Talent Identification and Development in Youth Sports: A Systematic Review

Seyed Houtan Shahidi
Faculty of Sport Sciences, Department of Sports Coaching, Istanbul Gedik University, Istanbul, Turkey
Bo Carlberg
Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
Derek Kingsley J
Exercise Science and Exercise Physiology, Kent State University, Ohio, United States

Published 30-06-2023


  • Talent Identification,
  • Talent Development,
  • Youth,
  • Growth,
  • Maturity

How to Cite

Shahidi, S. H., Carlberg, B., & J, D. K. (2023). Talent Identification and Development in Youth Sports: A Systematic Review. International Journal of Kinanthropometry, 3(1), 73–84. https://doi.org/10.34256/ijk2318



Introduction: Talent has traditionally been associated with the concept of an athlete's essential conditions for success. Longitudinal studies can assess characteristics associated with performance while evaluating changes and developments over time. Therefore, the goal of this review was to identify and summarize the longitudinal literature that addresses the impact of the development of potential talent indicators in childhood/adolescence on later success in elite sports. Methods: Accordingly, the search methodology of this systematic synthesis review was guided by the preferred reporting points for systematic reviews. Articles were included that examined child/adolescent development over time of potential talent indicators for success in future elite athletes. A total of six manuscripts were fully reviewed. Results: Overall, the results of these studies show that the findings are inconclusive and that talent indicators have changed over time, with this change having a different pace and intensity depending on the growth spurt. Conclusion: The result of this systematic review shows that it is not possible to say whether talent can be identified in children/adolescents in relation to success in elite sports. This is due to the non-linear development of adolescents and the emerging, dynamic, and symbiotic conceptualization of talent.


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