If they asked you the definition of talent, how would you answer?





What about the athletes chosen in accordance with this definition?

As an example, when we look at basketball, performance evaluations and athlete selections are made under the name of “talent selection” with the announcement made by schools or clubs. Since these evaluations are made according to certain norm values ​​in a very short time, a question mark arises as to whether the result indicates performance or potential.

Does performance also mean potential or is it a momentary indicator that develops depending on the situation and conditions? In my opinion, performance is the result of the combination of the current physical and mental state of the athlete. Potential is the highest level you can climb with what you have when you want to climb a mountain. Of course, this level can be improved with the right training and materials. Considering that it is the coaches who will provide this training, it is very important that the coach has the knowledge and experience to define and develop the potential of the player.

There is another frequently mentioned subject: Personal Development. Individual means “human”. Therefore, it is useful to take a look at the following definition:

“Human is a bio-psycho-social being and is a whole with cognitive, emotional, physical and social aspects.” [1]

But the problem is that when we talk about individual development, many of the aspects that make people human are missing from the equation or not understood in depth. An athlete who is only technically and tactically advanced cannot reach the highest level that his potential can go because he is lacking in other aspects. It is important to consider and question the contribution of sports to people before contribution of people to sports. As long as certain foundations independent of a branch of sports are not established in the athlete, every step taken to raise an elite athlete loses its effect over time, and may even cause certain problems.

For this reason, individuals determined as talented may also be the athletes who suffer injuries mostly. It shows that the plans and programs prepared for training, the knowledge and experience at this point should be questioned. Instead of a “sports-oriented” approach, a “human-oriented” approach, with all the aspects we mentioned while defining human, emerges as a more accurate way to determine priorities in raising athletes. Thus, instead of perceiving athletes as performance-oriented machines, we can see them as individuals with potential who are open for improvement in every way with the right plan and program.

Otherwise, temporary solutions to the harm inflicted on the athletes will increase the damage even more when the athlete steps back into the same environment. At this point, the athlete may sacrifice in order not to lose his/her position and not to break away from the game, but in the long term, he/she will inevitably come to the breaking point.


[1] YAZICI, A., 2016, Profesyonel basketbol oyuncularında zihinsel dayanıklılık ve duygusal zekanın çeşitli değişkenler açısından incelenmesi, Tez (Yüksek Lisans), Gazi Üniversitesi


[2] SERKAN KARAYEL, Science of Sports, Yöntem Üzerine Sohbet B01: Yetenek Seçimi P01