2nd Edition

Talent Identification and Development in Sport International Perspectives

Edited By Joseph Baker, Stephen Cobley, Jörg Schorer Copyright 2021
    226 Pages
    by Routledge

    226 Pages
    by Routledge

    Identifying and developing talented athletes to their fullest potential is a central concern of sport scientists, sports coaches, and sports policy makers. The second edition of this popular text offers a state of the science synthesis of current knowledge in talent identification and development in sport, from the biological basis of talent to the systems and processes within sport through which that talent is nurtured.

    Written by a team of leading international experts, the book explores key factors and issues in contemporary sport, including:

    • nature and nurture in the development of sporting talent
    • designing optimal developmental environments
    • long-term modelling of athlete development
    • understanding the complexity of talent selection
    • in-depth case studies of successful talent development systems.

    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 sport. This is important reading for any student, researcher, or practitioner with an interest in skill acquisition, youth sport, elite sport, sports coaching, or sports development.

    1. Talent Identification and Development in Sport: An Introduction to a Field of Expanding Research and Practice

    Stephen Cobley, Joseph Baker, and Jorg Schorer

    2. Talent Development in Sport: Moving beyond Nature and Nurture

    Joseph Baker and Bradley W. Young

    3. The Talent Development Process as Enhancing Athlete Functionality: Creating Forms of Life in an Ecological Niche

    Martyn Rothwell, Keith Davids, Joseph Stone, Duarte Araújo, and Richard Shuttleworth

    4.Talent Selection: Making Decisions and Prognoses about Athletes

    Franziska Lath, Ruud den Hartigh, Nick Wattie, and Jörg Schorer

    5. One Day at a Time: Steps to Optimizing the Daily Training Environment for Talent Development

    Tim Buszard, Michael Maloney, Lyndon Krause, and Luca Oppici

    6. The Shifting Sands of Time: Maturation and Athlete Development

    Stephen Cobley, Michael Romann, Marie Javet, Shaun Abbott, and Ric Lovell

    7. Athlete Development in Norwegian Handball

    Christian Thue Bjørndal and Lars Tore Ronglan

    8. Finding Talent and Establishing the Road to Excellence in Table Tennis – The Dutch Case

    Irene Faber, Titus Damsma, and Johan Pionorcid

    9. The Role of Skill Acquisition Specialists in Talent Development

    Ross A. Pinder, Michael Maloney, Ian Renshaw, and Sian Barris

    10. Rough Draft: The Accuracy of Athlete Selection in North American Professional Sports

    Lou Farah and Joseph Baker

    11. High Speed on the Ice: Talent Development in Dutch Long Track Speed Skating

    Inge Stoter and Marije T. Elferink-Gemser

    12. ‘Wide and emergent - narrow and focussed’: A Dual-pathway Approach to Talent Identification and Development in England Rugby Union

    Kevin Till, Don Barrell, John Lawn, Ben Lazenby, Andy Rock, and Stephen Cobley

    13. How Similarities and Differences between Sports Lead to Talent Transfer: A Process Approach

    Johan Pion, Jan Willem Teunissen, Stijn ter Welle, Gwennyth Spruijtenburg, Irene Faber, and Matthieu Lenoir

    14. More Lessons Learned: Future Research in Talent Identification and Development

    Joseph Baker, Stephen Cobley, and Jörg Schorer


    Joseph Baker is with the Lifespan Performance Laboratory in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science, York University, Canada. His research focuses on talent identification, skill acquisition, and understanding the perceptual-cognitive factors underpinning sport expertise. He works with elite teams and organisations around the world to optimise athlete performance and development.

    Stephen Cobley (PhD, CPsychol) is an Associate Professor within the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney, Australia. His research interests examine the developmental factors that facilitate or inhibit health and performance from a multi-disciplinary perspective. His research and applied work have led to the evaluation, modification, and writing of athlete development programs and policy for numerous sport organisations.

    Jörg Schorer is a Professor of Sport and Movement Science at the Institute of Sport Science at the Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, Germany. His research interests are not only within the field of talent identification and development, but also in expertise in sport, perceptual motor skills, and sport psychology

    "This text provides a rich source of knowledge and understanding about talent development and blends academic theory with the real world of sport effectively". Dr Andrew Balsdon, PD for Sport Coaching Science, Canterbury Christ Church University.