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Martyn Rothwell, Joseph Stone and Keith Davids

statistics implicate issues which have been associated with player pathways synonymous with rigid, linear optimal performance models in sport ( Phillips, Davids, Renshaw, & Portus, 2010 ). Viewing player development pathways through a lens of complexity sciences (i.e., the study of complex adaptive systems

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Niall O’Regan and Seamus Kelly

how coaching competency assessments impact entry into, and progression through, its coach education courses. Finally, in line with these developments the FAI has also introduced a Player Development Plan, much of which is influenced by coach education. The History of the Football Association of

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Dale B. Read, Ben Jones, Sean Williams, Padraic J. Phibbs, Josh D. Darrall-Jones, Greg A.B. Roe, Jonathon J.S. Weakley, Andrew Rock and Kevin Till

is currently unknown within this cohort, but future research should investigate this as it would provide further insight into rugby union match-play and has potential implications for player development. A previous conception of rugby union is that for backs the game is dominated physically by

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Larry Lauer, Daniel Gould, Nathan Roman and Marguerite Pierce

Junior tennis coaches commonly argue that parents must push their children and be very involved to develop their talent, despite the strain on the parent-child relationship that may occur from these tactics. To examine parental influence on talent development and the parent-child relationship, nine professional tennis players, eight parents, and eight coaches were retrospectively interviewed about each player’s junior development based Bloom’s three stages of talent development (1985). Results are presented through aggregated, nonfiction stories of three tennis development pathways: smooth, difficult, and turbulent. Smooth pathways were typical of parents who were supportive and maintained a healthy parent-child relationship while facilitating talent development. Difficult and turbulent pathways involved parents who stressed the importance of tennis and created pressure by pushing their child toward winning and talent development. For difficult pathways, parent-child relationships were negatively affected but conflicts were mostly resolved, whereas for turbulent pathways, many conflicts remained unresolved.

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Ken Martel

Despite significant advances in the development and performance of United States-born hockey players since the 1970s, room for improvement remains, especially when one compares the U.S. to its top international competition, much of which succeeds at the Olympic and World Championship level with dramatically smaller pools of talent from which to assemble its elite teams. USA Hockey sought to address this performance discrepancy and fulfill the full potential of American hockey through creation and implementation of its American Development Model (ADM), a nationwide reinvention of how hockey was taught at the grassroots level. Based on long-term athlete development principles and founded on sport science and proven child development best practices, the ADM represents a revolution in athlete and coach development. This paper explores the research that helped create USA Hockey’s ADM, along with the initiative’s methodology, execution and early outcomes.

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Antonio Solana-Sánchez, Sergio Lara-Bercial and David Solana-Sánchez

Professional youth football (soccer) academies face a number of challenges related to the contrasting and at times competing nature of their goals. Marrying long-term development of players with success in youth competitions and combining the development of young people as athletes with their growth as human beings are some examples. Professional football clubs and those tasked with leading their academies have to make key decisions as to how these challenges will be addressed. In this paper we argue that those decisions must be made based on a clearly shared philosophy and accompanying set of values. We present some of the key principles governing the work of the Sevilla Club de Fútbol Youth Academy and the rationale behind them. These principles span from developmental, methodological and pedagogical choices to the building of an internal long-term approach to coach development.

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Ronald E. Smith and Jim Johnson

This article describes a psychological skills training program developed for the Houston Astros’ minor league player development program. It represents a mode of consultation that includes the training and supervising of an appropriate professional within the organization who delivers the actual training to the athletes. The goal is to provide a quality and continuity of services that would be difficult to accomplish using the traditional outside consultant model. Issues and problems that arose in the implementation of the program are discussed, and data derived from an evaluation of the program are presented.

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Jonathon R. Edwards and Marvin Washington

National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) Division I schools compete with the Canadian Hockey League for top Canadian youth minor hockey players (ages 14–18). To address the challenges of adhering to NCAA’s eligibility and recruitment regulations, the NCAA commissioners created College Hockey Inc. (CHI). One challenge facing new institutions such as CHI is establishing legitimacy as a means of penetrating a crowded organizational field. In this paper we examine what forces, actions, and events contributed to the creation of CHI and what forces, actions, or events contribute to maintaining CHI’s relevance in their attempt to leverage NCAA Division I hockey with Canadian players and parents. Educational Opportunities, Student Life Experiences, Player Development, and Professional Hockey Opportunities were found to be discursive strategies used by CHI to gain pragmatic legitimacy and maintain the institution. Exploration of these strategies makes a number of practical and theoretical contributions to the field of sport management.

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Heather Barber and Jean Eckrich

This investigation examined the procedures employed by NCAA Division I, II, and ΙΠ athletic directors (ADs) in evaluating their cross country and basketball coaches. Three components were examined: individual input, methods, and criteria for evaluation. Questionnaires were mailed to 660 ADs, and final analyses were conducted on 389 responses. ADs most commonly sought input from athletes, coaches' self-evaluations, senior associate ADs, and university administrators in the evaluation process. Meetings with coaches and watching contests were rated as important methods of evaluation. Factor analyses of evaluation criteria revealed 8 evaluation factors for basketball coaches and 7 for cross country coaches with different underlying structures. For basketball coaches, unique solutions were created for technical-skill development and coach-player relationships. For cross country coaches, these items loaded together creating a general player development factor. MANOVAs examining divisional differences in the evaluation process indicated that significant differences existed between sports and across divisions.

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Josh Ogden and Jonathon R. Edwards

Organizations in a sport system compete against one another while working together to sustain a competitive environment and to provide opportunities for competition at the provincial/state, national, or international level. This paper is a multicase study comparison of the elite sport development systems of Canada and Sweden to explore the differences and similarities between their approaches to the delivery of ice hockey. Semistructured interviews took place with participants from North America and Europe. Additional data came from media articles from Canada and Sweden. Findings revealed six themes/characteristics: the cost of hockey, residential boundaries, the player selection process, skill development, early specialization, and coaching. The results suggest that Canadian and Swedish hockey systems offer two different approaches to elite player development (closed vs. open systems), resulting in different trajectories regarding international success in the World Junior Championships and in the number of players drafted into the National Hockey League.