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«Developing the Potential of Young People in Sport A report for sportscotland by The University of Edinburgh Developing the Potential of Young People ...»

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Developing the

Potential of Young

People in Sport

A report for sportscotland by

The University of Edinburgh

Developing the Potential of Young People

in Sport

A report for sportscotland by

The University of Edinburgh

Angela Abbott

Dave Collins

Katie Sowerby

Russell Martindale

Published by:

© sportscotland

Caledonia House

South Gyle


EH12 9DQ

Tel: 0131 317 7200 ISBN 978 1 85060 510 2

Fax: 0131 317 7202

www.sportscotland.org.uk March 2007 Developing the Potential of Young People in Sport Foreword by sportscotland Page Peer Review Papers, Publications, Presentations and 1 Submissions Emanating from the Project Acknowledgements from Authors 3-5 Section 1 Introduction to the Report 6 – 41 Section 2 The Philosophy and Structure of the Project 6 – 19

2.1 Justification for the Philosophy Adopted 2.1.1 A Short Revision of the Arguments Underpinning the DPYPS Approach Key Attributes of Physical Talent Psycho-behavioural Precursors to Excellence Psychomotor Capacities which Enable Elite Performance Interactions between Psychomotor and Psychobehavioural Elements 2.1.2 The Developmental Pathway. Different Emphases Necessary at Different Levels Successful Transition from One Stage of Development to Another 20 – 41 2.2 ‘Consumer’ Perceptions of the Philosophy 2.2.1 Overview of the Data Collection 2.2.2 Local Authorities 2.2.3 Seconded Teachers 2.2.4 Teachers 2.2.5 Sport Specialists: Coaches, Active Primary & School Sport Co-ordinators and P.E. Specialists 2.2.6 Summary Section 3 The Content and Methodology of the Intervention 42 – 86

3.1 An Overview of the DPYPS Content and Methodology 42 – 52 3.1.1 Why was the DPYPS Programme Created? 42 3.1.2 What are the Objectives of the DPYPS Programme? 42 3.1.3 Psychomotor Development 43 3.1.4 Psycho-behavioural Development 47 3.1.5 Implementing and Piloting the DPYPS Programme 50 3.1.6 Other Initiatives with Parallel Aims

–  –  –

Section 6 Discussion and Future Directions 164 – 169

6.1 A Critical Appraisal of The Results

6.2 Recommendations 6.2.1 Extension and Deployment of the DPYPS Approach 6.2.2 Refinement and Extension of the DPYPS Approach to Strengthen Impacts on Physical Activity

–  –  –

APPENDICES 177 - 184 Other Initiatives with Parallel Aims Foreword In 2000-01 sportscotland operated a talent identification and development (TID) pilot programme in conjunction with three local authorities in Scotland. The programme was based on an Australian model which used a series of physical tasks and an interactive CD-Rom to determine the suitability of sports for young people. In parallel, sportscotland commissioned the University of Edinburgh to undertake an evaluation of the TID programme and also produce an academic review of the factors influencing TID. As a result of the findings of both the evaluation and the academic review, and because of conceptual and empirical weaknesses, sportscotland decided to conclude the pilot programme in late 2001. sportscotland published Talent Identification and Development: An Academic Review in August 2002.

The academic review highlighted that resources should concentrate primarily on the psychological dimensions supported by the development of fundamental motor skills.

It also identified that talent is dependent on genetics, environment, encouragement and the effect of these on physical and psychological traits. It argued that by equipping young people with the appropriate psycho-behavioural characteristics of excellence and providing them with opportunities to develop, at an early age, the fundamental motor skills required for participation in a wide range of sporting activities that this would allow young people to reach their potential in sport and physical recreation. It also contended that by equipping young people with these competences that physical activity levels would be raised.

In December 2001 sportscotland decided to commission the University of Edinburgh to develop and test a new approach with young people in two local authority areas in Scotland (North Ayrshire Council and Stirling Council). This approach would be based on the psychological characteristics of excellence with an explicit focus on the enhancement of psychomotor capacity. The new programme was called Developing the Potential of Young People in Sport (DPYPS).

