Identifying talent in athletes and developing that ability to its fullest potential is a central concern of sport scientists, sports coaches and sports policy makers. This book offers a comprehensive synthesis of current knowledge in talent identification and development in sport, from the biological basis of ability to the systems and processes within sport through which that ability is nurtured.

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

  • genetics
  • secondary factors such as birth date, cultural context and population size
  • perceptual motor skill acquisition and expertise
  • sports development policy
  • in-depth case studies, including European soccer, East African running and US pro sports.

With an emphasis throughout on practical implications and processes 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.

part |2 pages

SECTION ONE Theoretical and conceptual models for understanding talent identification and development

chapter 2|12 pages

Do genes predict potential? Genetic factors and athletic success

ByJoseph Baker

chapter 4|12 pages

Environmental influences on early development in sports experts

BySean Horton

chapter 6|17 pages

Developing talent in athletes as complex neurobiological systems

ByIan Renshaw, Keith Davids, Elissa Phillips, Hugo Kerhervé

part |2 pages

SECTION TWO International case studies of talent identification and development

chapter 8|11 pages

Who are the superstars of tomorrow? Talent development in Dutch soccer

ByMarije T. Elferink-Gemser, Chris Visscher

chapter 10|11 pages

Back to the future: a case report of the ongoing evaluation of the German handball talent selection and development system

ByJörg Schorer, Dirk Büsch, Lennart Fischer, Jan Pabst, Rebecca Rienhoff, Peter Sichelschmidt, Bernd Strauß

chapter 11|17 pages

Explaining African dominance in running

ByYannis Pitsiladis

chapter 13|8 pages

Lessons learned: the future of research in talent identification and development

ByJoseph Baker, Jörg Schorer, Steve Cobley