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Academic leads guest editorial in sports journal


A person getting ready to run a race

Adam Kelly, Senior Lecturer and Course Leader for Sports Coaching and Physical Education,  will be a guest editor in a special issue about youth sports for the ‘Sports’ open access journal.

International, peer-reviewed journal 

‘Sports’ is an international, peer-reviewed, open access journal which is published monthly online by MDPI, a "pioneer in scholarly open access publishing".

Adam is collaborating with colleagues from Spain and Portugal for this special issue, which is titled ‘Talent Identification and Development in Youth Sports’.

Adam said: “This is quite timely as we launch our new Athlete Development and Youth Sport Research Group, as part of the Centre for Life and Sport Sciences.”

The special issue

The issue will highlight that the identification of young athletes with the potential to develop and then subsequently excel as senior professionals in their specialist sport remains one of the major contemporary challenges for national governing bodies, sports clubs, coaches and practitioners. As such, talent identification and development strategies have become pivotal to sporting organisations.

The special issue seeks to collaborate with researchers within the discipline of talent identification and development in youth sport. The aim is to explore how youth’s personal engagement in activities, quality social dynamics, and appropriate settings and organisational structures can foster immediate, short- and long-term developmental outcomes.

It is hoped that contributing research can inform evidence-based youth sport policies and athlete development programmes. Submissions are encouraged from a diverse range of qualitative and quantitative data collection procedures to explore the current context of talent identification and development in youth sport. Commentaries, conceptual papers, and reviews are welcome to synthesise expert knowledge within this discipline.

The deadline for manuscript submissions is 17 December 2021. The journal will publish the papers as they come through, and will then be available as an eBook following the completion of the Special Issue in early 2022.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Athlete development pathways (e.g. early specialisation; early sampling)
  • Birth advantages and the relative age effect (e.g. birthplace effects; socioeconomic factors)
  • Growth, maturation and physical development (e.g. biological age; fitness testing)
  • Psychological characteristics (e.g. leadership; mental toughness)
  • Perceptual–cognitive expertise (e.g. tactical decision making; virtual reality)
  • Technical development (e.g. skills testing; performance analysis)
  • Positive youth development (e.g. influence of family, peers, and coaches; youth sport dropout)
  • Creating enriching environments (e.g. creativity-based programmes; teaching models)
  • Multidisciplinary approaches to athlete development (e.g. holistic approaches; multidisciplinary models)
  • Qualitative research exploring key stakeholder experiences and perceptions of the talent identification and development processes in youth sport (e.g. interviews; focus groups)
  • Opinions and reviews to synthesise expert knowledge (e.g. conceptual papers; systematic reviews).

More details can be found here.