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... The director described the ambitions and dreams and voiced a concern about the relocation. We discussed how I could best provide support and agreed on a project which developed the leading coaches and created and maintained a coherent organizational culture (Henriksen, Storm, & Larsen, 2018). ...
... The director and the leading coaches were highly motivated to learn. In the refreeze stage, the new behaviors, skills, and competences are gradually incorporated and internalized into the basic assumptions that guide the everyday lives of the members (Henriksen et al., 2018). ...
... In retrospect, we agreed that this phase was important for constructing the identity of the Academy and developing self-reflexivity among the director and the leading coaches. During phase three we held three workshops that were divided into several elements, all informed by research on successful talent-development environments (Henriksen et al., 2014) and the concept of organizational culture, cultural leadership, and cultural embedding mechanisms (Henriksen et al., 2018;Storm & Larsen, 2020). ...
Article
This case study describes a 1-year intervention aiming at creating a sustainable talent-development culture by actively involving the director and leading coaches of the Danish Talent Academy in a research process, thus broadening their horizons, developing their self-reflexivity, and empowering them to improve their situation. The intervention proceeded in five phases. Phase 1 was exploring and reflecting on previous experiences and understanding needs. Phase 2 was about understanding past, present, and future values and strategies to gain a foothold and stability in the new context. Phase 3 was cocreation of a cultural analysis that was important for constructing the identity of the academy and developing self-reflexivity. Phase 4 was designing the value-based compass poster, and Phase 5 was sharing, evaluating, and looking forward within the local sociocultural context. Reflections on the program suggest that a context-driven approach to the creation of an environment for talent development can enhance the successful nature of the process.
... Examples could be what the coach takes an interest in, pays attention to and controls/ oversees on a regular basis, allocates resources to, how the coach rewards, uses role models; promotes, selects or deselects (Henriksen, Storm, & Larsen, 2018). Aalberg and Saether (2016) investigated the talent development environment in the U19 group in the Norwegian professional football club Rosenborg BK. ...
... In other words, coaches and managers are cultural leaders. Cultural leadership is the deliberate use of what Schein refers to as cultural embedding mechanisms (Henriksen et al., 2018). An organisational culture can be more or less functional depending upon the task of the team or club. ...
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The holistic ecological approach puts an emphasis on the environment in which prospective elite athletes develop. Applying the holistic ecological approach, this article examines talent development among male under-19 football players at Ajax Amsterdam which has a history of successfully developing several of its juniors to top-level international players. Principal methods of data collection include interviews, participant observations of daily life in the environment, and analysis of documents. The environment was centred around the relationship between players and a clubhouse community consisting of a team of coaches, teachers, experts, and managers that helped the players to focus on: Handling dual careers (sport and school), developing mental toughness, social skills and work ethic. Furthermore, the environment was characterised by a strong, open, and cohesive organisational culture based on each player as an investment, social responsibility and individual development before winning matches. We argue that the holistic ecological approach holds the potential to inspire coaches and practitioners to be sensitive to and analyse not only the individual player’s athletic development but also the overall strategies and organisational settings, in the talent development environment
... Therefore, it is important to work with the sports federation on an organizational level. It is important to work with: a) leadership, working with the coach or sports manager as a cultural leader (Henriksen, Storm & Larsen, 2018), b) culture, defining clear values and actions that are consistent with these values (Henriksen, 2015), and c) strategies, developing effective processes and strategies in areas such as team selection and support/rewards to athletes (Henriksen et al., 2018). ...
... Therefore, it is important to work with the sports federation on an organizational level. It is important to work with: a) leadership, working with the coach or sports manager as a cultural leader (Henriksen, Storm & Larsen, 2018), b) culture, defining clear values and actions that are consistent with these values (Henriksen, 2015), and c) strategies, developing effective processes and strategies in areas such as team selection and support/rewards to athletes (Henriksen et al., 2018). ...
