Talent identification and development in soccer.
ABSTRACT In this review, we attempt to integrate the main research findings concerned with talent identification and development in soccer. Research approaches in anthropometry, physiology, psychology and sociology are considered and, where possible, integrated. Although some progress has been made in identifying correlates of playing success, it appears that no unique characteristics can be isolated with confidence. Both biological and behavioural scientists have indicated a strong genetic component in performance of sports such as soccer; nevertheless, the influence of systematic training and development programmes should not be underestimated. We conclude that the sport and exercise sciences have an important support role in the processes of identifying, monitoring and nurturing talented soccer players towards realizing their potential.
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ABSTRACT: Being one of the most prominent globalized sports, soccer played at club, national, and continental levels has a relevant societal role. At present, the specific competencies, interests, and languages of the different actors involved in the selection, development, and support of long-lasting careers of players might limit opportunities for potential talented players. Unless the cultural environment of soccer resolves the gaps between empirical results and actual soccer strategies, scientific discussion relating to the effectiveness of talent selection and development remains limited. This commentary is intended to highlight the need for developmental programs to prepare soccer personnel for a transdisciplinary dialogue, which could foster a future development of this sport. Finally, in considering the wide soccer-related employment opportunities at local, national, and international levels, the need for a clear qualification framework is crucial.International journal of sports physiology and performance 05/2014; 9(3):540-3. · 2.25 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: An athletic profile should encompass the physiological, biomechanical, anthropometric and performance measures pertinent to the athlete's sport and discipline. The measurement systems and procedures used to create these profiles are constantly evolving and becoming more precise and practical. This is a review of strength and ballistic assessment methodologies used in sport, a critique of current maximum strength [one-repetition maximum (1RM) and isometric strength] and ballistic performance (bench throw and jump capabilities) assessments for the purpose of informing practitioners and evolving current assessment methodologies. The reliability of the various maximum strength and ballistic assessment methodologies were reported in the form of intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC) and coefficient of variation (%CV). Mean percent differences [Formula: see text] and effect size (ES = [X method2 - X method1] ÷ SDmethod1) calculations were used to assess the magnitude and spread of methodological differences for a given performance measure of the included studies. Studies were grouped and compared according to their respective performance measure and movement pattern. The various measurement systems (e.g. force plates, position transducers, accelerometers, jump mats, optical motion sensors and jump-and-reach apparatuses) and assessment procedures (i.e. warm-up strategies, loading schemes and rest periods) currently used to assess maximum isometric squat and mid-thigh pull strength (ICC > 0.95; CV < 2.0 %), 1RM bench press, back squat and clean strength (ICC > 0.91; CV < 4.3 %), and ballistic (vertical jump and bench throw) capabilities (ICC > 0.82; CV < 6.5 %) were deemed highly reliable. The measurement systems and assessment procedures employed to assess maximum isometric strength [M Diff = 2-71 %; effect size (ES) = 0.13-4.37], 1RM strength (M Diff = 1-58 %; ES = 0.01-5.43), vertical jump capabilities (M Diff = 2-57 %; ES = 0.02-4.67) and bench throw capabilities (M Diff = 7-27 %; ES = 0.49-2.77) varied greatly, producing trivial to very large effects on these respective measures. Recreational to highly trained athletes produced maximum isometric squat and mid-thigh pull forces of 1,000-4,000 N; and 1RM bench press, back squat and power clean values of 80-180 kg, 100-260 kg and 70-140 kg, respectively. Mean and peak power production across the various loads (body mass to 60 % 1RM) were between 300 and 1,500 W during the bench throw and between 1,500 and 9,000 W during the vertical jump. The large variations in maximum strength and power can be attributed to the wide range in physical characteristics between different sports and athletic disciplines, training and chronological age as well as the different measurement systems of the included studies. The reliability and validity outcomes suggest that a number of measurement systems and testing procedures can be implemented to accurately assess maximum strength and ballistic performance in recreational and elite athletes, alike. However, the reader needs to be cognisant of the inherent differences between measurement systems, as selection will inevitably affect the outcome measure. The strength and conditioning practitioner should also carefully consider the benefits and limitations of the different measurement systems, testing apparatuses, attachment sites, movement patterns (e.g. direction of movement, contraction type, depth), loading parameters (e.g. no load, single load, absolute load, relative load, incremental loading), warm-up strategies, inter-trial rest periods, dependent variables of interest (i.e. mean, peak and rate dependent variables) and data collection and processing techniques (i.e. sampling frequency, filtering and smoothing options).Sports Medicine 05/2014; 44(5):603-623. · 5.32 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of talent identification (TI) is the earliest possible selection of auspicious athletes with the goal of systematically maximizing their potential. The literature proposes excellent reviews on various facets of talent research on different scientific issues such as sports sciences or genetics. However, the approaches of conventional and genetic testing have only been discussed separately by and for the respective groups of interest. In this article, we combine the discoveries of these disciplines into a single review to provide a comprehensive overview and elucidate the prevailing limitations. Fundamental problems in TI reside in the difficulties of defining the construct 'talent' or groups of different performance levels that represent the target variable of testing. Conventional and genetic testing reveal a number of methodological and technical limitations, and parallels are summarised in terms of the test designs, the point in time of testing, psychological skills or traits and unknown interactions between different variables. In conclusion, many deficiencies in the current talent research have gained attention. Alternative solutions include the talent development approach, while genetic testing is re-emphasised as a tool for risk stratification in sport participation. Future research needs to clearly define the group of interest and comprehensively implement all methodological improvement suggestions.Sports Medicine 07/2014; · 5.32 Impact Factor