Long-term prognostic validity of talent selections: Comparing national and regional coaches, laypersons and novices

In most sports, the development of elite athletes is a long-term process of talent identification and support. Typically, talent selection systems administer a multi-faceted strategy including national coach observations and varying physical and psychological tests when deciding who is chosen for talent development. The aim of this exploratory study was to evaluate the prognostic validity of talent selections by varying groups 10 years after they had been conducted. This study used a unique, multi-phased approach. Phase 1 involved players (n = 68) in 2001 completing a battery of general and sport-specific tests of handball ‘talent’ and performance. In Phase 2, national and regional coaches (n = 7) in 2001 who attended training camps identified the most talented players. In Phase 3, current novice and advanced handball players (n = 12 in each group) selected the most talented from short videos of matches played during the talent camp. Analyses compared predictions among all groups with a best model-fit derived from the motor tests. Results revealed little difference between regional and national coaches in the prediction of future performance and little difference in forecasting performance between novices and players. The best model-fit regression by the motor-tests outperformed all predictions. While several limitations are discussed, this study is a useful starting point for future investigations considering athlete selection decisions in talent identification in sport.
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Subjects: talent selection decision behavior coach handball sports game national prognosis performance test diagnostics
Notations: academic training and research junior sports sport games
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01146
Published in: Frontiers in Psychology
Published: 2017
Volume: 8
Issue: 1146
Pages: 1-8
Document types: article
Language: English
Level: advanced