Talent identification and development in soccer

Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, UK.
Journal of Sports Sciences (Impact Factor: 2.25). 10/2000; 18(9):657-67. DOI: 10.1080/02640410050120041
Source: PubMed


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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    • "Even if previous research on factors affecting talent development has been extensive among male players8910, research has not been able to confirm most of the basic assumptions[8,11]. Research investigating female players' talent development has been less extensive, with a lack of research targeting the development process from a longitudinal perspective[12,13]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Generally in sports, there is a strong assumption of a connection between skill level in young age and adulthood. Studies have mainly focused on the coaches’ understanding and role in identifying and developing talent. In this article we turn our attention towards the athletes’ perspectives, interviewing talented young football players (five boys and five girls) about their perceptions of their own talent and development. The objective of the article is to investigate how boys and girls perceive their talent and to discuss how various perceptions influence coaching practice in talent development. We introduce the following questions: (a) do the players use a static or dynamic perception of their own talent and (b) do the players consider specific or general skills to be most important in their skill development? Results show that the boys have a more static perception of talent compared to the girls. Furthermore, the boys in this study stress the importance of highly specified skills. The girls have a more balanced view on what is important, but tend to stress the importance of basic skills. The study suggests two potential implications. First, the coaches should be aware of the possible vulnerability following players’ static perception of talent. Second, an exclusive focus on specified skills might make for less optimal preparation for the changing demands young players meet when moving through the different levels of play on their way to high level football. In future research it would be interesting to investigate how players with a lower skill level, not yet regarded as talent, perceive their talent and skill development.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016
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    • "Talent identification and development both play a crucial role in the pursuit of excellence within elite sport (Vaeyens, Lenoir, Williams, & Philippaerts, 2008; Williams & Reilly, 2000). Consequently, ensuring that talent-identified individuals are effectively developed is crucial for maximising their likelihood of longitudinal success (Baker, Côté, & Abernethy, 2003; Côté, 1999; Côté, Baker, & Abernethy, 2003). "
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    ABSTRACT: This study compared the athletic movement skill between elite Under 18 (U18) Australian football (AF) and senior Australian Football League (AFL) players. The U18 sample (n = 13; 17.7 ± 0.6 y) were representatives of an elite talent development program. The AFL players were classified accordingly; Group 1 (1-4 AFL seasons; n = 20; 21.2 ± 1.9 y) and Group 2 (> 5 AFL seasons; n = 14; 26.3 ± 2.6 y). Participants performed an athletic movement skill assessment, inclusive of five foundational movements. Each movement was scored across three assessment points using a three point scale. Total score for each movement (maximum of nine) and overall score (maximum of 63) were used as criterions. MANOVA tested the effect of developmental group (3 levels) on the criterions. Receiver operating curves were built to examine the discriminant capability of the overall score. A significant effect of developmental group was noted, with the U18 sample having a lower mean total score for four of the five movements. Overall scores of 49/63 and 50/63 discriminated the elite U18 sample from Group 1 and Group 2, respectively. U18 players may have less developed athletic movement skills when compared to their senior AFL counterparts.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Journal of Sports Sciences
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    • "Notes 1. Williams and Reilly (2000) "
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    ABSTRACT: Athletes with intellectual disabilities (ID) were re-introduced into the Paralympics in London 2012. As part of this development a classification system had to be established evidencing the impact this impairment has on elite sports performance. This review examines the research behind this issue. Firstly it examines the limited literature comparing the standards reached by top-level athletes with ID with those without disabilities, and then moves on to look at the research demonstrating differences in both the cognitive and physical skills needed for elite performance. The article then reviews the factors that may be implicated to account for this disparity, from a range of perspectives. A case is made for the importance of looking at this area in terms of the potential for the transferability of research findings from this group to talent identification in mainstream athletes and the benefits of integrating neuropsychological concepts and approaches to understanding the cognitive components behind the development of particular skills associated with high-level performance in specific sports.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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