An examination of athletes' experiences of the talent transfer process

Tracy Rea, David Lavallee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Talent transfer is a process occurring when an athlete ceases or reduces their involvement in a sport in which they have invested significant time and concentrates their efforts in a sport that is new to them, but involving similar movement skills and/or physiological/psychological requirements. The process involves athletes who might be able to perform if fast tracked into other sports with sport institutes seeing the benefits of this alternative talent identification (TID) system with very specific examples of success. Therefore, we explored the talent transfer process from the athlete's perspective. Ten athletes were interviewed: 5 from an established talent transfer programme (3 still being supported at the time of the study) and 5 that went through the process of their own accord. Inductive content analysis indicated that support services through a formal program [National Governing bodies (NGB) coaching and sport Institute support] and informal program (families, coaches, team mates), similarities within the sport (physically and transference with psychological skills i.e. perseverance), and degree of success (not achieving selection criteria) were factors that the athletes perceived as important for a successful transfer into another sport and being competitive within their new sport. These findings offer a unique examination into the athlete's experiences through the talent transfer process and could be used for future support by sport Institutes/NGBs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-67
Number of pages27
JournalTalent Development and Excellence
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Talent transfer
  • Talent identification
  • Transition


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