Talent Identification and Development
We knew he was going to be a star from the first time he picked up a ball…
Tempting as it is, this sort of predictions about who will make it to the elite level are very difficult to make. For every Messi and Lebron James, there many others who looked great early but didn’t make it, and many more that looked nothing special and went on to become world-beaters. Does Stephen Curry ring a bell?
Research into talent identification and development has advanced greatly in the last two decades. Whilst still a very challenging job to do, we now have much more information to make better choices regarding talent identification and even more about the kind of practices and environments which allow talent to develop to higher levels of performance.
In this section, we will give you the facts, dispel some myths and promote a much more informed and realistic approach to talent identification and development.
The iCoachKids Pledge: 10 Golden Rules to Create Positive Sport Experiences for Kids
Following an extensive literature review, the iCK expert group has developed ‘The iCoachKids Pledge’. The Pledge provides 10 points of guidance for individuals and organisations wishing to create positive sport experiences for children.
The long hours, countless sacrifices and dedication to intense training has paid off – your athletes have finally secured that elusive championship. As much as you try to avoid it, almost immediately talk turns to securing back-to-back titles.
Chasing a title keeps athletes hungry and focused. But when a team becomes champion the chase is over, and suddenly it is now being chased. That can make the season following a championship very stressful for athletes and coaches alike. And, as a result, title-winning teams find it very hard to regain anything resembling championship form.
To you and to the many coaches who have sought my advice after winning a title, I offer these informed suggestions.
Winter is Coming! Keep warm with a great read by the fireplace! The iCK Team have created a Practical Summary of the comprehensive Coaching Children Literature Review and The iCK Pledge to provide clear and pragmatic advice to coaches on the ground.
This literature review is a central piece of iCK. It has provided the necessary evidence to aid the development of a European Coaching Children Curriculum to guide those developing training opportunities for coaches of children and young people in the European Union and beyond. The literature review and the ECCC are also informing the development of three Massive Open Online Courses during 2018 and 2019 that will be the final outputs of the project.
Athletes perform best when they learn how to effectively handle competitive pressure. This is most evident in defining moments of important competitions when the consequences of mistakes are highest. Failure in these moments can often be traced to a lack of confidence, resulting in poor decision-making.
We now live in an age where it is common to see young athletes being pushed to play a single sport year-round. Why does early specialization persist despite all the scientific evidence and position statements by leading sport organizations to the contrary?
Dr Wade Gilbert explores this more here.
Kids nowadays are exposed to more organised sport than ever before. Unfortunately, opportunities for unstructured play, the good old 'kick-about' with your mates in the local park until it goes dark or you get hungry (whichever comes first), have sharply declined. Pete Sturgess, English FA National Lead for the Foundation Phase (5-11), argues that notwithstanding the benefits of organised practice, clubs and coaches should think about providing more PLAY time as a fundamental tool to develop top players.
Would you have put your money on David or on Goliath to win the fight? Ok, what if instead of in a mythical fable, this fight took the shape of a rugby or football match? Dr Jason Tee at Leeds Beckett University makes the case for the little guy in this revealing blog full of great info for those with an interest in talent identification and development. Hang in there little guys!
When we think about doping in sport we tend to think about the high profile cases we have seen in the news over the years affecting athletes at the top of professional and Olympic sport, but do we ever think about what goes on in youth sport? Should we? Dr Lisa Whitaker from Leeds Beckett University thinks we should! This may be the most important blog you have read for quite some time.
Are you a builder or a gardener? In this carefully tendered blog, world-renowned conditioning coach Vern Gambetta offers his own view of whether to develop young athletes you need hammer and nails or soil and fertiliser.
Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) was developed in the 1980s by Rod Thorpe, David Bunker and Len Almond. They were looking for a better way to teach games in a PE context. Nearly 40 years later, TGfU has become one of the best known and followed approaches, not only in PE, but also in sport coaching. In this blog, Leeds Beckett Sport Coaching Principal Lecturer and Leeds Force Basketball Coach Dave Piggott spells out the key components of the TGfU model and their implications for coaches. He even provides some video examples of some great games. Time to play!
