1st Edition

Talent Development in Paralympic Sport

Edited By Nima Dehghansai, Ross A. Pinder, Joe Baker Copyright 2023
    228 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    228 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Identifying and developing talented athletes to their fullest potential is a central concern of sports scientists, sports coaches, and sports policymakers. However, there is very little practical and theoretical knowledge for those working in Paralympic sport. The book collates the state of the science of current knowledge and practice in talent identification and development in this context by capturing international perspectives of current systems and processes.


    Written by a team of leading international experts, Talent Development in Paralympic Sport: Researcher and Practitioner Perspectives explores key factors and issues in contemporary sport, including:

    • current state of pathways in Paralympic sports across the globe

    • designing optimal developmental environments

    • long-term modeling of Paralympic athlete development

    • understanding the complexity of talent selection in Paralympic sport


    With an emphasis on practical implications for all those working in sport, the book offers an authoritative evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of contemporary systems for identifying and developing talent in Paralympic sport. This is important reading for any student, researcher, practitioner, or coach with an interest in skill acquisition, youth Para sport, elite Paralympic sport, Paralympic sports coaching, Paralympic sports development, sport psychology, skill development, or sports engineering. In addition, there has been interest from universities to offer courses/modules specific to Paralympic sports.

    1. Talent Development Opportunities and Challenges in Paralympic Sport: An Introduction

    Ross A. Pinder, Nima Dehghansai, and Joe Baker

    2. Paralympic Pathways

    David Legg, Krystn Orr, Jacqueline Patatas, Aurélie Pankowiak, Jennie Wong & Colin Higgs

    Practitioner Commentary: Gail Hamomoto

    3. Top-down Systemic Challenges to Current Paralympic Pathways

    Jacqueline Martins Patatas and Veerle De Bosscher

    Practitioner Commentary: Andy Van Neutegem

    4. Athlete Recruitment: Promoting Initial and Sustained Engagement in Para Sport

    Joseph Baker and Alia Mazhar

    Practitioner Commentary: Michael Frogley

    5. Understanding the Complexity of Athlete Selection in Paralympic Sport

    Nick Wattie and Nima Dehghansai
    Practitioner Commentary: Chris Wagg

    6. The Role of Classification in Talent Identification and Development in Para Sports
    Daniel Fortin-Guichard, Eline Blaauw, Ralf van der Rijst, Sean Tweedy, and David Mann

    Practitioner Commentary: Michael Woods

    7. Striking a Balance: Promoting Quantity and Quality of Participation in Para Sport

    Alexandra Walters, Janet Lawson, and Amy E. Latimer-Cheung

    Practitioner Commentary: Jenny Davey

    8. The Role of Skill Acquisition in Coach and Athlete Development in Paralympic Sport

    Ross A. Pinder, Daniel Powell, Stephen Hadlow and Georgia Askew

    Practitioner Commentary: Raôul Oudejans

    9. Talent Transfer in Paralympic Sport

    Nima Dehghansai and Adeline Green

    Practitioner Commentary: Melissa Wilson

    10. Coaching, Talent Identification and Talent Development in Para Sport: Developing the Field

    Robert Townsend and Olivia Clare

    Practitioner Commentary: Graeme Maw

    11. Role of Technology in Athlete Assessment

    Sonja de Groot, Barry Mason, and Riemer Vegter

    Practitioner Commentary: David Haydon

    12. Physiological Considerations for Para Athletes

    Peta Maloney, Jamie Stanley, Ben Stephenson, and Robert Pritchett

    Practitioner Commentary: Gary Brickley

    13. The Psychology of Talent Development in Paralympic Sport: The Role of Personality

    Jeffrey Martin and Eva Prokesova

    Practitioner Commentary: Hannah MacDougall

    14. The Overemphasis on ‘Talent’ in Parasport Development

    P. David Howe and Carla Filomena Silva

    Practitioner Commentary: Raphael Moreira


    Nima Dehghansai, Ph.D. is an athlete development specialist with Paralympics Australia. His research focuses on identifying factors that can influence the health of the pathway including athlete attraction, recruitment, development, and expertise. He is currently working alongside key Australian stakeholders on various strategies to optimize environments to maximize athlete development for sustained podium success.


    Ross A. Pinder, Ph.D. is an experienced skill acquisition specialist with Paralympics Australia, where he leads a team of sports scientists and applied researchers aiming to develop world-leading learning environments. Ross has supported elite coaches and athletes to achieve success at major international events, including the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, notably in Para Archery, Para Athletics, Para Cycling, Para Table Tennis, Wheelchair Tennis, and Wheelchair Rugby. He currently supervises several higher degree research students through national and international collaborations.



    Joe Baker, Ph.D. is a Professor and Head of the Lifespan Performance Laboratory in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science, at York University, Canada. His research focuses on talent identification, skill acquisition, and athlete development. He also works with elite teams and organizations around the world to optimize athlete performance and development.