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UK Coaching Team
Rapport Building and Communicating Developing Mindsets Safety and Welfare

“I Didn’t Make It, But...” A Case for the Defence of Talent Pathways

Insight and opinion from the findings of a robust qualitative study of athletes who have been involved in talent pathways but, crucially, didn’t make it. Blake Richardson examines if the sacrifices are worth it and how much value and learning there is in specialist sporting academies, after hearing from Professional doctorate student and Millfield School practitioner Graham Williams on the range of positive experiences those athletes deselected from talent development pathways encounter that are instrumental in their future success

There are two sides to every story; the truth lies somewhere in the middle; for every negative, there is a positive. Three popular adages that those quick to criticise elite sports academies and talent development pathways should take a moment to contemplate.

These are binary times. The rush to judgement has become a familiar feature of an intransigent society that sees life in polarised terms. People can be so quick to apportion blame nowadays and we are all guilty of seeing things in black and white when, in fact, most topics that we debate come in different shades of grey.

Talent pathways is a case in point.

There exists a negative perception of youth development programmes, while the word ‘talent’ has itself become taboo in coaching circles.

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UK Coaching Team