Talent Terminology

The phrases ‘talent detection’, ‘talent identification’, ‘talent selection’, ‘talent development’, and ‘talent confirmation’ are loosely used throughout all levels of the performance pathway. In particular, the terms ‘identification’ and ‘detection’ have largely been used interchangeably to describe the recruitment of gifted people into sport, as well as the identification of gifted and talented people already within a sport.

The Phases of Talent

To identify and develop World Class Talent requires a structured sport specific pathway unique to the sport that encompasses four key phases of intervention:

Phase 1: Planning and preparation

  • Talent Strategy – vision, key performance indicators (KPI’s) and investment
  • Intelligence Gathering – world trends, performance gaps, target events, disciplines, and genders
  • Talent Conversion – progression up the pathway/barriers
  • Management and Personnel – how and where does the programme operate, staff structure, resources, recruitment, and CPD
  • Support Services
  • Innovation and Creativity

Phase 2: Profiling and Recruitment

  • Talent Profile – how is this developed, art v science, does it consider future potential?
  • Recruitment of Talent – where, known performers, transfer and ID programmes
  • Assessment Criteria – athlete history, competition results, progression, skills, and physical and psychological traits
  • Recruitment Cycles
  • Geographical Search
  • Assessment Days

Phase 3: Talent Confirmation

  • Planned Confirmation Programme – purpose, duration, personnel, techniques used, and expected standard
  • Athlete Responsiveness – expected progression profile
  • Exit Strategy

Phase 4: Talent Development

  • Coaching – CPD and engagement with High Performance Coaches
  • Development Programme – High Performance attributes defined, performance foundation and clear expectations
  • Induction – duration, content, insights, and confirm expectations
  • Talent Training – expected training hours, volumes, intensities, contact time, monitoring, and training camps
  • Competition Strategy – expectations, number of exposures, reward system, and assisting transition to senior
  • Progression Profiles – mapping individuals, selection/deselection, and benchmarking
  • Support