Having a 'talent coaching' section immediately begs the question 'what is talent coaching?'
Well, we're not going to get sucked into the debate about what constitutes talent! As a county sports partnership, we're aware that there are different definitions and we're content to let different sports decide for themselves what characteristics they are looking for. We're happy to go along with sports coach UK's belief that talent comes from a combination of ability, inter-personal factors and external factors, over time in a high quality learning environment supported by the coach.
Our focus locally (and it's part of the coaching plan that we deliver for Sport England) is on talent coaches who are working in a 'first selective' environment - in other words, on the entry level of the talent pathway in a particular sport. (Typically that might mean at county, district or regional level.) We've been asked to work across sports and encourage a coaching network of talent coaches.
Our first step has been to carry out a survey, to find out more about what might be needed and how best we can provide that. We'll be asking our local national governing bodies (NGBs) how we help them as well - we've already spoken to a handful of NGBs and the most striking feature of those discussions was just how different their responses were!
So currently this section is a 'WORK IN PROGRESS' - have a look, add the page to your 'bookmarks' or 'favourites', and send all comments and contributions to Chris Samways, Sports Project Assistant, on 01707 281007 or via their emails at firstname.lastname@example.org. And watch out for the Coach Exchange!