In this very insightful blog, Paul Gamble cuts through the debates surrounding the concept of Long Term Athlete Development and provides much needed clarity and context to resolve some of the confusion. SInce the 'Why' is generally agreed upone, here Paul attempts to move things forward by finding shared ground and common principles to guide the 'what' and 'how' in relation to LTAD.
In this blog USA-based Changing the Game Project founder John O'Sullivan analyses the current picture of youth sport and takes us back to basics. He argues that if we keep our focus on what draws kids towards sport in the first place - enjoyment - we cannot stray too far from the right path. Wise words.
The amazing gold medal winning performances in the recent Olympic Games at Rio brought to mind a topic that coaches and athletes think and dream a lot about but rarely really understand: Winning it all. And fewer still know how to prepare to do it.
Dr. Wade Gilbert discusses this more here.
In this short video, iCoachKids Project Supporter sportscotland in partnership with Sports Coach UK help coaches understand the key principles of growth & maturation and how these may impact on their coaching, particularly in relation to talent identification, selection, training, and the role of competition.
This video is a promotional piece for 'Growth & Maturation-Putting Theory into Practice', a 3-hour workshop part of the sportscotland and Sports Coach UK professional development series for youth coaches.This video will set you on the right path when it comes to undertanding your athletes' growth and maturation.
Please visit the sportscotland Growth & Maturation pages here
In this short video, iCoachKids Project Supporter sportscotland in partnership with Sports Coach UK introduce a broad range of foundational principles for those coaching in the performance development section of the athlete pathway. The video covers the basics of talent theory and research: Nature v Nurture, Maturity v Ability, Deliberate Practice, Mindset, Pressure & more.
This video is a promotional piece for 'Coaching Talent-Putting Theory into Practice', a 3-hour workshop part of the sportscotland and Sports Coach UK professional development series for youth coaches. This video will set you on the right path when it comes to undertanding how to implement talent theoy and research into coaching practice, particularly on identification, selection, training, and the role of competition.
Please visit the sportscotland Talent pages here
In this short video, iCoachKids Project Supporter sportscotland offers a quick breakdown of 3 key elements to understand what talent is and how it develops:physical suitability; the development process; and how beliefs shape performance
This video is a promotional piece for 'Understanding Talent', a 3-hour workshop part of the sportscotland Coach Connect professional development series for youth coaches. So don't worry if you can't make it to the beautiful Scotland, this video will set you on the right path when it comes to Undertanding Talent
Please visit the sportscotland Talent pages here
This short fun film was developed by sportscotland, the national sport council for Scotland, to help young athletes, their coaches and their families understand what 'talent' is and how you can get good at sport - it's more of a choice than you might think. For more information about talent, visit their website - sportscotland.org.uk
Sports Coach UK and Sport Scotland have developed this great animation detailing the 'Youth Physical Development Model' and what this means for the development of 'Fundamental Movement Skills'.
This enlightening research article, titled 'Is my kid doing too much sport?' – How to reduce the risk of overtraining syndrome and overuse injury in young athletes, defines overuse injuries and overtraining syndrome and looks at how prevalent these both are in youth athletes today. It details the signs and symptoms to look out for and how to reduce the risk or overuse injury and overtraining syndrome in young athletes.
The article has been written by world-authorities in the topic Dr. Rhodri S Lloyd (Cardiff Metropolitan University) and Dr. Paul Read (St Mary's University London) for the Child Protection in Sport Unit
Part of the new Coaching Children 4-workshop series developed by Sport Ireland Coaching and Leeds Beckett University, this 16-page factsheet contains highly applicable knowledge and coaching tips designed to help coaches understand how children learn best and what it means for our sessions.