I have been having few debates with colleagues on the topic of Talent and talent ID programmes. Due to the success of some talent transfers in some physical sports, there seems to be a large number of people convinced that such approach can also be successful in team sports. Needless to say I totally disagree with that. Having worked as a coach developing young athletes and as a coach of senior athletes in a team sport I can definitively say that in order to produce a World Class team you need to have the talent in the team as well as people who have done thousands of hours perfecting their skills. You just cannot change an average Basketball player in his/her 20s in a World class handball player and vice versa, you cannot identify a tall guy/girl and within 4 years turn him/her into a World class volleyball player. Why not? Simple: because no matter how physically talented they are, it is unlikely they can make up in few years for the lost time of practice as compared to people who started their sport when they were children. If you believe that nobody in 4-5 years can become as good as Lionel Messi having never played football, then you are part of my club.
I am not going to write about this issue in this post, but I promise will write more as talent id-ing is really an interesting field, and I am passionate about its proper applications at the right age group and understanding also the limitations in the possibilities of talent transfer in particular in some sports.
I have recently come across Daniel Coyle’s blog, and it is a refreshing read proving that talent alone is not enough and in many fields it is possible to reach success using a variety of training coaching methods, motivation and coaching. Most of all he talks about the importance of deliberate practice when an incredible number of repetitions are performed which allow someone to become a master in a specific field.
I have ordered the book and I am looking forward to read it, in the meantime, I am enjoying the blog which is plenty of useful examples in sports.