What is Talent Transfer? Talent transfer occurs, either through an athlete seeking out opportunities for themselves or through a coach that ‘releases’ an athlete with sufficient time to try an alternative sport. The alternate sport will have similar movement skills, physiological requirements, and/or tactical components to their earlier sport.
Talent Transfer Motivation The switch is prompted by an injury, a plateau in performance, a reduction in motivation, or retirement. Talent transfer can also occur through formalised talent identification and development programs that are coordinated by sporting organisations and/or institutes of sport.
The only way is up! Through the most basic level of talent transfer; it prolongs athletes careers. Talent transfer is particularly worthwhile for athletes who have already experienced somewhat successful careers in a previous sport. Disadvantages or negative consequences of talent transfer are virtually non-existent.
Transfer vs. Identification Athletes advance quickly in their new sports. Previous skill sets are used to enhance progression through new development stages. Minimises adolescent maturational issues associated with talent development. Maximises return on investments made to the athlete’s involvement in their earlier sport
Coaching the transfer The coach must first distinguish the positive and negative characteristics that the athlete will bring to the alternate sport. Following this the coach can then deliberate a coaching program to eliminate the negatives and fast track the positives into the alternate sport.
What elite athletes bring:Positives:highly motivated and goal orientedaccomplished in current sportgreat self-management skillsgood work ethicproven performer in competition environmentsno bad technical habits.
Is that all you need? Recent discoverys by the AIS coaches, have found more then just a set of psychological skills is need for talent transfer into an alternate sport; but a physical skill set suitable is needed to succeed at the alternate sport. Tests and screening process are now in place to find the skill sets needed for various sports.
Athlete problemsWhen transferring to an alternate sport athletes mayexperience: skill, physiology and motivation not in balance — coaches may need to help minimise injury and overtraining can be frustrated by inferior coaching and support environments impatient for success — needs to be carefully managed through realistic progressions.
The Transfer idea In 2002 the skeleton was re-introduced back into the winter Olympics. At the time the number of athletes which competed in the skeleton was very small (approx. 100 registered women) The Australian sports commission and Australian institute of sport sore this as an opportunity to break into the sport
A set of skillsScientists find characteristics that would lead to winning anOlympic gold medal, they found:Start timeLarge correlation with pushing the sled and upright running times Scientists went on a nation wide search for track and beach sprinters.
Surfboard to Sled After 7 months of vigorous training 4 people were chosen who had never been on the snow until the program began. The team included a two-time Junior World Champion in the beach sprint event for surf lifesaving, an international level track sprinter, a national level beach and track sprinter with surfing experience, and an athlete with national level experience in both beach sprinting and gymnastics.
Transfer of talent With less than 14 months on-ice experience, the team qualified one member to compete in the winter Olympics. One Olympic cycle later and 5 years sliding experience Australia qualified 2 members of there team who finished 10th and 12th.
References 1. Gardner, A.S., Martin, D.T., Gulbin, J., Doney, G.E., Jenkins, D.G. & Hahn, A.G. (2002). Laboratory and velodrome sprint cycling power in female cyclists in response to 6 weeks of training. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 35(5), Supplement 1: S337 2. Halson, S., Martin, D.T., Gardner, A.S., Fallon, K. & Gulbin, J.P. (2006). Persistent fatigue in a female sprint cyclist after a talent-transfer initiative. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 1, 65-69. 3. Oldenziel, K., Gagne, F. & Gulbin J.P. (2004). Factors affecting the rate of athlete of athlete development from novice to senior elite: how applicable is the 10-year rule? Abstract presented at the Pre-Olympic Congress, Athens, 6-11 August, 2004. 4. Bullock, N., Gulbin, J.P., Martin, D.T., Ross, A., Holland, T. & Marino, F. (2009). Talent identification and deliberate programming in skeleton: Ice novice to Winter Olympian in 14 months. Journal of Sports Sciences, 27(4), 397-404. 5. Hughes, Clara (2011). Clara Hughes: O.C., O.M., Olympic Athlete. Retreived from http://www.clara-hughes.com/ 6. UK Sport (2011). Talent Identification & Development. Retrieved from http://www.uksport.gov.uk/pages/talent-id/ 7. Gulbin, J. & Ackland, T. (2009). Talent identification and profiling. In Ackland, T., Elliott, B. & Bloomfield, J. (Eds). Applied Anatomy and Biomechanics in Sport, Champaign IL, Human Kinetics, p. 11-26.