Sport Mont 2017, 15(2), 3-7
Talent identification (TID) is a major part of top-level football. Even so, most studies of talented players are skewed towards exploring the work of coaches who are already dealing with pre-defined “talented performers” and not a broader range of players, such as high school students in sport specialisation programs (SSP) and elite sport specialisation programs (ESSP). In this study, we explore which skills high school players find most important, how they assess their own skills compared to their schoolmates and which skills their school and club coaches find most important, comparing: girls and boys, an SSP and an ESSP school and players playing top-level versus low-level football. Included in this study were 111 high school football players (81 boys and 30 girls) representing one SSP and one ESSP. The results showed that the players ranked mental and tactical skills as most important compared to the school and club coach who ranked, respectively, technical and physical, and tactical and technical skills as most important. Girls considered both tactical and physical skills significantly (<0.01) more important than boys. Players from SSP considered mental skills as significantly more important, while the ESSP players considered the tactical skills as significantly more important. Furthermore, the top-level players considered technical and mental skills as significantly more important. These results could indicate that gender, school type and playing level could affect the players’ perception of the most important skills in TID.
Talent identification, High school, Gender, Playing level
View full article
(PDF – 168KB)
Abbott, A., & Collins, D. (2004). Eliminating the dichotomy between theory and practice in talent identification and development: considering the role of psychology. J Sports Sci, 22(5), 395-408. https://doi.org/10.1080/02640410410001675324
Baker, J., & Schorer, J. (2010). Identification and development of talent in sport - introduction to the special issue. Talent development & excellence, 2(2), 119-121.
Bourke, E. (2003). The dream of being a professional soccer player: Insights on career development options of young Irish players. European Physical Education Review, 5, 121-131.
Christensen, M. K. (2009). “An eye for talent”: Talent identification and the “practical sense” of top-level soccer coaches. Sociology of Sport Journal, 26, 365-382.
Christensen, M. K., & Sørensen, J. K. (2009). Sport or school? Dreams and dilemmas for talented young Danish football players. European Physical Education Review, 15, 115-133.
Enoksen, E. (2002). Drop-out rate and drop-out reasons among promising Norwegian track and field athletes - A 25 year study. Scandinavian Sport Studies Forum, 2, 19-43.
Ford, P. R., Le Gall, F., Carling, C., & Williams, A. M. (2008). 23 a cross-cultural comparison of the participation histories of English and French elite youth soccer players.
Forsman, H., Blomqvist, M., Davids, K., Liukkonen, J., & Konttinen, N. (2016). Identifying technical, physiological, tactical and psychological characteristics that contribute to career progression in soccer. International journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 11(4), 505-513. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1177/ 1747954116655051
Höner, O., & Feichtinger, P. (2016). Psychological talent predictors in early adolescence and their empirical relationship with current and future performance in soccer. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 25, 17-26.
Kannekens, R., Elferink-Gemser, M. T., Post, W. J., & Visscher, C. (2009). Self-Assessed tactical skills in elite youth soccer players: A longitudinal study. Perceptual and Motor Skills(109), 459-472.
McGillivray, D., & McIntosh, A. (2006). Football is my life: Theorizing social practice in the Scottish Professional Football Field. Sport in Society, 9, 371-387.
Miller, P. K., Cronin, C., & Baker, G. (2015). Nurture, nature and some very dubious social skills: an interpretative phenomenological analysis of talent identification practices in elite English youth soccer. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 7(5), 642-662. https://doi.org/10.1080/2159676X .2015.1012544
Morley, D., Morgan, G., McKenna, J., & Nicholls, A. R. (2014). Developmental Contexts and Features of Elite Academy Football Players: Coach and Player Perspectives. International journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 9(1), 217-232. https://doi.org/10.1260/1747-95126.96.36.199
O´Connor, D., Larkin, P., & Williams, A. M. (2016). Talent identification and selection in elite youth football: An Australian context. European Journal of Sport Science, 16(7), 837-844.
Pankhurst, A., & Collins, D. (2013). Talent Identification and Development: The Need for Coherence Between Research, System, and Process. Quest, 65(1), 83-97. https://doi.org/10.1080/ 00336297.2012.727374
Simmons, C. (2004). Fast Tracking and Player Development. Insight, 3(7), 24-25.
Stambulova, N. (2009). Talent development in sport: A career transitions perspective. In R. L. D. H. E. E. Tsung-Min Hung (Ed.), Psychology of sport excellence: Morgantown: Fitness Information Technology.
Sæther, S. A. (2014). Talent identification in Soccer. What do Coaches Look for? Downloaded from: http://idrottsforum .org/sather140319/.
Sæther, S. A., Aspvik, N. P., & Høigaard, R. (Submitted). Norwegian football academy players - players’ characteristics, stress and coach-athlete relationship.
Sæther, S. A., & Mehus, I. (2016). “You’re Not Born with Talent” Talented Girls’ and Boys’ Perceptions of Their Talents as Football Players. Sports, 4(1), 6.
Vaeyens, R., Lenoir, M., Williams, A. M., & Philippaerts, R. M. (2008). Talent identification and development programmes in sport : current models and future directions. Sports Med, 38(9), 703-714.
Williams, A. M., & Reilly, T. (2000). Talent identification and development in soccer. J Sports Sci, 18(9), 657-667.