Most parents want their children to be active throughout their life due to the belief that physical education may enhance self-esteem, fitness, and teamwork in a child’s development.
According to Spinks et al (2002, pg. 265), identifying sport potential at an early age, ensures that players receive specialized coaching to accelerate the talent development process. With increased need to develop and nurture young talented players, it is essential to determine the key elements of talent identification, for instance, in football. The authors also argue that talent may be genetically determined, complicated in structure and subject to environmental conditions. Moreover, the aim of talent identification is to increase the probability of selecting a future elite player at an early age.
According to Stanford ( 2005, pg 63), LTAD model mainly insists that training, competition and retaining programmes should be set in relation to an individual’s development rather than age. Optimal windows of trainability should be identified and used while the structure of competition programme should be reviewed to optimize the ratio between competitive events and training; moreover, the overall system, needs to be aligned and integrated. Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) Model The LTAD model on sports focuses on bringing out the best out of a talented player. For instance, in this case, the main discussion revolves around football. There are key issues that should be considered when deciding on the talent identification and development of a player including: 1) the type of talent that could either be uni-sport or multi-sport talent, predictors of talent depending on weight and height, endurance and psychological factors, which include intelligence, decision making and skills. 2) The management should be able to choose a talent identification and talent development programme for football. 3) They should be able to identify the key factors in talent development in that particular sport. According to Hylton and Bramham (2007, pg 223), the LTAD model is a form of long-term scheduling of an athlete’s performance in sport. This model describes an athlete’s six-stage development, which includes fundamentals, learning to train, training to train, training to compete, training to win and active for life. Football as a sport Football (soccer) involves a multiplicity of skills, for instance, some are basic like running, others are goal oriented like scoring and while others are technical like passing, receiving and dribbling. In addition, characteristics of elite team players consist of different categories such as mental, technical, physical, tactical, and social factors. Mental category is associated with confidence, motivation, anxiety control, and concentration. Technical factors include skills such as passing, dribbling, receiving, and defending while physical qualities include flexibility, strength, power, and endurance. Moreover, tactical aspect usually includes pressurizing, creating space, and support, and finally, social factors include leadership and cohesion (Reilly, 1997, pg 201). Nevertheless, basic skills are assumed to be developed by a process of maturation, while the other skills have to be learned through practice or experience. In