Supporting and developing talent in young athletes

by Youth Sport Trust
 Supporting and developing talent in young athletesThe challenge

In an increasingly competitive and success focused environment, young athletes are being exposed to more strain than ever, having to balance sporting, academic and family aspects of their lives. As a result, the wellbeing of these talented young athletes is under the spotlight, with increasing concerns over the emotional resilience in these young people.

The evidence

In April 2017 Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson published a review into the Duty of Care in Sport. The report made recommendations on all areas of sport calling for a better balance between winning medals and the welfare of athletes.

It highlighted specific areas for improvement to reduce the pressures experienced by young athletes. Examples included education, transitions between career phases, participants’ voice, equality, diversity and inclusion, safeguarding and mental welfare. The report coincided with accusations of bullying, doping and discrimination emerging in a number of sports, described as ‘’a wake-up call for sport” by UK Sport CEO Liz Nichol.

The solution

YST Talent is an online platform developed to achieve a balance between academic, sporting and family life with the aim to reduce the effects of the current sporting environment on the wellbeing of young athletes.

The programme explores the various people that are there along the way supporting athletes, coaches and officials in achieving their sporting potential, and how they can make the most of their network to plan for success.

Young athletes, coaches and officials

YST Talent helps young people to perform when it matters most. By helping understand their personal values and why they make the decisions they do, both on and off the field of play, they learn to take control of their own actions.

The programme supports these talented young people to plan for success by understanding how the bigger picture can be achieved by taking small steps along the way.

As part of YST Talent young athletes, coaches and officials are given access to the following online learning content:

  • Performance improvement
  • Goal setting
  • My sporting values
  • Tie management
  • Planning
  • Communication
  • Performing when it matters most
  • Team YOU

The demands school life puts on a young athlete, coach or official can be detrimental to their sporting performance and overall wellbeing. YST Talent aims to provide a solution to the pressures of school life with the provision of face-to-face workshops.

Suitable for up to 30 individuals at one time and delivered by experienced tutors and athletes, the Talent workshops aim to equip young athletes with the tools to manage their academic lives and reduce the negative effects academic pressure can have on sporting performance and overall wellbeing.

The following workshops are available as part of YST Talent:

  • Performance improvement
  • Goal setting
  • Team YOU
  • Planning
  • Time management
  • Communication

Parental support is a significant contributor to a young athlete achieving their sporting and academic potential. YST Talent provides practical advice to parents in understanding their child as an athlete, and to become a valuable member of their young athletes support team.

The program helps parents address the key issues detailed in the Duty of Care in Sport. Helping balance their childs academic, sporting and family lives, and in return improving their sporting performance and wellbeing.

As part of YST Talent parents have access to number of online resources which give guidance on how to ensure their young athlete is on the path to success:

  • Understanding your child as an athlete
  • Your role in the athlete support team
  • The true value of sport to your child
  • Competition parenting
  • Talent development – the role of the parent
  • Balancing education and sport

YST Talent is available to access here.

If you require any more information, or would like to discuss any specific requirements please contact one of our team on

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