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Simon A. Worsnop

The purpose of this article is to examine the application of talent development principles to the coaching of rugby. It will consider the generic and sport specific problems of talent identification and selection, particularly the danger of early selection that poses the dual problems of early disengagement on the one hand and over specialization on the other. The paper will touch upon the various proposed models of athlete development and discuss the ways in which a national governing body of sport can influence player development along the age continuum. The role of the individual coach in developing young players and the importance of coach development and education will also be considered. Understanding the needs of players at different times in their development, and having a clear knowledge of how to improve performance in an efficient, time restrained but also enjoyable manner is a key skill for any coach. However, this skill requires time to grow and many coach education systems do not provide the ongoing support mechanisms that will enable a coach to grow and flourish, resulting in a less than optimal coaching environment.

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Jorge Arede, António Paulo Ferreira, Oliver Gonzalo-Skok and Nuno Leite

professional levels. 3 , 4 For example, lane agility time performance was significantly related with points, assists, and steals per game over 2 playing sessions in college basketball. 3 In this regard, physical assessment in youth basketball should be considered as a useful tool to improve the talent

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Stephen Macdonald and Justine Allen

& Fonseca, 2016 ; Mills, Butt, Maynard, & Harwood, 2012 ), however, the importance of the talent development environment (TDE) and the coach’s central influence within it, have been consistently documented (e.g.,  Henriksen, Stambulova, & Roessler, 2011 ; International Council for Coaching Excellence

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Andrew J.A. Hall, Leigh Jones and Russell J.J. Martindale

environmental level, innate talent will never be enough ( Abbott & Collins, 2004 ; Gagné, 2004 ; Martindale, Collins, & Abraham, 2007 ; Mills, Butt, & Maynard, 2014 ). The shift in emphasis away from the identification of talent towards understanding the talent development process is becoming more evident in

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Charles Macaulay, Joseph Cooper and Shaun Dougherty

winning often and/or producing a number of NFL talent. However, at this time these schools have been determined subjectively by sports media writers and bloggers creating their own lists of who they believe the top schools are for producing athletes. As these articles or posts are limited there is a need

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Mette Krogh Christensen

The purpose of this study is to explore how top-level soccer coaches identify talent. I draw on Bourdieu’s work to challenge a commonly held assumption that talent identification is a rational or objective process. Analysis of in-depth interviews with eight coaches of national youth soccer teams indicated these coaches identified talent in three ways. First, coaches use their practical sense and their visual experience to recognize patterns of movement among the players. Second, the coaches’ classificatory schemes are characterized by their preference for so-called “autotelic” players, that is, players that, from the coaches’ perspective, exhibit a potential to learn, practice, and improve. Third, the study shows that talent, of which the coaches act as arbiters of taste, is socially configured in top-level soccer.

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Darren J. Burgess and Geraldine A. Naughton

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.

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Richard Bailey and David Collins

Despite evident differences between approaches to talent development, many share a set of common characteristics and presumptions. We call this the Standard Model of Talent Development (SMTD). This model is articulated and the relevant literature drawn out to highlight the model's strengths and weaknesses. The SMTD has been enormously influential, in terms of both policy documentation and practice, and it retains an obvious common sense appeal. However, we will argue that not only is its attractiveness illusionary and inconsistent to the emerging evidence base from research, but it is also undesirable from a variety of perspectives and desired outcomes. In short, we suggest that the most common system for identifying talent is unsubstantiated from both a process and an outcome perspective.

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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

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Stefan Lund and Tor Söderström

The purpose of this article is to explore whether context and coaching cultures influence coaches’ practical experience and their unarticulated and embodied knowledge, and thus their different ways of seeing and defining talent. Using a cultural sociological perspective, we challenge the commonly held assumption that talent identification is, or can be made into, a rational and objective process. Our interpretations and analyses are based upon interviews with 15 soccer coaches in four districts within the Swedish Football Association’s talent organization program. The results imply that coaches’ talent identification is guided by what feels “right in the heart and stomach”; but what feels right is greatly influenced by their experience of previous identifications, interpretations of what elite soccer entails, and the coaching culture in which they find themselves.