When we talk about a comprehensive talent selection, we don’t see many examples of this in our country. So, would it be possible to implement such an election in our country if it was decided by the authorized institutions and sports clubs? Could the necessary conditions be met?

The choices are generally made in a short time according to certain factors and values. The criteria are mostly based on an individual’s chronological age and sometimes on his/her height. In this way, a more situation-oriented process is carried out.

What kind of path would be followed if the athletes who went to the next stage in these selections were talented in another branch, not the sport they would be in, with a wider and deeper talent selection? As a result, condemning athletes whose potential (not their performance) is not sufficient for the branch but who can realize their potential in another branch doesn’t only harm the athletes themselves, but also affects the country’s sports negatively in terms of time, energy and efficiency. When athletes lose motivation over time, they may resent for the situation in which they are and their self-confidence may decrease.

In order to understand such an important subject more clearly, let’s first take a look at one of the definitions of “talent” made in various sources:

”The concept of talent expresses predisposition which is directed specifically and its size is above the normal value, but still immature and suitable for development.” [1]

As we mentioned above, it is very important that the athlete is guided properly. The determination of value measures is another important point. Generally, when talking about these measurements, anthropometric and physiological features come to mind. But these two factors point to “performance”, not ”potential”. When we want to define potential, “psychology” comes into play. What we are talking about here is not the momentary mental state during the performance, but the psychological structure of the person in general. Unless this structure meets certain conditions for sports, it doesn’t seem possible for the athlete to move to the next level.

Take athletes like Michael Jordan, Lionel Messi, and Usain Bolt. The common point in all three of them is that they are the most talented athletes in the world in their own branches, whose potential looked doubtful until a certain period because of their physical appearance, but their psychological structure was strong, they had determination, concentration and motivation. And they overturned the general perception by coping with stress and pressure.

Of course, it’s not just about having the right factors. As a result, the talent choices determine an approximate level of potential for the athletes, but they can never make a definitive judgment like “This athlete will be a star”. For this reason, talent selection should be seen as a long-term evaluation mechanism, not a one-shot thing, and “immature and adaptable disposition” should be met with the right training in order to reach the highest possible level. Right training means right trainer. Therefore, coaches in sports have important duties in terms of athlete development. Proper planning, regular measurement of results, and teamwork with the right experts seem to be the most reasonable way to bring sports and athletes to the elite level in the long run.

REFERENCE

[1] MÜLAZIMOĞLU, O., 2007, Somatotip yapıları spor yapmaya uygun çocukların spor branşlarına özgü yetenek yetenek düzeylerinin araştırılması (Ankara ili örneği), Dissertation (PhD), Gazi University

[2] SERKAN KARAYEL, Science of Sports, Yöntem Üzerine Sohbet B02: Yetenek Seçimi P01 ”Yetenek Nedir?”

[3]WOLSTENCROFT, E., 2002, Talent identification and development: an academic review,a report for sportscotland by The University of Edinburgh, Sportscotland, Edinburgh, 185060-418-5