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Understanding Talent for Clubs Helping athletes reach their potential.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding Talent for Clubs Helping athletes reach their potential."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding Talent for Clubs Helping athletes reach their potential

2 Our aim We know from our work so far at the Institute that the notion of talent is poorly understood in sport. The aim of this presentation is encourage clubs to start to learn more about talent and how they can create an environment that will help to maximise the potential of their athletes

3 The notion of talent is confusing “As a teenager I was told I would never make it as a swimmer. It was because my sister was so amazingly talented, could swim and be so good at it. My stroke wasn’t great and I was told that, as I wasn’t a natural swimmer, I just wouldn’t make it” Jo Jackson, Olympic Bronze medallist Our challenge is to be able to explain why this can happen and then use what we learn to build more effective talent systems

4 Talent starts to make sense if we understand… 1.Physical suitability Different body types are suited to different sports. However it’s important to remember there are lots of exceptions and lots of different sports 2.The development process and how advantages are gained or lost over time Current performance is not good at predicting future success! We don’t want you to ignore what an athlete is currently capable of but we do need to ask if athletes look talented because of early maturity, because talent pools are limited, because they have more time on task than others and whether their current techniques will be successful at elite level. We know the development process is non-linear and the athletes need to know more about the challenges they will face as they strive to improve. 3.Mindset and how beliefs shape behaviour This area is based on the work of Carol Dweck and has been shown to be crucial in understanding successful people

5 How do we use this in practice? Physical suitability We need to make sure athletes understand the physical demands of their sport and work hard on their individual strengths and weaknesses

6 Understanding the development process “...as the years go by, your own knowledge gets deeper and you realise that this is a massive part of your life and you have to take some responsibility too. You're not a puppet. You can’t rely wholly on other people any more. If things go wrong I need to know why. If we are doing a 200 metre session at this time of year I need to know the reason” Jessica Ennis: Unbelievable 2012 The role of the athlete Research has shown that experts in sport differ from non-experts in their ability to self-regulate (manage yourself to meet goals and expectations)

7 Understanding and the role of the athlete The following self-regulation skills are crucial in helping athletes learn more about how to improve to keep them motivated to work hard in key areas. They: Are involved in setting specific goals Have input into development planning focused on key areas Continually review and adapt the plan Self reflect Are able to identify reasons for failure We need to work with athletes to develop these skills.

8 Athletes also need to recognise the development process is non-linear….. ….everyone will develop at different rates and it will take time

9 Beliefs and how they shape behaviour The area of mindset is based on the work of psychologist Carol Dweck from Stanford University and others who have undertaken decades of research on achievement and success. Our focus has been to understand the mindset of elite athletes and how beliefs influence behaviour in sport. Understanding the motivational consequences of our beliefs

10 Behaviours and learning in sport FIXED behaviours GROWTH behaviours Believe..…talent is something you are born with and you have it or you don’t …talent is a process of learning and is not set in stone Motivation showing off (or hiding) your ability...learning how to develop your ability Effort focusExpect things to come easily because you have talent Feel anything is possible IF you can understand where to focus your effort ChallengesAvoid challenges you struggle with because you don’t like to look less talented Embrace challenges as a chance to learn even if you can’t achieve them YET Set backsSee setbacks as a confirmation that there are some things you will never be good at See setbacks as part of the learning process and NOT as a way of defining ability Negative feedback Ignore useful negative feedback and keep the focus on what you are good at Learn from criticism and use it to understand how to improve OwnershipIf things don’t work out...it’s not your fault!Understand you need to drive things As a result..…can plateau early and under achieve…maximise potential

11 Key point Your beliefs play a crucial role in shaping your behaviours and what you can achieve. Where do you think your beliefs come from?

12 Influencing beliefs “From the day we are born we pick up ideas, attitudes and convictions from the world around us. Our parents, friends, teachers, the media and many other sources all try to sell us their version of the truth. The truth we consciously or unconsciously choose to accept forms our convictions as to what is possible and what is not. The problem is that many people end up accepting a ‘truth’ that limits them rather than opening up possibilities for them” The Gold Mine Effect, 2012

13 So what does all this mean? 1.Knowing your sport and develop your physical suitability 2.Committing to understand the development process 3.Consistently displaying growth behaviours Talent is not about being good at the moment, it’s about....

14 How do we use what we know? By focusing on the quality of the environment we create for our athletes…. “ Our aim is not to create a champion, but create situations in which champions are inevitable” Forbes Carlile, Olympic swimming coach

15 The key for clubs is to create environments where…. 1. Talent is understood Athletes, coaches and parents understand talent is about; –Developing physical suitability - working hard to develop physical strengths and weaknesses –Understanding how advantages can be gained or lost over time – help athletes learn how they can improve –Beliefs and how they shape behaviour – developing growth behaviours in athletes and coaches 2.The coaching team are growth mindset Do coaches have their own development plan and do they do all they can to improve? 3.You develop growth mindset athletes Do the athletes know the mindset behaviours you expect to see? 4.You get the development process right You need to get the balance right of how much time you spend developing each area – which will be most import in future and which are the hardest to influence? 5.You maximise time on task How much contact time do you have with the athletes, how could you get more and what could you ask the athletes to do on their own? GROWTH

16 The website


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