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Friday, 20 January 2012

Participant Development in Sport


Core skills and capabilities?

Early Specialisation?

Talent Development?

Critical Periods in Development?

There is increasing demand on coaches and teachers to keep informed of relevant research evidence, and to adapt their work accordingly.  Evidence-based practice is accepted as the default position for those claiming to be professionals in sport.

The trouble is ... Well, there are a few troubles.  For example:

  • Some of the research literature is highly complex, and uses arcane jargon;
  • Some of the literature seems to contradict itself; and
  • There is awful lot of it out there.

Dave Collins, myself and a small group of subject experts from physiology, psychology and sociology carried out a comprehensive review of the literature on participant development in sport on behalf of sportscoachUK in 2010.

Click on the image to get a free copy.

The report turned out a lot more 'comprehensive' than we'd imagined at the start, and it is certainly the most thorough review carried on playing, developing and improving in sport.

It also includes HUGE list of references.

It offers a critical analysis of such hot topics as LTAD, early specialisation, and talent development.  It also gives an examination of the assumptions that underlie most sports development programmes.

The review was written as a reference document for sportscoachUK, and so the tone is at times quite technical.  So, we also wrote an Executive Summary, which is available by clicking the next image:

The Review team was:

Richard Bailey, PhD, RBES Ltd

Dave Collins, PhD, University of Central Lancashire

Paul Ford, PhD, University of East London (Now BOA)

Áine MacNamara, PhD, University of Limerick (now UCLAN)

Martin Toms, PhD, University of Birmingham 

Gemma Pearce, MSc, University of Birmingham 

We hope this resource proves useful, and makes some contribution to the quality of sporting experiences of all.

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