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Toby Staff, Fernand Gobet, and Andrew Parton

Talent identification attempts to identify factors that collectively predict an individual’s future performance potential, selecting the best candidates for advanced training. Since the late 1990s, British Cycling received funding through the U.K. National Lottery and commercial sponsorship from

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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.

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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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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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Craig Pickering and John Kiely

United Kingdom, 67% of athletes and 48% of support staff stated that genetic testing would form a valuable addition to talent identification processes within their sport, 10 suggesting that there is an appetite for such information within the sports performance world. Despite this apparent enthusiasm

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Justine Jones, Kathryn Johnston, and Joseph Baker

may help coaches throughout the talent identification and talent development processes ( Koz, Fraser-Thomas, & Baker, 2012 ). How one views talent ultimately impacts their perceptions of what skills encompass a talented athlete, as well as their approach to how these skills are developed. Therefore

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Mark R. Noon, Emma L.J. Eyre, Matthew Ellis, Tony D. Myers, Rhys O. Morris, Peter D. Mundy, Ryan Penny, and Neil D. Clarke

Currently, ∼2.5 million boys engage in grassroots football in England and Wales, of which ∼12,000 players are selected to play in academies at professional clubs, highlighting the scale of the talent-identification and -development process. 1 Furthermore, the high attrition rates (>75%) of players

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Gabriele Gallo, Mireille Mostaert, Emanuela Faelli, Piero Ruggeri, Sundeep Delbarba, Roberto Codella, Pieter Vansteenkiste, and Luca Filipas

Talent identification (ie, predicting the possible future performance level of an athlete 1 ) has become a topic of great importance for different sport stakeholders such as national sports federations, professional teams, and sponsors. Currently, youth athletes are often regarded as being

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Mikayla J. Lyons, Jennifer Conlon, Amy Perejmibida, Paola Chivers, and Christopher Joyce

protocols. Practical Applications These findings contribute to the paucity of literature within female soccer and may be used for future talent identification programs to help distinguish between elite and subelite female soccer players. Although talent identification is a multifactorial and complex system

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Adam Beavan, Vincent Chin, Louise M. Ryan, Jan Spielmann, Jan Mayer, Sabrina Skorski, Tim Meyer, and Job Fransen

necessary if using EFs within a talent identification battery, and practitioners should not overemphasize the importance of such measures until further research is conducted. Conclusion In total, researchers and practitioners must be cautious in attributing any sport-specific improvements to EFs in