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In 2008, Team Denmark established a sport psychology team with the aim to enhance the quality and consistency of applied sport psychology services in Danish sport. The team began their work by creating a professional philosophy (Henriksen, Hansen, & Diment, 2011). Since this publication, the team has worked closely with Danish athletes, coaches and sport federations in consultations, training and competitions, including at numerous World and Europeans Championships as well as several Olympic Games. Lessons learnt on the job, the introduction to new theoretical perspectives, insights from supervision, and formal professional education have resulted in the continual development of the team’s professional philosophy. The purpose of this article is to present a revised version of Team Denmark’s professional philosophy; including: (1) the vision for the team; (2) basic beliefs and values; (3) the psychological theories that interventions are based upon; (4) Team Denmark’s Sports Psychological model which describes the content and focus of the team’s work; and (5) the concrete psychological services that delivered. High quality service requires coherence across all five levels of the philosophy.
... Således indtager de en magtfuld position, hvor de medvirker til at forme talenters veje mod eliten (Nielsen et al., 2019). Ideen om at anskue traenere som kulturelle ledere i sport har tidligere vaeret praesenteret (Henriksen, 2015;Henriksen et al., 2018) og er som sådan ikke ny, men der eksisterer ikke empiriske undersøgelser af, hvilken rolle og funktion ungdomstraenere har i forhold til at skabe og opretholde gruppekultur. ...
Article
OPEN ACCESS: https://tidsskrift.dk/forumforidraet/article/view/133745 The objectives were to explore what characterizes three youth sport coaching as cultural leadership and to test organizational psychologist Edgar Schein’s conceptual framework. Data was generated using observations and interviews with the coaches. Cross-case analysis (Stake, 2006) showed that the coaches created and maintained group culture through recognizing athletes’ behaviours and allocating status to athletes as role models. Additionally, coaches’ perception of their primary task and function as a coach influenced the group culture. Schein’s framework was to some extend applicable; however, there is a need for developing and contextualizing the framework to explore youth sport coaching as cultural leadership. Formålet var at analysere, hvad der kendetegner tre ungdomstræneres praksis som kulturel ledelse og at afprøve organisationspsykologen Edgar Scheins begrebsapparat som ramme. Data blev genereret gennem observationer og formelle interviews med trænerne. Cross-case analysen (Stake, 2006) viste bl.a., at trænerne skabte og opretholdt gruppekulturer gennem anerkendelse af bestemt adfærd og ved at fremhæve rollemodeller i gruppen. Opfattelsen af deres primære opgave og funktion som træner prægede også gruppekulturen. Scheins begrebsapparat var delvist brugbart til at analysere trænere som kulturelle ledere, men der er behov for at udvikle og kontekstualisere en undersøgelsesramme til studier af kulturel ledelse i unges idrætsmiljøer.
... The player, who achieves the highest (or the furthest measurement) among a series of attempts, wins the jump (or the throw). Henriksen, Storm, Larsen (2018) argue that enhancing young athletes' psychological skills through cultural leadership of the coach and organizational culture of the team is more likely to bring out a long-term change in the manner athletes approach their trainings and competitions. Perreault, Gonzalez (2021) describe longterm-athlete-development model with a focus on diversification in youth sport. ...
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South Asia is a hotspot, with four nuclear and missile powers sharing borders. In order to promote peace-building efforts, it is proposed to use sport diplomacy. Taking India-Pakistan conflict as an example, this paper proposes to change the mindset of future generations by organizing regional summer camps for athletics, squash and cricket with fifty percent of the time allocated to educating the players about culture, history and geography of the countries in the region in addition to equipping participants with power skills. Growth-and-Obesity Vector-Roadmaps of all players are generated as part of their comprehensive psychological and physical examinations combined with fitness testing at the start and the end of summer camp along with posture and gait training.
... For example, research has shown that many athletes do not cope well with the transition, either staying static, moving to recreational sport, or dropping out, while a smaller proportion of athletes are able to cope well and successfully continue to the higher levels of competition . Concerning the nature and outcome of the JST, the context in which the JST takes place also plays an important role as it may vary depending on the purpose, structure and culture where the transition takes place (Henriksen et al., 2018). ...
