Electronic versions


  • Tim Rees
    Department of Sport and Physical Activity, Faculty of Management, Bournemouth University
  • Lew Hardy
  • Arne Gullich
    Department of Sport Science, University of Kaiserslautern
  • Bruce Abernethy
    School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, Faculty of Health and Behavioral Sciences, The University of Queensland
  • Jean Cote
    School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, SKHS Building, Queen’s University
  • Tim Woodman
  • Hugh Montgomery
    School of Life and Medical Sciences, University College London
  • Stuart Laing
    UK Sport
  • Chelsea Warr
    UK Sport
The literature base regarding the development of sporting talent is extensive, and includes empirical articles, reviews, position papers, academic books, governing body documents, popular books, unpublished theses and anecdotal evidence, and contains numerous models of talent development. With such a varied body of work, the task for researchers, practitioners and policy makers of generating a clear understanding of what is known and what is thought to be true regarding the development of sporting talent is particularly challenging. Drawing on a wide array of expertise, we address this challenge by avoiding adherence to any specific model or area and by providing a reasoned review across three key overarching topics: (a) the performer; (b) the environment; and (c) practice and training. Within each topic sub-section, we review and calibrate evidence by performance level of the samples. We then conclude each sub-section with a brief summary, a rating of the quality of evidence, a recommendation for practice and suggestions for future research. These serve to highlight both our current level of understanding and our level of confidence in providing practice recommendations, but also point to a need for future studies that could offer evidence regarding the complex interactions that almost certainly exist across domains.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1041-1058
JournalSports Medicine
Issue number8
Early online date3 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016
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