Understanding youth talent: How can we help?


Kevin Till

Substantial resources are invested within professional sporting organisations to achieve success. A popular system to achieve this success, is the ability to ‘identify’ and ‘develop’ young athletic talent into the sporting superstars of tomorrow, commonly known as Talent Identification and Development (TID). However, TID is not a straightforward process, which becomes even more complex within young athletes where numerous physiological and psycho-social factors can impact upon understanding, identifying and developing the future sporting superstars. S&C practitioners have an important role to play in ‘Understanding Talent’. Kevin will highlight the numerous challenges and provide solutions that practitioners could implement within their roles. These S&C solutions range from data analysis methods to coach education and S&C programming and demonstrate the importance of the practitioner and how we can help this complex process. BIOG: Kevin is a Professor in Athletic Development of the Carnegie School of Sport at Leeds Beckett University. He’s published over 120 international scientific peer-review publications over the last decade related to youth athletes, talent identification and development, sport science and strength & conditioning coaching. Kevin is a UKSCA accredited strength and conditioning coach and has worked across multiple sports, mainly within youth rugby athletes for the last 12 years. Kevin currently works as a S&C coach at Yorkshire Carnegie RUFC and Leeds Rhinos RLFC within their academy programmes.