Article
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The aim of this study was to investigate which factors contribute to the quality of the junior-to-senior transition (JST) which includes adjustment to senior level, sport and life satisfaction in Greek athletes. The sample consisted of 177 aspiring young Greek athletes who were in the process of JST. Participants completed a Greek version of the Transition Monitoring Survey (TMS) developed by Stambulova et al. (Stambulova, N., Franck, A., & Weibull, F. (2012). Assessment of the transition from junior-to-senior sports in Swedish athletes. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 10(2), 79-95). Multiple regressions were used to assess how key factors related to the JST contribute to the adjustment of athletes to senior level in sport, to their sport and life satisfaction. Results showed that personal resources (p < .0001), environmental support (p = .008) and transition demands (p = .02) were the strongest predictors of adjustment to senior level in sport. To facilitate the JST process, special attention needs to be given to the development of personal resources prior to the JST. Given the significant role demands play in adjustment, an environment which adopts an approach of "supported challenge" can help athletes be better prepared for the JST and facilitate progression towards senior level.
... Furthermore, an important consequence of approaching the team in ball games as a community of practice with a constellation of interconnected practices is that it invites us to see the role of the coach in a new perspective (Ronglan, 2010). The coach then could be viewed as an orchestrator rather than an instructor (Jones, 2007;Jones, Bailey, & Thompson, 2013;Santos, Jones, & Mesquita, 2013) or as a cultural leader (Henriksen, Storm, & Larsen, 2018) and when it comes to talent development, other than performing as a team, the core tasks are developing a variety of important skills, maintaining motivation, help balancing sport and school, and balancing deliberate practice and recovery. In talent development the orchestration of the athletes includes the coach being aware of the diverging types of trajectories (e.g. ...
Article
Talent development is a sociocultural affair. The social learning perspective is rarely used for the study of talent development in sport, although it is broadly known in the domain of education. This article examines the way in which communities of practice are connected within two exceptional successful talent development environments, what characterises talents’ movements across communities of practice within the club, and what characterises the interactions between talents, senior players and coaches. Drawing on Wenger’s notion of communities of practice, constellations of interconnected practices and boundary encounters, it identifies how the two environments were characterised by (1) a well-functioning constellation of several CoPs, (2) opportunities for talents to participate and engage in various CoPs (3), individually adjusted feedback from coach to player combined with communication between the players with different positions in the CoPs and not only coach instructions, and (4) senior elite players’ engaging behaviours in regard to newcomers in the boundary encounters and thereby legitimate peripheral participation opportunities for talented players. (5) The coaches were the key to coordinate the interconnected practices and social interactions between the ‘youth CoP’ and ‘senior elite CoP’.
... The coach-created environment, the organizational club and team culture are key factors in athletes' development, where the coach is a cultural leader who together with others develops and maintains the environment through cultural leadership. 3 Research has shown that 'coaches trained in providing positive feedback, technical instruction, and reducing the use of punitive actions are more likely to increase athletes' self-esteem and contribute to a positive sport experience'. 4 However, it has also been shown that coaches tend to create a more 'disempowering environment in competition compared to in training' 5 in which negative and controlling coaching strategies risk being used in competitions where there is pressure to win, to emphasize players' abilities and skills and to encourage rivalry. ...
Article
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Grassroots youth soccer is a major education environment in which coaching not only influences the quality of young athletes’ performances, but also their political socialization. I.e. their formation of political identities, values, attitudes and norms, their adaption to, learning about and sometimes changes in the political culture of a community. Based on an empirical study exploring competitive games of grassroots youth soccer in Sweden, the article contributes knowledge about political socialization in coaching and the coach-created educational environment of competitive games. In particular, it offers a typology that can be used in research, coach education programmes and for practitioners to analyse and understand the socio-political dimension of coaching practice. Two main coaching approaches are identified, Growth (include all and focuses on the process) and Selective (optimizing the team and focusing on the results), constituted by different social and learning norms having specific political socialization and education consequences for the players.
