GAINcast Episode 78: Talent Identification

Talent is a divisive topic, but it is hard to argue that you can create a champion without any talent. Properly identifying and nurturing that talent is therefore a key element of high performance. On this episode we discuss the complexity of talent, how to approach it as a coach, and Vern’s multi-step approach talent identification.

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Highlights and Quotes

We start out the discussion of talent identification by looking at some approaches to it outside the US and research on the topic from the USOC. From there we discuss Vern’s multi-step approach and discuss other issues relating to identifying talent.

About Talent Identification
The Talent Identification Process
  • 18:00 – Talent spotting
  • 19:30 – Talent identification
  • 20:00 – Talent direction
  • 20:40 – Talent acquisition and development
  • 21:30 – Talent confirmation, redirection, refinement, and retention
Best Practices in Talent Identification
  • 25:00 – Looking at early maturation, age group champions, and the relative age effect.
  • 27:30 – The talent identification process should be inclusive, not exclusive.
  • 30:00 – Identifying talent through tasks, rather than tests.
  • 37:00 – More thoughts on the USOC’s Path to Excellence research.
  • 38:00 – Identifying psychological skills and personality traits.

To hear more about this topic you can listen to the full episode above. If you like what you hear on the GAINcast, don’t forget to give us a review and subscribe on iTunes.

Further Reading

The following links were referenced in the podcast or provide some additional reading material on the topic: