chapter  24
A Smooth Sea Never Made a Skilful Sailor
Optimizing and exploiting the rocky road in talent development
ByDave Collins, Áine MacNamara
Pages 11

Talented potential across performance domains can often benefit from, indeed may even need, a variety of challenges to facilitate eventual superior adult performance. In tandem with, or perhaps as a consequence of such challenge, the central importance of psychological competencies and characteristics in negotiating the performance pathway is well established in the literature and gaining traction in the applied domain. Resilience (Seligman, 2011), the growth mind-set (Dweck, 2006), or more comprehensive ‘profiles’ such as mental toughness (Clough, Earle, & Sewell, 2002; Jones, Hanton, & Connaughton, 2007) or the Psychological Characteristics of Developing Excellence (PCDEs; MacNamara, Button, & Collins, 2010a, 2010b), have been associated positively with both outcome and process on the talent development pathway (MacNamara et al., 2010a). In short, performers high in these and other related constructs seem more able to both negotiate the development pathway and realize and sustain successful careers.