Article
This case study is guided by the holistic ecological approach and aimed at (a) providing a holistic description of an athletic talent development environment using a table tennis club in Sweden as a case study and (b) examining the factors perceived as influential to the effectiveness of the club’s talent development. The holistic ecological approach’s two working models informed the data collection (through interviews, observation, and analysis of documents) and were subsequently transformed into empirical models, acting as a summary of the case. Findings revealed that the environment’s success in talent development can be seen as an outcome of the following key features: (a) flexible and supportive training groups, (b) opportunities to learn from senior elite athletes, (c) support through the club and sport-friendly schools, (d) support of the development of psychosocial skills, (e) regular and intensive training, (f) focus on long-term development and athletes as whole persons, (g) strong and coherent organizational culture centered around the basic assumption, “we are a community of committed members,” and (h) integrated efforts among the club and sport-friendly schools to support athletes’ development. This case study can inform other athletic talent development environments on how to optimize talent development processes.
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This paper is a comprehensive update of the International Society of Sport Psychology (ISSP) Position Stand on career development and transitions of athletes issued a decade ago (Stambulova, Alfermann, Statler, & Côté, 2009). A need for updating the 2009 Position Stand has grown out of the increasing inconsistency between its popularity and high citation, on the one hand, and its dated content that inadequately reflects the current status of athlete career research and assistance, on the other. During the last decade, sport psychology career scholars worked on structuring the athlete career knowledge and consolidating it into the athlete career (sport psychology) discourse (ACD). The aims of this paper are to: (1) update the decade-long evolution and describe the current structure of the ACD, (2) introduce recent trends in career development and transition research, (3) discuss emerging trends in career assistance, and (4) summarize in a set of postulates the current status and future challenges of the ACD.
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Organizational culture is an emerging topic in sport psychology and recent literature has argued that creating and maintaining high-performance cultures is a key function of the sport psychologist. This article describes a long-term intervention aimed at creating a winning culture in a national orienteering team that took place as an integrated part of the athletes’ training and competition environment. The intervention involves three stages: unfreeze (creating survival anxiety and motivation for change), learning (designing new values and strategies), and refreeze (implementing these values in the identity of the team). The case study may produce a much-needed set of guidelines to inform the process of culture change.
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The holistic ecological approach to talent development in sport highlights the central role of the overall environment as it affects a prospective elite athlete. This paper examines a flat-water kayak environment in Norway with a history of successfully producing top-level senior athletes from among its juniors. Principal methods of data collection include interviews, participant observations of daily life in the environment and analysis of documents. The environment was centered around the relationship between prospects and a community of elite athletes, officially organized as a school team but helping the athletes to focus on their sport goals, teaching the athletes to be autonomous and responsible for their own training, and perceived as very integrated due to a strong and cohesive organizational culture. We argue that the holistic ecological approach opens new venues in talent development research and holds the potential to change how sport psychology practitioners work with prospective elite athletes. The world of elite sport presents increasing physical and mental challenges to athletes while making ever greater financial demands on sporting organizations. Sport systems capable of developing athletes to the highest international levels are likely to receive financial rewards and recognition. For these reasons, talent detection and development have become central challenges to all sport systems. Applied sport psychology contributes to helping young talented athletes realize their potentials, and successful talent development alongside elite performance has been linked to psychological concepts such as motivation (e.g., Ryan & Deci,
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The holistic ecological approach highlights the central role of the environment in talent development in sport and acknowledges that some sporting environments are more successful than others in nurturing athlete development. Case studies of successful athletic talent development environments (ATDEs) in Scandinavia have suggested that successful environments are unique but also share a number of features that determine their success. The present study tests this suggestion by applying the holistic ecological approach to the study of a struggling ATDE, which is a golf team in a sport academy in Denmark with limited success in producing senior elite athletes from among its juniors. Adopting a case study design, we collected data from multiple perspectives (in-depth interviews with administrators, coaches and athletes), from multiple situations (observation of training, competitions and daily life) and from the analysis of documents. We found that the struggling environment was characterised by features that are in opposition to those of successful environments; e.g.: a lack of supportive training groups and role models; little understanding from non-sport environment; no integration of efforts among different parts of the environment; and an incoherent organisational culture. This finding provides support to the idea that the previously suggested features of successful environments do indeed capture qualities that successful environments possess and less successful ones lack (at least within a fairly similar cultural setting such as Scandinavia). The investigation of struggling ATDEs from a holistic ecological perspective provides the sport psychology practitioner with a strategy to strengthen the environment.
