Opportunities and Pathways
Talent Identification and
What is Talent ID
• Process of identifying potential sports
talent in young people
• Provide supportive pathways to reach
• An Art and science!
• Involves integrating scientific knowledge &
assessment alongside more traditional
Its not that simple!
What are we looking for?
Write a list of 10 things
High levels of physical and mental attributes
– Tactical Awareness
– Mental toughness
Talent ID varies between sports
• Closed Loop Sports
– Weight Lifting
• Open Loop Sports
With your partner….discuss..
• What are the differences between
closed and open loop sports?
• (come up with 5 differences)
• Is Talent ID more accurate in Closed
loop sports or Open loop sports?
• (at least one reason yes and one
Talent ID – Scientific Approach
• A series of rigorous assessments and
• Detects individuals with “higher probability”
of podium success (UK Sport, 2009)
• Works best for sports that are repetitive
(perhaps closed) in nature (little reliance
on individual flair needed in „open‟ sports)
Talent ID in East Germany
• A front runner in Talent ID
• Highly successful sporting nation
• Tool for raising the profile of their country
at Olympics etc
• Talent ID became integral part of school
East Germany – 1970s
• Tested all their young children for sporting
• Then basically factory farmed them into
athletes using drugs as a matter of course.
• Had horrendous medical consequences
• Despite having been condemned it did
produce what East Germany wanted –
• From 1972 to 1988 - won 384 Olympic
East Germany 1970
• All children were screened for potential at
the age of seven
• Results were analysed
• Children invited to attend regular training
• At the age of ten children were transferred
to sports boarding school with links to elite
• 6 hours sport - 2 hours academic
• On graduation they went to one of eight
national centres to continue their
• Sport Science and technology
Minus the drugs - this model is used the world over –
in one form or another!
Talent Identification in Australia
• AIS (Australian Institute of Sport) Similar
to the East German high performance
• Poor performance at Montreal Olympics in
• Government review of elite sports system
• Outcome: Central focus for identifying and
• AIS opened in 1981
• Scholarships to over 600 elite athletes in
• Top class facilities/coaches/medical etc
• A further 7 satellite institutes
• Developed „Sport Search‟
• A bank of fitness and basic body
measurements to identify a best fit sport
Australian Sports Search Scheme:
• Part of nation wide 2 year talent search in every high
school in the build up to the Sydney Olympics in 2000
• Tested every young person in its schools for athletic
• Millions of Dollars into supporting the resulting athletes,
first at a local level in schools and then Nationally by
training the best of them in the ideal surroundings of the
Australian Institute with the best of everything.
• Successful but only considered elitist (2% invited)
• The result was 4th in the medal table in Sydney and a
sports development programme that the world wanted to
Life at AIS…..
• International squad management
– responsible for talent identification
– development of athletes for the U16, U18, U21 and
senior men's and women's England squads.
– Nominated Country (NC) for Great Britain Hockey
Limited (GBHL) and together with Scotland and
Wales, prepare athletes to qualify and compete as
Great Britain for the Olympic Games.
• The Single System is the
development pathway for
players, coaches and officials
of all ages and abilities to
reach their full potential.
• It is based on Long Term
Athlete Development (LTAD)
principles that put the
participant at the centre of all
decisions, with extensive
scientific research that has
been widely accepted by the
majority of other major sports
Individual NGBs – other roles
• Strategic Direction and Leadership
• Playing of the sport - Comps/Leagues - It also ensures
that an appropriate disciplinary code is in place and ensures that there is a
development pathway for players.
• Best Practice Knowledge Transfer
• Interface with external bodies e.g Sport
England, UK Sport, The Youth Sports Trust, the Central Council for
Physical Recreation (CCPR), and scUK, Federation of International
Hockey (FIH), and the European Hockey Federation (EHF).
• Marketing and sponsorship
• British Gymnastics have employed regional Performance Pathway Co-ordinators
» Clinics tailored to each discipline (aimed at all clubs) - Will target
region‟s most promising gymnasts – 9-14years old – work on elite grades
• Improve the quality and quantity of Regional Squad opportunities, by widening
the base of the talent pool and improving the quality within it. Aim to provide talented gymnasts
with access to additional high quality training environments in preparation for regional
representation at National Competitions.
• Performance Pathway Coaches appointed by the National Coaching Teams, will have
the responsibility of delivering and connecting content and standards from the World Class
Programme down to gymnasts and coaches at a local level.
• The programme will take a phased approach over a 4 year period between 2013 – 2017.
• 2013-14 Men‟s Artistic and Women‟s Artistic
• 2014-15 Trampolining and Acrobatics
• 2015-16 Tumbling and Rhythmic
• 2016-17 Aerobics and Disabilities
Talent Id - NGBs funded by…..
• Sport England -
Talent Id – NGBs funded by
• UK Sport
– using the no compromise approach
– World Class Performance Pathway
World Class Podium
(a max. of four years away from the podium).
UK Sport has a very clear remit at the „top end‟ of Britain‟s
sport, with no direct involvement in community or school sport.
1,200 of our
at the Podium
from an annual
World Class Development
(realistic medal winning capabilities for 2016.)
typically 6 years away from the podium,
maximum of 8 years away from the podium
World Class Performance Pathway
Olympic Specific ID progs.
• Sporting Giants
• Tall and Talented
• Pitch to Podium
• Talent 2012:Fighting Chance
• Organised by UK Sport and EIS – UK
What the specification says..
• Talent identification and development initiatives.
• The concept of talent in sport and links with
methods of identifying talent from other countries
(for example, SportsSearch in Australia and
state-sponsored identification programmes of
the former East Germany).
• The structure of the World Class Performance
Socio-Cultural and economic factors
that affect opportunity, participation,
provision, attitudes and values
• Leisure Time
• Time Management
• Physical Education
• Peer Pressure
• Role Models