Talent development and its protagonists: an action-research within an italian professional footbal club

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This work aims to present an action-research study on talent development (TD) carried out within the consulting process in the youth section of AC Milan Football Club in 2009/2010. It has been planned from a psychosocial perspective (Manzi & Gozzoli, 2009) using the action-research methodology (Kaneklin et al.,2010), considering talent not only as an inborn trait of a person, but as something that has to be nurtured and accompanied. The project involved athletes and coaches of the AC Milan youth section, primarily aiming at making the athletes’ and coaches’ mental representations of talent explicit. These representations should be transformed into more multidimensional concepts in order to identify possible activities of further fostering talent. Forty-five athletes attended seven group-sessions, during which several tools (group discussions, videos, professional football players’ experiences) were offered that should help players to re-think their careers as being a young football talent. At the same time, thirteen coaches attended the same number of group-sessions. They were ask to mutually confront themselves with their representations of sport talents, using tools such as case analysis, schedules to identify and support young talents, etc. All sessions were recorded and contents have been fully transcribed. At the moment content-analyses are performed with support of the ATLAS.ti software tool. Preliminary results suggest that athletes create interesting and complex maps including all the persons who influence their growth as talents (coaches, family, friends, persons of the club, etc.). Furthermore, coaches showed to experience increased awareness of their professional roles in terms of influencing talent players’ motivation and development.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication...
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Event13th European Congress of Sport Psychology - MADEIRA (PORTOGALLO)
Duration: 12 Jul 201117 Jul 2011


Conference13th European Congress of Sport Psychology




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