Talent is defined by the FFA technical department as:
- The potential of a person to excel in a certain domain
- A dynamic and developing characteristic of a person, which can appear very early but also later in life
- Not something which will always be present – talent can disappear or diminish
- Not an innate characteristic and something that can be developed, however genetic factors can play an important role
It is important to recognise when you are identifying or developing talented players that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. Every player is different, develop at varying speeds, each individual circumstance is different and there are a number of different pathways that can provide opportunities to talented players.
There are three core areas of personal development (outside of the 6 characteristics of elite players laid out by the FFA technical department below) to take into account when considering taking talented players to higher levels:
A coach or individual who wants to develop a talented female player who has the potential to be elite will need to be confident that the player is appropriately developed in these three areas, otherwise there is the risk of a player losing motivation and enjoyment for the game.
To avoid players losing motivation while still exploring opportunities to push them to develop further, there are a number of alternative strategies should they wish to remain in their local safe environment with a strong social culture:
Set them targets outside of the regular team training (for example juggling records, individual challenges)
Bring them to one training session a week with the local representative/NPL team, in addition to regular training with their current team
Bring them to training with an older female team in your club in addition to regular training with their current team