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UK Coaching Team
Talent and Performance

Working with Specialist Players and Coaches

Specialist athletes and coaches can bring important skills to the table, but working effectively with specialists can mean bringing several different coaches together to aid an athlete’s skill development across the board, or ‘specialist’ athletes applying transferable skills to different variations of a sport

Specialism is nothing new in sport. Athletes will gravitate towards events or skills they often have natural aptitude for, and coaches will often refine and hone specialist skills in order to achieve a desired overall result. And if this means ‘specialist’ coaches for those ‘special’ skills, then so be it.

But what about when there are similar but different ‘types’ of format or elements to a sport? How do coaches of those different but similar formats work with the players, and can those performers transfer skills from one format to another?


Recall ‘crash-bang’ T20 cricket and Test matches. Can batsmen or bowlers from one format bring things to the party for the other? Similarly, for rugby union sevens, a smash hit at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the ‘senior’ 15-player game. Can skills from one transform the other when players are back in that format?


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UK Coaching Team