On the Efficacy of Talent Identification and Talent Development Programmes
This chapter suggests some fairly clear implications for policy-makers and practitioners with a view to facilitating national collective senior success. Besides the direct competition between athletes, nations compete indirectly for collective national success at Olympic Games and other international championships. To facilitate these outcomes, national sport organisations (NSOs) around the world have established organised talent identification (TID) and talent development programmes (TDP), designed to catalyse their most promising young athletes' performance development. With a view to the specific design of TDP programming, collective senior success also presumably benefits from lessening individual costs and risks associated with early specialisation and intensified training. The expansion and intensification of specialised training appears only beneficial in late adolescence or later in most sports. Finally, the substantial variation of developmental patterns leading to international senior success highlights the profound individuality of exceptional careers and suggests pronounced individualisation in shaping conditions and TDP interventions applied to the individual athlete.