Talent development: who do we serve?
My career in high performance sport (HPS) spanned three decades in which I worked extensively in talent development (TD). I have seen TD programmes from multiple perspectives and have become uncomfortable with their underpinning philosophy. An autoethnographic exploration of my experience led me to the realisation that HP sport is driven by instrumental philosophy. Our TD programmes are run to identify and create medallists. We seek to create medal outcomes for the benefit of the system believing that this outcome is also a benefit for the medallist. However, there are only three medals in every event and the majority of athletes will never reach a podium. So within this world young athletes are raw materials within the process of producing medal outcomes. We may provide ever more sophisticated athlete well-being programmes or post-career support but these do not alter the philosophical core of TD programmes. We need to see a different world. Concepts such as craftsmanship or Bildung point to alternate ways of seeing the world. Ways in which we can support young people in pursuing excellence for its own sake. A world where learning how to pursue excellence is the end purpose of the programmes that we run.
|Keywords||high performance sport; instrumental philosophy|
|Conference||The International Conference of Autoethnography 2022|
|Web address (URL)||http://boomerang-project.org.uk/events/23-july-2018-british-auto-ethnography-conference/|
|Accepted author manuscript|
All rights reserved
|Web address (URL) of conference proceedings||https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWNYTUbli3wRLda7ZmbpqOQ/featured|
|Online||17 Jul 2022|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||30 Sep 2022|
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