chapter  24
11 Pages

A Smooth Sea Never Made a Skilful Sailor

Optimizing and exploiting the rocky road in talent development
WithDave Collins, Áine MacNamara

This chapter offers some evidence and practice-based guidelines on how psychologists, coaches, administrators and parents can work together to provide an optimal and integrated experience. The in-vogue approaches are grouped into three broad groups: life experience, attitude and skills. The life experience stance sees high achievement as due to the perhaps serendipitous experiences, or perhaps more accurately, misfortunes, experienced by the developing performer. The chapter focuses on the role of attitudes in mediating an individual's responses to challenge and adversity on the pathway to excellence. Considerable attention has been paid to constructs such as growth mindset and grit within performance domains and they are increasingly used 'buzz words' in talent development. There is significant evidence that the skills can be taught, impacting a performer's ability to cope with developmental challenges. Given the positive implications for the application of these skills, building these into Talent Development Environments should be a feature of effective programs.