Skok and Nuno Leite
Annlaug Flem Maeland
This study focuses on identification of children with motor coordination problems and investigates whether the incidence of children with such problems in a normal school setting in Norway is comparable to that found in other countries using the same tests and criteria. The study also examines whether there would be any agreement between two motor tests, the Test of Motor Proficiency (TMP) and the Test of Motor Impairment (TOMI), and teachers’ judgment in identifying clumsiness among 360 children 10 years of age. The results showed that while the three different assessment methods identified about the same number of children with such problems (5-5.6%), each measure identified a somewhat different set of children. The lack of agreement demonstrates the difficulty in assessing subtle motor coordination problems or clumsiness.
Ryan W. Guenter, John G.H. Dunn and Nicholas L. Holt
Talent identification (TID) is the process of identifying individuals with the potential to excel in a given domain ( Williams & Reilly, 2000 ). A feature of the TID process in many North American sports is the draft system, a player-selection process designed to equitably allocate the playing
Carlos E.B. Gonçalves, Luís M.L. Rama and António B. Figueiredo
The theory of deliberate practice postulates that experts are always made, not born. This theory translated to the youth-sport domain means that if athletes want to be high-level performers, they need to deliberately engage in practice during the specialization years, spending time wisely and always focusing on tasks that challenge current performance. Sport organizations in several countries around the world created specialized training centers where selected young talents practice under the supervision of experienced coaches in order to become professional athletes and integrate onto youth national teams. Early specialization and accurate observation by expert coaches or scouts remain the only tools to find a potential excellent athlete among a great number of participants. In the current study, the authors present 2 of the problems raised by talent search and the risks of such a search. Growth and maturation are important concepts to better understand the identification, selection, and development processes of young athletes. However, the literature suggests that sport-promoting strategies are being maintained despite the increased demands in the anthropometric characteristics of professional players and demands of actual professional soccer competitions. On the other hand, identifying biological variables that can predict performance is almost impossible.
Janice Causgrove Dunn and E. Jane Watkinson
This study investigated whether the TOMI (Stott, Moyes, & Henderson, 1984), a motor skills test recommended for the identification of children who are physically awkward (Sugden, 1985; Wall, Reid, & Paton, 1990), contains biased items. Findings of a study by Causgrove and Watkinson (1993) indicated that an unexpectedly high proportion of girls from Grades 3 to 6 were identified as physically awkward, and the authors suggested that the TOMI may be biased in favor of boys. In the present study, this suggestion was investigated through comparison of performances of TOMI subtest items by boys and girls from Grades 1 to 6. Chi-square analyses on each of the eight test items revealed significant performance differences between boys and girls on the two ball skills tasks of catching and throwing (p < .0001) at Age Bands 3 and 4; a significantly greater proportion of boys than girls age 9 to 12 years passed the catching and throwing tasks. A significant performance difference was also found on the tracing task at Age Band 1, with more girls passing tracing than boys. Implications for future research requiring the identification of children who are physically awkward are discussed.
Helen C. Wright, David A. Sugden, Richard Ng and John Tan
This investigation is concerned with the identification and assessment of Singaporean primary school children who have developmental coordination disorder (American Psychiatric Association, 1987). The present study forms part of a larger project concerned with the suitability of currently available assessment techniques and intervention programs for use in Singapore. In this paper the usefulness of the Movement ABC Checklist and Test as an assessment instrument is explored. The data on a sample of 212 7- and 8-year-olds compared favorably with data from the standardized sample in the United Kingdom. Age and gender differences were similar, and the effects of increasing task difficulty within the checklist were generally confirmed. The checklist identified 15.6% of children as having movement problems or being at risk, which was close to the value obtained in the U.K. The Movement ABC Test provided evidence of the validity of this figure as it successfully differentiated the selected children from age-matched controls who scored well on the checklist. Although some of the items in both instruments need modification, the results suggest that the Movement ABC package is a workable research tool in the Singaporean context.
Katrien Fransen, Norbert Vanbeselaere, Bert De Cuyper, Pete Coffee, Matthew J. Slater and Filip Boen
Research on the effect of athlete leadership on precursors of team performance such as team confidence is sparse. To explore the underlying mechanisms of how athlete leaders impact their team’s confidence, an online survey was completed by 2,867 players and coaches from nine different team sports in Flanders (Belgium). We distinguished between two types of team confidence: collective efficacy, assessed by the CEQS subscales of effort, persistence, preparation, and unity; and team outcome confidence, measured by the ability subscale. The results demonstrated that the perceived quality of athlete leaders was positively related to participants’ team outcome confidence. The present findings are the first in sport settings to highlight the potential value of collective efficacy and team identification as underlying processes. Because high-quality leaders strengthen team members’ identification with the team, the current study also provides initial evidence for the applicability of the identity based leadership approach in sport settings.
Áine MacNamara and Dave Collins
The importance of psychological characteristics as positive precursors of talent development is acknowledged in literature. Unfortunately, there has been little consideration of the “darker” side of the human psyche. It may be that an inappropriate emphasis on positive characteristics may limit progress. Negative characteristics may also imply derailment or the potential for problems. A comprehensive evaluation of developing performers should cater for positive dual effect and negative characteristics so that these may be exploited and moderated appropriately. An integrated and dynamic system, with a holistic integration of clinical and sport psychology, is offered as an essential element of development systems.
Amber E. Rowell, Robert J. Aughey, Will G. Hopkins, Andrew M. Stewart and Stuart J. Cormack
Objective measures of recovery from football match play could be useful for assessing athletes’ readiness to train, if sensitive to preceding match load.
To identify the sensitivity of countermovement-jump (CMJ) performance and concentration of salivary testosterone and cortisol relative to elite football match load.
CMJ performance and salivary hormones were measured in 18 elite football players before (27, 1 h) and after (0.5, 18, 42, 66, 90 h) 3 consecutive matches. Match load was determined via accelerometer-derived PlayerLoad and divided into tertiles. Sensitivity of CMJ performance and hormone concentrations to match load was quantified with t statistics and magnitude-based inferences (change in mean as % ± 90% confidence interval) derived with a linear mixed model.
Jump height was reduced in medium and high load at 0.5 h (10% ± 7% and 16% ± 8%) and 18 h (7% ± 4% and 9% ± 5%) postmatch. There was a 12% ± 7% reduction in ratio of flight time to contraction time (FT:CT) in high load at 0.5 h post, with reductions in medium and high load at 18 h. Reductions in FT:CT persisted at later postmatch time points than changes in jump height. Increased cortisol (range 55–165%) and testosterone (range 17–20%) were observed in all match loads at 0.5 h post, with individual variability thereafter.
Measures of CMJ performance and hormonal concentrations were sensitive to levels of A League football match load. Although jump height was reduced immediately postmatch, FT:CT provided a more sensitive measure of recovery. Football match play induces an acute hormonal response with substantial individual variability thereafter.
Matthew J. Smith and Oliver R. Runswick
In elite sport, research has highlighted the significant incidence of athletes experiencing mental ill health. The aim of the present study was to make sense of stories that elite athletes tell about experiencing mental ill health through sampling the autobiographies of four male, elite cricketers. In each book, the player spoke in detail about mental ill health and how this impacted on their international career. Horizontal and vertical analyses of the data resulted in six progressive themes being identified, from Early Warning Signs, Fluctuations of Mental Health, Build-up to the Severe Incident, the Severe Incident, the Recovery Process, to Relapsing. The findings are considered in line with how they might be used to meet the call to develop mental health literacy, in aiming to help coaches and other psychology support staff understand more about the process of athletes who experience mental ill health across their career.