Talent Development in Female Football : What characterizes a successful environment?
Research on talent development has developed to highlight the central role of the environment and have found that good and supportive environments can ease prospective elite athletes’ transition from junior to senior elite level in sport. The aim of this study was to examine a successful athletic talent development environment in female football through a holistic ecological approach, in order to provide a holistic description of the environment. Furthermore, the aim was to explain how factors are influencing the environmental success in developing prospective elite athletes into senior elite athletes. The study was designed as a case-study and data collection included a total of eight interviews from multiple perspectives (prospective elite athletes, head coach, elite athletes and sport manager) and analysis of documents. The environment was characterized by good communication and cooperation, centered around the relationships between prospects, coaches and school. Moreover, the environment included a strong organizational culture characterized by good attitude and motivation, a whole person approach and coordinated and integrated efforts. The results showed many similarities with research conducted in other successful athletic talent development environments.
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