The DPYPS programme ran from early 2002 to the end of 2003 with the University providing its report in March 2004. The programme involved the development of resources for teachers to use with pupils in schools at primary level and a workbook for sports coaches and the training of primary school teachers to deliver DPYPS sessions in both the classroom and in physical education (PE) classes. Both local authorities seconded a PE teacher to work alongside the University to ensure that the resources developed were appropriate for use in schools and also to provide additional support to primary school teachers in the planning and delivery of the classes. In the Stirling area the University also provided training to a group of club sports coaches in the philosophy and approach to developing young people.

Overall although the amount of time the programme actually operated in schools was limited the results were positive and feedback was almost unanimous in its support for the programme from pupils, teachers, parents, local authorities and club coaches.

In the summer of 2004 sportscotland staged consultation seminars with Scottish local authorities and Scottish governing bodies of sport where there was widespread support for the philosophical approach used by DPYPS of providing all children with the psychomotor and psycho-behavioural curriculum to allow them to realise their potential and to keep them involved in sport and lifelong physical activity.

Since 2004 sportscotland has been using the findings of the DPYPS programme to develop a Long Term Player Development (LTPD) model to be used by governing bodies of sport. sportscotland is also using the principles of DPYPS in the development of a coaching resource for use by governing bodies with children.

This report was commissioned and is being published by sportscotland but the views expressed are the authors’ alone.

sportscotland March 2007 Peer Review Papers, Publications, Presentations and Submissions Emanating from the Project Abbott, A. and Collins, D. (2002). A theoretical and empirical analysis of a 'state of the art' talent identification model. Journal of High Ability Studies, 13(2), 157-178.

Abbott, A. and Collins, D. (2004). Eliminating the dichotomy between theory and practice in talent identification and development: Considering the role of psychology.

Journal of Sports Sciences, 22(5), 395-408.

Abbott, A. and Collins, D. (In Press). Talent Identification and Development in Sport:

A Multidimensional Framework for Theory, Research and Practice. The Sport Psychologist.

Abbott, A., Button, C., Pepping, G-J, and Collins, D. (2005). Unnatural Selection:

Talent Identification and Development in Sport. Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences, 9(1), 61-88.

Abbott, A., Collins, D., and Martindale, R.J. (2002) Talent Identification: How Not To Do It!! Current ‘World Best’ Practice? Proceedings of the 12th Commonwealth International Sport Conference. Manchester, July 19 – 23.

Abbott, A., Collins, D., Martindale, R.J., and Sowerby, K. (2002) Talent Identification and Development: An Academic Review. sportscotland.

Abbott, A., Collins, D., Martindale, R.J., and Sowerby, K. (2003) Developing The Potential Of Young People in Sport (DPYPS): A Baseline Report. Sportscotland.

Collins, D., and Abbott, A. (Under Review). Characteristics of Development and Excellence in Sport: What Makes the Difference? Journal of Applied Sport Psychology.

Collins, D., Abbott, A., and Martindale, R.J. (2002) Talent Identification And Development: How Would We Do It? Proceedings of the 12th Commonwealth International Sport Conference. Manchester, July 19 – 23.

Martindale, R.J., Abbott, A., and Collins, D. (2002) A Theoretical Evaluation of Talent Identification Processes. Proceedings of the 12th Commonwealth International Sport Conference. Manchester, July 19 – 23.

Martindale, R.J., Collins, D., and Abraham, A. (In Press). Effective Talent Development Environments: The Elite Coach Perspective in UK Sport. Journal of Applied Sports Psychology.

Martindale, R.J., Collins, D. and Daubney, J. (2005) Talent Development: A Guide for Practice and Research within Sport. Quest, 57, 353-375.

Martindale, R.J., Collins, D., and Keavenly, A. (Under Review). Talent Development in the UK: The Athletes’ Perspective. International Journal of Sport Psychology.

