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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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Ole Winthereik Mathorne, Kristoffer Henriksen, and Natalia Stambulova

In Denmark, sport management and talent development rely on the collaboration between talent-development stakeholders and organizations in an athletic-talent-development environment. Guided by the holistic ecological approach (HEA) in talent development ( Henriksen & Stambulova, 2017 ; Henriksen

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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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Louise Kamuk Storm

, and wellbeing ( Storm & Larsen, 2020 ). This article describes and reflects upon an intervention with the aim of creating a sustainable talent-development culture. Organizational life in sport is influenced by emotions and attitudes, stress and well-being, behavior, and environments ( Fletcher

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Daniel Wixey, Knud Ryom, and Kieran Kingston

talent development ( Law, Côté, & Ericsson, 2007 ). In contrast, some have deemed such early specialisation as unnecessary ( DiFiori et al., 2017 ) and even immoral ( de Vasconcellos Ribeiro & Dimeo, 2009 ). Literature has suggested that those who specialize may be more likely to experience reduced

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Robin D. Taylor, Howie J. Carson, and Dave Collins

.g.,  Haworth, Davis, & Plomin, 2013 ). However, there is a dearth of twin research within sport coaching and talent development (TD; Baker & Horton, 2004 ), despite recognition and increasing interest toward sibling influences within these challenging and transitory environments (e.g.,  Blazo, Czech, Carson

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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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Ole Winthereik Mathorne, Natalia Stambulova, and Kristoffer Henriksen

Operating effectively in the field of talent development in sports involves multiple stakeholders, including athletes, parents, coaches, sports organizations, and municipalities. The holistic ecological approach ( Henriksen & Stambulova, 2017 ) has showcased the importance of paying attention to

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Tom O. Mitchell, Adam Gledhill, Ross Shand, Martin A. Littlewood, Lewis Charnock, and Kevin Till

). Talent development environments (TDEs) have the capacity to support the development of youth athletes ( Henriksen, Stambulova, & Roessler, 2010a , 2010b ; Martindale et al., 2010 ). A successful TDE is one that continually produces top-level athletes from their junior ranks and provides them with the

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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.