Why do you think that we chase the other countries when it comes to basketball or other branches of sports even we have a few exceptional talents?

The low number of talented athletes?

Is it due to lack of solid foundation and the system of education ?

Among 80 million people of a country, there is no reason that we can’t find talent. The answer is in the second question. Instead of training very large part of our talented young people as elite athletes with the right education, we are still trying to progress with a much smaller part, being proud of that.

There are four areas of investigation to analyze human talent:

  • Anatomy
  • Biomechanics
  • Physiology
  • Psychology

These are the areas that provide athletes’ potential, must be considered with a holistic approach and they give a direction in which athletes can develop and specialize their features according to a talent identification process. All four indicate constructional dimension (anatomy), mobility (biomechanics), strength, speed, endurance (physiology), motivation, commitment, creativity (psychology) and the other features. After evaluation process, the results are matched with different requirements of sports and a road map is given to athletes to reach to the elite level.

Let’s take two athletes from two different branches as an example: Michael Phelps and Naim Süleymanoğlu. The two athletes are very different from each other in terms of anatomy, biomechanical and physiological factors. While Michael Phelps’ features made him advantageous to be the best in swimming, Naim Süleymanoğlu reached the top levels in weightlifting. At the same time, being mentally tough and constantly motivating themselves were a big part of reaching the elite level.

But is it possible to be the best with no training, a pure talent?

I’m afraid not. If the athlete does not have a road map in front of him that will take his potential to the highest point, it will be possible that he will lose his desire to do sports after a while, despite his talents. In addition, the risk factor for injuries will increase.

The right training will enable every detail discovered about the athlete’s talent to be sharpened with knowledge, the athlete’s potential and thus the self-confidence to increase, and the tasks assigned to him in the branch area to be revealed more clearly and efficiently. Making a plan and program according to the growth and maturation stages and giving the right training to the athlete at the right time will also eliminate the possible risks in becoming an elite athlete.

Therefore, measurements made under talent selection should never be one-off. All data should be recorded during the development of the athlete so that the trainer and the athlete know what they face at each planned stage, can compare the data, make a risk assessment and plan the next step accordingly. In addition, it is also essential to take steps to train qualified trainers who have valid knowledge to train young athletes and use science as a tool to reach that knowledge.

Considering all the situations and do’s, the answer to the question of why we have such difficulties in raising elite athletes in our country becomes much clearer.


[1] SERKAN KARAYEL, Science of Sports, Yöntem Üzerine Sohbet B02: Yetenek Seçimi P02”Yetenek Var mıdır Yok mudur?”

[2] SERKAN KARAYEL, Science of Sports, Yöntem Üzerine Sohbet B02: Yetenek Seçimi P03”Yetenek Seçimi Önemli mi?”

[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