The Sports Policy Factors Leading to International Sporting Success (SPLISS), a comparative high performance and elite sport (HPS) model, has identified nine distinct pillars that contribute to the success of a country’s HPS system. The study was originally conducted in 2003 with seven nations from Europe and North America. Beginning in 2009, the study was repeated and expanded to include 17 nations from North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. While the SPLISS study was designed to examine and compare countries’ HPS systems, the aim of this research is to compare the intra-country results of Canadian athletes, coaches, and performance directors with the goal of exposing communication and perception issues of the three groups to one environment.
Quantitative data was obtained through surveys (online and word document) and telephone interviews between September 2011 to May 2012. 11 coaches, eight performance directors and 161 athletes completed the survey. The low number of respondents in the performance director and coach groups limited possible quantitative analysis methods, due to reliability and validity. However, the existence of the SPLISS framework provided direction for descriptive analysis by comparing responses towards each pillar for each survey group.
Within pillar four (talent identification and development) and pillar five (athletic and post-career support), descriptive analysis revealed interesting discrepancies regarding the viewpoints of the different groups. In one specific example, the athletes believe they were identified as elite athletes by the national governing body between the ages of 16 to 18, whereas six out of eight performance directors noted athletes were identified as an elite athlete below or at the age of 13. Amongst coaches, there was no clear consensus of an age category with answers ranging from 11 to 25. However, seven coaches expressed that the identified age was too late. The lack of consistent recognition between the groups on the actual HPS identification age may indicate a communication problem within the talent identification process. It is possible that athletes are being identified without knowing it. Talent identification is an important step in the development of HPS athletes, yet it appears the process of identification is unclear to the athlete. This is just one example of differed understanding towards sport policy and the presentation will outline other areas where a lack of communication may be present. Increased effective communication between stakeholder groups may assist with the creation, clarification, and implementation of sport policy.
- sport policy,
- talent identification,
- high performance and elite sport (HPS),
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/winstonwinghongto/9/