Factors contributing to a supportive sport talent development environment
Van den Berg, L.
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Sport organisations face serious challenges such as technological, economic, social and organisational change in a competitive environment. One of the ways in which sport organisations can address these challenges is through the implementation of a talent development environment. For such an environment to exist, sport organisations need to identify, develop and retain talent. Talent identification involves a process of recognising athletes with the potential to excel in a particular sport, recruiting them, and nurturing and developing them by providing the appropriate environment to realise their potential. The success of such a process is dependent on how well the environment retains, supports and shapes the talent. The purpose of the current study was to identify factors which sport coaches deem important to contribute to the enhancement of a talent development environment. A non-probability sampling design in the form of convenience sampling was used to collect data from 289 student-athletes from two universities situated within the Gauteng Province of South Africa. A two-section questionnaire was used to identify factors which contributed to the talent development environment of university student-athletes. Exploratory factor analysis using Principal Components Analysis (PCA) was conducted on the data to identify factors which contributed to the talent development environment of university athletes. Five factors, namely coach guidance, feedback, goal setting, support and long-term focus, were identified through the process. The study provided a promising contribution in identifying factors which contribute to the development of a talent environment for athletes from a coach viewpoint. It provides managers a reasonable starting point to strategically plan for talent development environments at their respective sport organisations.
- Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences 
- NWU Official