Talent Identification and Recruitment in Sport

The details
Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences (School of)
Colchester Campus
Autumn & Spring
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 08 October 2020
Friday 26 March 2021
30 April 2020


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BSC C607 Sports Performance and Coaching,
BSC C607JS Sports Performance and Coaching,
BSC C607NS Sports Performance and Coaching,
BSC C608 Sports Performance and Coaching (Including Year Abroad),
BSC C609 Sports Performance and Coaching (Including Placement Year),
BSC C614 Sports Performance and Coaching (Including Foundation Year)

Module description

The module aims to examine the process of identifying and developing talent in sport, as well as contemporary approaches to recruitment.

Adopting a hybrid approach, students will be offered a series of seminars and practicals examining key theories and topical issues in talent identification and development, such as bio-banding, perceptual errors, and the relative age effect.
In the second half of the module, students will utilise this underpinning knowledge in a more applied context. Employing contemporary recruitment techniques and software, students have the opportunity to develop their ability to collect, analyse, and visualise data to produce technical and physical reports on performance. In addition, students will be expected to demonstrate self-directed learning by analysing individual and team performance (live and recorded) across multiple time points over the module.

Module aims

The overall aim of this module is to provide an understanding of methods, strategies and issues relevant to the process of talent identification and recruitment in sport.

Module learning outcomes

1. Critically evaluate talent identification and development systems within sport, and the concepts underlying their success and failures.
2. Demonstrate an applied understanding of the contemporary issues surrounding talent identification and development processes.
3. Apply industry-relevant methods to collect, analyse, and present physical and technical data from sporting performance.
4. Define and evaluate the tactical systems of team performance, as well as the technical competence of individual players.
5. Demonstrate a conceptual and applied understanding of technical report writing of player and team performance.
6. Coherently present ideas in written and oral format.

Module information


Autumn Term

1. Talent Identification Models
2. Biases and Perceptual Errors in Talent Identification
3. Talent Development Models
4. Relative Age Effect
5. Bio-Banding
6. Contemporary Issues in Talent Identification and Development

Spring Term

1. Collect, Analyse and Present Physical Data on Sports Performance
2. Technical Report Writing and Data Visualisation techniques
3. Individual Player Reports
4. Opposition Analysis (Pre-Competition)
5. Post-Match Team Reports
6. Contemporary Issues in Technical Scouting

Learning and Teaching Methods

AU term: 14hrs lectures (7x2hrs), 6 hrs practical (3x2hrs)
SP term: 14hrs lectures (7x2hrs), 6 hrs practical (3x2hrs)

Compulsory attendance at a minimum of three competitive fixtures (approx. 6hrs)


- Critical evaluation of a contemporary issue in talent identification and development in your chosen sport (1500 words)
- Oral presentation of individual player report (15-min)
- Log book of opposition analysis (min x3 matches)

Learning and teaching methods

AU term: 14hrs lectures (7x2hrs), 6 hrs practical (3x2hrs) SP term: 14hrs lectures (7x2hrs), 6 hrs practical (3x2hrs) Compulsory attendance at a minimum of three competitive fixtures (approx. 6hrs)


  • Collins, Dave; MacNamara, Aine. (2017) Talent Development, London: Taylor & Francis Ltd.
  • Hughes, Mike; Franks, Ian. (2015) Essentials of Performance Analysis in Sport, London: Taylor & Francis Ltd.
  • Williams, A. M., Reilly, T. (2000) 'Talent identification and development in soccer.', in Journal of Sports Sciences. vol. 18 (Issue 9)
  • Roberts, Alexandra H.; Greenwood, Daniel A.; Stanley, Mandy; Humberstone, Clare; Iredale, Fiona; Raynor, Annette. (2019-10) 'Coach knowledge in talent identification: A systematic review and meta-synthesis', in Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. vol. 22 (10) , pp.1163-1172
  • Baker, Joseph; Cobley, Stephen; Schorer, Jorg. (2017) Routledge Handbook of Talent Identification and Development in Sport, London: Taylor & Francis Ltd.
  • Cobley, Steve, eeditor. (©2012) Talent identification and development in sport: international perspectives, Abingdon: Routledge.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Draft critical evaluation     0% 
Coursework   Critical Evaluation     40% 
Coursework   Draft oral presentation plan    0% 
Coursework   Oral Presentation     40% 
Coursework   Sample log book entry    0% 
Coursework   Log book report    20% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Edward Hope, email:
Dr Ed Hope, Dr John Mills, Dr Jason Moran & external speakers



External examiner

Dr Owen Thomas
Cardiff Metropolitan University
Reader: Sport Psychology
Available via Moodle
Of 42 hours, 30 (71.4%) hours available to students:
12 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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