Disassembling and Reassembling a Sports Talent

  • Jesper Stilling Olesen Aarhus University
  • Jens Christian Nielsen Aarhus University
  • Dorte Marie Søndergaard
Keywords: Talent, Talent development, Enactment, Assemblage, Affect, Micropolitics, New materialism

Abstract

This article is rooted in an understanding of talent as something you do rather than something you either are or have. Talent is hereby seen as a phenomenon that comes into being through actions, rather than as an individualized, inherent capacity. Our perspective is informed by new materialist concepts that analyse talent development as an assemblage. Based on a case study focusing on Jamie, an injured badminton player, we argue that talent development produces a number of affects: it translates potential into a singular talent; it enables the conversion of talent into expertise; it turns doubt into belief; and it impedes other ways of coming into being for the athlete under development. The study provides insight into the micropolitics of talent development and into the ontological, pedagogical and ethical implications for the athlete and all the other actors entangled in a talent assemblage.

Author Biographies

Jens Christian Nielsen, Aarhus University

Associate professor, ph.d. Danish School of Education, Aarhus University

Dorte Marie Søndergaard

Professor, Ph.D, Danish School of Education, Aarhus University

References

Abbott, A. & Collins, D. (2004): "Eliminating the dichotomy between theory and practice in talent identification and development: Considering the role of psychology". Journal of Sports Sciences, 22, 395-408.
https://doi.org/10.1080/02640410410001675324

Alfermann, D., & Stambulova, N. (2007): "Career transitions and career termination". In G. Tenenbaum & R. C. Eklund (Eds.), Handbook of sport psychology (pp. 712-733). Hoboken, NJ, US: John Wiley & Sons Inc.
https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118270011.ch32

ATK 2.0 Træning af børn og unge. Team Danmark. Lokaliseret 8.6.2017: http://www. teamdanmark.dk/-/media/9653D3B203264CEA9B94DE0519368F70.ashx.

Baker, J., Cobley, S., Schorer, J. & N. Wattie. (2017): Routledge Handbook of Talent Identification and Development in Sport. London: Routledge.
https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315668017

Bartmus, U., Neumann, E. & Marées, H. (1987): "The talent problem in sport". International Journal of Sports Medicine, 8, 415-416.

Bloom, B.S. (1985): Developing talent in the young. New York: Ballantine Books.

Bruun Jensen, C. (2010): STS in S. Brinkmann, L. Tanggaard (eds.) Kvalitative metoder. [Qualitative methods] Copenhagen: Hans Reitzels Forlag.

Callon, M. (1984): "Some elements of a sociology of translation: domestication of the scallops and the fishermen of St Brieuc Bay". The Sociological Review. 32(S1): 196-233
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-954X.1984.tb00113.x

Côtè, J. (1999): "The influence of the family in development of talent in sport". The Sport Psychologist, Vol 13, 395-417.
https://doi.org/10.1123/tsp.13.4.395

Csikszentmihalyi, M., Rathunde, K. & Whalen, S. (1993): Talented teenagers: The roots of success and failure. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Davies, B. (2014): Listening to Children: Being & becoming. London: Routledge.
https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315770390

Debois, N., A. Ledon & P. Wylleman (2015): "A lifespan perspective on the dual career of elite male athletes". Psychology of Sport and Exercise. 21, 15-26. Elsevier Deleuze, G. & Guattari, F. (1987) [1980]. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Capitalism and Schizophrenia. 2. Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2014.07.011

Durand-Bush, N. & Salmela, J.H. (2002): "The development of talent in sport". In R.N. Singer, H.A. Hausenblas & C.M. Janelle (Eds.), Handbook of sport psychology (pp. 269-289). New York: Wiley.

Ericsson, K.A., R.T. Krampe & C. Tesch-Römer, C. (1993): The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance. Psychological Review, 100(3), 363-406.
https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.100.3.363

Fox, N. J. & Alldred, P. (2016): Sociology and the New Materialism: Theory, Research, Action. London: Sage Publications.
https://doi.org/10.4135/9781526401915

Gagné, F. (1993): Constructs and models pertaining to exceptional human abilities. In K.A. Heller, F.J. Mönks & A.H. Passow (Eds.), International handbook of research and development of giftedness and talent (pp. 63-85). Oxford: Pergamon Press.

