The search for sport talent is almost as old as competitive sport. The modern advent of talent identification in sport (TID) dates back to the programs developed in the former Soviet and Eastern bloc countries in the 1960s and 1970s and was responsible for many Olympic successes. Now, some 40 years on, few areas in sport are as contentious as the ongoing debate of TID. While some experts argue that TID potentially provides talented players with opportunities possible to develop their potential, other experts argue that TID science lacks credibility and practice, is often flawed scientifically and/or ethically. It has also been said that, 'The best form of TID is mass participation.' This unit (SSC3002) introduces students to TID and how it has historically been used, and at times misused. Students learn about TID theory and practices but also importantly underlying philosophical questions relevant to TID. There is also a focus on reconciling the dual objectives of mass participation and talent developed.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Rationalise and debate an understanding of giftedness and talent in a range of contexts;  
  2. Review and authenticate current and preceding talent identification models from a multi-disciplinary perspective;  
  3. Advocate ethical implications, potential concerns and challenges relating to talent identification in sport and working with youth athletes;  
  4. Conceptualise and advise typical stages of the long-term athlete development model, as well as current best practice in talent identification in sport; and  
  5. Collaborate with others to examine theoretical talent identification in sport models and implications in "real world settings."  


Assessment type Description Grade
Report Laboratory reports (3 x 10%) 30%
Portfolio TID field sessions x 2 20%
Presentation Class Debate (90 mins per group) 20%
Presentation Presentation (10 mins) & report 30%

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