How To Be Smart About Talent Identification

How to Be Smart About Talent Identification –

by Kelly Gilmour-Grassam

Talent selection and identification is a tricky process for any sporting organisation, as picking out young players with the ability to deliver long-term results for your club can seem like a shot in the dark.  Potential talent is hard to quantify, and requires a mixture of experience and instinct from those responsible, balanced against the facts and statistics.  But new approaches have redefined the process in recent years.

The Process of Talent Identification

Just because a teen is a top player at their school or local team, doesn’t necessarily mean they are cut out for a career as a professional player. Nor does it apply to any other sport, from rugby to athletics.  Of course, physical skills are usually the first attribute to attract scouts, but deeper analysis of young talent allows you to pick out their attitude and mind-set, perceptiveness, and social skills, all of which are essential for team sports. For this reason, talent identification and selection is a process that should not be rushed.  Picking out a pool of potential candidates and seeing how they fare in group situations and under training enables a more rounded assessment of their potential capabilities.

For this reason, more and more sporting organisations are moving the focus away from the performance of players during the selection process, to their potential for long-term development.  A player who may be the star candidate now could easily burn out, or show a reluctance to develop their skills in training.  An organisation that is willing to invest in this development, and place their faith in the experience and instinct of scouts, will often find their wager pay off in the future.

Talent Selection and Development

As a result in this shift in approach, talent selection has become increasingly difficult for organisations, as choosing the players to make the cut is no longer a clear-cut affair.  This longer view strategy requires better planning and management, with a focus on training rather than securing matches for their young teams.  Sports performance management software allows sporting institutions to make more effective decisions, from the selection of the talent with integrated overviews of each candidate, to careful planning for training and development opportunities, to work on the specific requirements of each individual player.

Adopting this modern approach to developing young athletes requires participation and commitment at every level of the club.  The top powers of the organisation need to invest and encourage these policies, which can then filter down to the managers, coaches and the players themselves.  Inviting digital solutions into sports allows all levels of an organisation to interact to this purpose, in an environment where communication is key for the overall success of a club.

Sporting strategies have come a long way in recent decades, and digital technology has played no small part in making this evolution possible.  As the science of talent identification, selection and development matures, clubs who are willing to invest in this process are beginning to reap the rewards of their modern approach to young athletes.

Article written by Kelly Gilmour-Grassam , a freelance copywriter from Yorkshire. Kelly can be followed on Twitter at @KellyGGrassam.

This article was written with helpful information from The Sports Office.

Note from WHT:  Although this article wasn’t written specifically for hockey, it is relevant for ALL professional sports.


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