Gagné, F. (2000): "Understanding the complete choreography of talent development through DMGT-based analysis". In K.A. Heller (Ed.), International handbook of giftedness and talent (2nd ed., pp. 67-79). Oxford, UK: Elsevier Science Ltd.
https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-008043796-5/50005-X

Hellstedt, J. (2005): "Invisible Players: A family Systems Model". Clinics in Sports Medicine 24, 899-928.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.csm.2005.06.001

Henriksen, K: (2010): The ecology of talent development in sport: A multiple case study of successful athletic talent development environments in Scandinavia. PhD. Dissertation. Faculty of health Sciences, University of Southern Denmark.

Latour B (2003): What if We Talked Politics a Little? Contemporary Political Theory 2(2): 143-164.
https://doi.org/10.1057/palgrave.cpt.9300092

Latour, B. (1999): Pandora's hope: essays on the reality of science studies. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

Law, J. (1992): "Notes on the theory of the actor-network: ordering, strategy and heterogeneity". Systems Practice, 5(4) 379-93.
https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01059830

Law, J. (2009): "Actor-network theory and material semiotics". In: B. Turner (ed.) The new Blackwell companion to social theory. Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 141-58.
https://doi.org/10.1002/9781444304992.ch7

Malina, R.M. (1997): "Talent identification and selection in sport". Spotlight on youth sports, 20(1).

Meyer J. P. & N. J. Allen (1991): "A three-component conceptualization of organizational commitment". I: Human resource management review, Vol. 1, Issue 1, 61-89. Elsevier.
https://doi.org/10.1016/1053-4822(91)90011-Z

Mol, A. & Law, J. (2004): Embodied Action, Enacted Bodies: the Example of Hypoglycaemia in Body & Society. 10(2-3) 43-62.
https://doi.org/10.1177/1357034X04042932

Mol, A. (1999): "Ontological Politics. A Word and Some Questions". The Sociological Review 47(1): 74-89.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-954X.1999.tb03483.x

Nielsen, J. C., Olesen, J. S. & Skrubbeltrang, L. S. (2017): Idrætselevernes tilblivelse og transitioner - Idrætsklasser som ny standard for tidlig talentudvikling i Danmark. [The becoming of sports students-Sports classes as a new standard for early talent development in Denmark] Aarhus University.

Régnier, G., Salmela, J.H. & Russell, S.J. (1993): "Talent detection and development in sport". In R.N. Singer, M. Murphey & I.K. Tennant (Eds.), Handbook of research in sport psychology (pp. 290-313). New York: Macmillan.

Scanlan, T. K., P. J. Carpenter, J. P. Simons, G. W. Schmidt & B. Keeler (1993): "The Sport Commitment Model: Measurement Development for the Youth-Sport Domain". Journal of sport & exercise psychology, 15 (1), 16-23.
https://doi.org/10.1123/jsep.15.1.16

Skrubbeltrang, L. S., Nielsen, J. C., Olesen, J. (2016): How to stay becoming: living up to the code of conduct in a sports class. Ethnography and Education. Vol/bind: 11 nr. 3, 371-387
https://doi.org/10.1080/17457823.2015.1109467

Stambulova, N. B., & Wylleman, P. (2014): "Athletes' career development and transitions". In A. G. Papaioannou & D. Hackfort (Eds.), Routledge companion to sport and exercise psychology: global perspectives and fundamental concepts. International perspectives on key issues in sport and exercise psychology (pp. 605-620). Hove: Routledge.

Stambulova, N., Alfermann, D., Statler, T. & Côtè, J. (2009): ISSP Position Stand: Career Development and Transitions of Athletes. In International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. 7, 395-412
https://doi.org/10.1080/1612197X.2009.9671916

Storm, L. K., Henriksen, K & Christensen, M. K. (2012): "Specialization pathways among elite Danish athletes. A look at the Developmental Model of Sports Participation from a cultural perspective". International Journal of Sport Psychology, 43, 199-223.

Tranckle, P. & Cushion, J.C. (2012): "Rethinking Giftedness and Talen in Sport". Quest, 58(2), 265-282.
https://doi.org/10.1080/00336297.2006.10491883

Uprichard, E. (2008). "Children as 'Being and Becoming': Children, Childhood and Temporality". Children & Society, vol 22, 303-313.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1099-0860.2007.00110.x

Walters, J. & Gardner, H. (1986): The crystallising experience: Discovering an intellectual gift. In R. Sternberg & J. Davidson (Eds.), Concepts of giftedness (pp. 306-331) New York: Cambridge University Press.

Wylleman, P., Alfermann, D., & Lavallee, D. (2004): "Career transitions in sport: European perspectives". Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 5(1), 7-20.
https://doi.org/10.1016/S1469-0292(02)00049-3

Published
2020-05-26
Section
Articles