talent development

In this Masterclass webinar replay, Player Development Project hosted Head of Coaching at UK Coaching, Nick Levett. Nick is joined by PDP Co-Founder & UEFA A licensed Coach, Dave Wright as well as PDP Technical Advisor & UEFA A licensed coach, Dan Wright. Nick has a huge amount of experience in coaching and development, having previously been Head of Talent ID at The FA and he has also worked as an Academy Coach in England. In this discussion Nick, Dan and Dave dive into a…

How can parents and coaches help young players overcome a perfectionist mindset? Chief Content Officer at Changing the Game Project, Reed Maltbie shares a fantastic article around some of the modern challenges parents and coaches face with perfectionism on the rise in a status-driven society. Recently, Changing the Game Project received a question that we get often, so we thought it would make a great blog: “I was wondering if you could provide some advice. My son is 8 years old and plays on a…

PDP Co-Founder Dave Wright & PDP Technical Advisor Dan Wright discussing the benefits of playing multiple sports. It’s sometimes suggested in the sporting world that, if you want to make it at an elite level, you should specialize early and not play multiple sports during childhood. But does this theory hold up to scrutiny? An increasing number of coaches, recruiters, and other experts are arguing the opposite: that playing multiple sports is not only beneficial for the all-round development of children — as people, not…

PDP Co-Founder Dave Wright & Former New Zealand Women’s Head Coach Tony Readings, discussing the positives and potential pitfalls for girls in mixed soccer. Is it better for female soccer players to play in boys’ teams? Playing mixed soccer can provide both technical benefits and social challenges. As coaches, we must strike a balance that pushes our players without hindering their development or enjoyment of the game. Whether it’s best for a girl to play on boys’ teams depends upon a variety of factors that…

In this Masterclass Webinar replay, we are joined by PhD Researcher, Megan Hill from the University of Bath for an in depth discussion on growth and maturation in youth football. Talent development and understanding performance versus potential is a complex topic. The progression from childhood, through adolescence to adulthood is characterised by an individual experiencing growth, maturation, and development. This process is unique to each child, it can be slow and steady or be full of huge growth spurts and challenging injuries. These influences can…

Problem-solving is crucial in player development. In this article, Founder of Changing the Game Project, John O’Sullivan shares an excellent article on the importance of guiding children towards solutions and creating autonomy in learning environments. Imagine you went to your child’s algebra class and got to be a fly on the wall. Imagine the teacher was being assessed on your child’s test results in two days. Now imagine that instead of teaching your child how to problem solve, and the concepts behind doing algebra problems,…

Ken Lynch is a High Performance Athlete Development Consultant at High Performance Sport New Zealand and works with sports people across a range of codes. Originally from Ireland, Ken is an expert in high performance athlete pathways, athlete talent identification and high performance strategy. In this Masterclass Discussion, PDP Editor, Dave Wright hosts Ken for an informative conversation about the role of HPSNZ, talent development pathways, sports science in youth sport and ensuring the athlete sits at the centre of the learning process. A fantastic…

What experience are you delivering as a coach and what legacy are you leaving for young people? PE Teacher and blogger, Sporticus reflects on his own practice and evolution as a coach, outlining the importance of creating environments for children that go beyond just playing sport.   ‘If teaching is to have meaning beyond the facilitation of learning, if it is essential rather than accidental to learning, then it has to come with the notion of “transcendence.” it has to be understood as something that comes from the outside and brings something radically new.’…

The power of storytelling in human evolution and development is often overlooked in sport. PDP Editor and UEFA A licensed coach, Dave Wright discusses how the stories we share and our ability to change the narrative can shape the future of player development. At the time of writing, Player Development Project is almost four-years-old. During our time as a team and an ever-growing network of contributors, we have been fortunate enough to interview and connect with hundreds of experts in a variety of fields in…

In this Masterclass Discussion, Sydney FC Academy Director, Kelly Cross joins PDP Editor, Dave Wright for a fantastic discussion on coaching. Kelly shares his experience working with world-class players like Harry Kewell, Aaron Mooy and others, as well as his insights into coach education and the new program he is overseeing at Sydney FC. Kelly has a wealth of experience and shares a variety of lessons learned on his long coaching journey. Kelly Cross is currently Academy Director at Sydney FC. He has previously worked…

Failure is crucial in human development. Whether as a coach, player, parent or another vocation, embracing failure as part of a journey towards improvement is crucial in the learning process. Reed Maltbie shares his views on the importance of understanding the role of failure in development. What is the other side of failure? Have you ever pondered what is on the other side? Most of us will fail. A lot. We will stumble through our entire lives like a baby learning to walk. Hopefully using…

Keith Davids, Duarte Araújo, Luis Vilar, Ian Renshaw & Ross Pinder The Big Idea When asked to comment on what he found to be so special in playing the classical guitar, Andres Segovia spoke of his sitting position in playing it.  He said he leans his body forward slightly to support the guitar against his chest, “for the poetry of the music should resound in our heart.”  So why shouldn’t the poetry of the sports player resound in his or her heart?  Which is what…

In this fascinating conversation, PDP Editor Dave Wright sits down with Nick Levett, Talent ID Manager at The FA for a wide ranging discussion on Talent ID & Youth Development. Nick shares his experiences working in academy football and with some of the best young talent in England in his role at The FA. Nick and Dave discuss the importance of looking beyond football for inspiration, creating culture, the complexity of talent development and most importantly, how we can help develop better people through sport….

Martyn Rothwell, Joseph A. Stone, Keith Davids, and Craig Wright The Big Idea In the pursuit of producing “expert” sports men and women, there is a myth worth exploring.  It is common to take for granted that the number of years or hours of practice are predictive of becoming expert.  For example, there is something called the 10,000-hour rule.  The psychologist K. Anders Ericsson studied how people become experts in their field.  He concluded that 10,000 hours of practice was a reasonable rule of thumb. …

Developing talent is a complex journey for both player and coach. Founder of TOVO Institute & regular PDP contributor, Todd Beane discusses the dangers of looking into the past for answers to contemporary coaching challenges. As I write I am reading the introductory pages to Head Strong by Dave Asprey, which explores our capacity to maximize our brain’s potential. Who wouldn’t want to do that? Although my wife suggests from time to time that I do not have considerable substance between the ears, why not take full…

Edu Rubio is a UEFA Pro Licensed coach who works at MK Dons as the Head of Coach Development & U18 Manager. Edu joins the PDP team for an interactive discussion which covers a range of topics to help developing coaches. We question Edu on his personal journey, what coach behaviours he looks for in his staff, implementing a playing style, flexible formations and the importance of authenticity and empathy in coaching. This is a must watch for coaches of all sports as Edu brings…

Antonio J. Figueiredo, Carlos E. Goncalves, Manuel J. Coelho E Silva, and Robert M. Malina The Big Idea The customary belief about youth and sports is that the youngsters who drop out of youth sports are developmentally disadvantaged somehow when compared to those who succeed over time.  But a question immediately arises:  What is meant by developmental disadvantage? The big idea of this research study is to help remove some of the mystery behind what kinds of differences between youngsters are or are not relatively…

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