How we do it

Identifying and developing talent

This aspect of our work is focused on the long term aim of creating systems that deliver on-going sustained success by developing pathways to identify and nurture future talent.

Working in partnership with UK Sport and the NGBs our activities are delivered by a team of sport scientists who provide a range of services covering technical support, education, benchmarking, research and finally recruitment campaigns. All of these services are aimed at helping sports to build, optimise and populate their performance pathway. 

Technical support for coaches and pathway managers could include bespoke education programmes to enhance understanding of the components of a world leading performance pathway.  Benchmarking enables sports to robustly measure the effectiveness of their performance pathway using specialist diagnostic tools.  Research projects are carried out to investigate key questions related to talent development, thereby providing sports with a greater understanding of what it takes to develop and nurture talented athletes who have the potential to win on the international stage.

Our talent recruitment and confirmation campaigns are multi-phased campaigns which start with a talent search, either with the general public of within the sports’ community.  This usually first involves the athlete submitting an application to UK Sport/EIS for the team to consider.  After careful analysis, successful applicants are invited to phase 1 testing events hosted in various locations around the country.

Phase 1

The selection process begins with a range of generic physical and skill-based tests at various testing centres around the UK. Tests may include: sprints, jumps, aerobic fitness, and upper and lower body-strength tests. These tests will vary from campaign to campaign depending on the sport. The selection process also includes an in depth analysis of each athlete’s training and competition history.

Phase 2 – 3

Phases 2 and 3 are designed to further assess an athlete’s suitability for a sport and better equip them for the journey ahead. The athlete’s pathway from identification to world class performance is also outlined. Sessions may include: functional movement screening, medical screening, performance lifestyle workshops and psychology and behavioural assessments.

Confirmation Phase

Selected athletes will embark on a 6 – 12 month confirmation phase during which they are immersed in the sport’s training environment. Athletes are exposed to a carefully constructed developmental experience and their rates of progression are tracked to further assess their suitability for the sport. Unsuccessful athletes are provided with opportunities to continue the sport through the club system.