Acknowledgements from Authors The Developing the Potential of Young People in Sport (DPYPS) programme would never have started without the efforts and backing of sportscotland.

Thank you to all those children, teachers, coaches, and specialists who volunteered to be involved in this programme and gave such effort to introduce the concepts into their every day work. Their honest and ‘to the point’ feedback is also much appreciated and has been utilised throughout this report in order hopefully to fuel future and further growth.

Thank you to Bob McGowan and Gordon Syme, of Stirling and North Ayrshire Councils respectively, for their efforts, support and enthusiasm.

Thank you to the seconded teachers, Lynsey Bryden and Rob Lewis for their efforts and abilities to help make this programme successfully come to life within their respective areas.

Thank you to Mike Jess, Kay Dewar and Shirley Gray for their willingness to give us free reign to their own personal work and research developments and their expertise during in-service training. They have made a valuable input to the DPYPS programme and we are grateful acknowledge them.

Finally, our grateful thanks to Lawrie Randak and Elaine Wolstencroft, whose openmindedness to new ideas enabled us to develop this ‘compelling’ programme.

Section 1 Introduction to the Report This package grew out of a Talent Identification initiative. As such, ‘Developing the Potential of Young People in Sport’ (DPYPS) was developed with Talent Identification and Development (TID) as its primary thrust. However, from the beginning we wished to exploit the generic benefits which seem to accrue from equipping children for achievement in sport; benefits which although consistently highlighted by research have, until recently, been dismissed. Accordingly, we aimed to develop a seamless version of the development process for sport, which would also make a substantial contribution towards broader educational aims and that crucial lode-stone of the 21st century, lifelong physical activity. This approach, summarised in Figure 1.1 below, was always presented as a broad-based, developmental and educationally orientated scheme, despite the historical genesis of DPYPS as the follow up to the more limited Sports Search initiative.

–  –  –

Figure 1.1: The contribution of the ‘twin-track’ DPYPS curricula to broader aims This breadth was reflected in the vision underpinning the scheme.

“DPYPS aims to give children the knowledge, motivation and skills they need to achieve their best in physical settings. The programme is orientated towards achievement in sport BUT with considerable ‘carry over’ of benefits to wider dimensions; for example, the enablement of a physically active lifestyle” In short, we hoped to develop, pilot test and consequently offer a refined, original but essential educational thrust which would help us to meet the current and severe challenges of obesity and under-achievement, whilst also, perhaps, winning a few more medals at international events. These broad and ambitious aims should be borne in mind as you read this report. The programme itself was piloted in three clusters, North Ayrshire, and Bannockburn and Balfron in Stirling and included three secondary schools and 17 primary schools. Unfortunately one primary and two secondary schools did not complete the full programme due to a variety of practical problems. This meant that a total of 906 children took part in the programme. Inservice training was provided between December 2002 and October 2003 for a variety of deliverers, ranging from one day for coaches to four days for teachers. Two seconded teachers then supported the primary school teachers and delivered the programme in the secondary schools. The length of time the programme was implemented ranged from ten week blocks of work to a full year of delivery, depending on the school, teacher and area location. This delivery was based on a twin curriculum of psychomotor and psycho-behavioural development.

From the TID perspective, DPYPS is certainly in keeping with the current rethinking apparent in the literature world-wide. Talent Identification (TI) has moved away from the genetics bias which dominated speculation through the 50s and 60s, and (purportedly) some ad hoc engineering attempts in the Eastern Bloc. A noted geneticist, Hugh Montgomery from University College London summed up his

position as follows:

“If you gave me money and said, ‘Build a football team’, I’d be better off paying boys’ clubs to give me first crack at their talented youngsters than spending it on genetic tests.” (Sunday Times, July 6th 2003, p12) This doctrine is already apparent in horse racing, where the vast amounts of money and tight breeding control yield poor hit rates. Only on in ten turns out to be a thoroughbred. Snafee Dancer (sired by Northern Dancer) cost £13.1m but never raced, whilst Red Rum was bred as a sprinter but won three Grand Nationals. On this evidence at least, champions are made, not born!

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