Talent Identification - what is it all about?

9th Feb 2012

Talent identification (TID) has, in recent years, become a buzz phrase in coaching. Many coaches are trying to find the proverbial needle in a haystack, and a plethora of publications (such as Talent is Overrated; Bounce; The Talent Code; and Outliers) and talent search programmes at local and national level have been launched aiming to achieve this.  Add in the cult-like status of The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent and the Simon Cowells of the world will have you believing they can identify the next superstar of any given genre before they are out of nappies! All of this begs the question: How does one go about finding the next sporting star? Is it simply a matter of recruiting the biggest, fastest and strongest out of your local pool of athletes? Or should you be considering more than the fact that at nine years old little Johnny can outrun all his teammates? This Quick Guide aims to tackle the common assumptions and misconceptions surrounding TID in the under 12s and, through an evidence-based approach, demonstrate why there are significant problems associated with this methodology.

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