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The holistic ecological approach to research in talent development in sport highlights the central role of the overall environment, as it affects an athlete in his or her athletic development. Applying the holistic ecological approach, this article examines talent development among male under-17 soccer players in a Danish soccer club with a history of successfully developing several of its juniors to top-level soccer players. Principal methods of data collection include interviews, participant observations of daily life in the environment, and analysis of documents. The environment was centered around the relationship between players and a staff of coaches, assistants, and managers that helped the players to focus on: A holistic lifestyle, handling dual careers (sport and school), developing the ability to work hard, and being self-aware and responsible for their own training. Furthermore, the environment was characterized by a strong, open, and cohesive organizational culture based on integrated values concerned with the balance of the player’s daily lives in school and sport. We argue that the holistic ecological approach opens new avenues and holds the potential to inspire coaches and practitioners to be sensitive to and analyze not only the individual player’s athletic development but also the overall strategies and organizational settings, in the talent development environment. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved)
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Sport psychology researchers have recently focused their attention onto the topic of culture. Their recent findings have begun to be utilized by sport psychology practitioners to increase cross-cultural understandings and deliver culturally sensitized sport services. However, such practices are on the fringes of applied sport psychology. Our intent is to show how reflective practices and self-reflexivity (i.e., forms of introspection) of sport psychology consultants can contribute toward understanding cultural diversity issues in sport. An example in the form of a confessional tale from one of the author's consulting experiences with an Indigenous athlete will then be presented to illustrate non-reflective vs. reflective practices, and how each constrains vs. augments cultural sensitivity. We conclude with future considerations for sport psychology consultants.
Article
ObjectivesResearch into the discovery and development of athletic talent has tended to focus on the individual athlete. This study assumes a holistic ecological approach; it focuses on the overall athletic talent development environment (ATDE), presents an analysis of one particular ATDE (the Danish national 49er sailing team) and examines key factors behind its success in creating top athletes. To guide the project, two working models were developed. The ATDE working model serves to describe the environment's components and structure. The environmental success factors (ESF) working model serves to structure factors contributing to the environment's success.MethodThe research takes the form of a case study. Data were collected from multiple perspectives (in-depth interviews with administrators, coaches and athletes), from multiple situations (observation of training, competitions and meetings) and from the analysis of documents.ResultsEmpirical versions of the ATDE and ESF models were developed of the investigated environment, which was characterized by a high degree of cohesion, with the relationship between current and prospective elite athletes at its core. A lack of resources was compensated for by a strong organizational culture, characterized by values of open co-operation, individual responsibility and a focus on performance process.ConclusionsThe research concluded that the holistic ecological approach constitutes an important supplement to the contemporary literature on athletic talent and career development, that further studies of specific environments are needed to establish the common features of successful ATDEs and that practitioners should look beyond the individual in their attempts to nurture sporting excellence.
Article
Track and field includes a number of high-intensity disciplines with many demanding practices and represents a motivational challenge for talented athletes aiming to make a successful transition to the senior elite level. Based on a holistic ecological approach, this study presents an analysis of a particular athletic talent development environment, the IFK Växjö track and field club, and examines key factors behind its successful history of creating top-level athletes. The research takes the form of a case study. Data were collected from multiple perspectives (in-depth interviews with administrators, coaches and athletes), from multiple situations (observation of training, competitions and meetings) and from the analysis of documents. The environment was characterized by a high degree of cohesion, by the organization of athletes and coaches into groups and teams, and by the important role given to elite athletes. A strong organizational culture, characterized by values of open co-operation, by a focus on performance process and by a whole-person approach, provided an important basis for the environment's success. The holistic ecological approach encourages practitioners to broaden their focus beyond the individual in their efforts to help talented junior athletes make a successful transition to the elite senior level.
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