Talent Identification

November 12, 2012

What is Talent?


There is much debate about whether talent is something that is innate or whether it is something that can be acquired. Are we born with talent or can it be developed through practice? (Paula Jardine)


If talent were innate then there would be a genetic basis for it. Research shows that there is no genetic “smoking gun”. (Paula Jardine)


Of course everyone has a genetic advantage or disadvantage – be that anatomical, physiological, psychological, emotional and so on. The fact is that such advantages of giftedness – or lack of it – is only one factor in achievement of top performance. Of at least equal, but almost certainly greater importance in producing top performance is the athletes commitment to the pursuit of a training process designed to meet his or her development needs. (Dr. Ekkart Arbeit via Paula Jardine)


Talent can be developed through practice with interested athletes that want to do it.



An Example


Cindy Klassen – At the 2006 Olympic Winter Games she became the first Canadian to win five medals at a single Winter Olympics. She won Gold in the 1500m, Silver in the1000m, Silver in the Team Pursuit, Bronze in the 5000m and Bronze in the 3000m.


Before Cindy was hooked by speed skating, she showed promise in a number of other sports. She competed for Canada in In-line Skating at the 1999 PanAm Games and before that was a member of Canada’s National Junior Women’s Hockey Team in 1996. 


As a 15 year old, Cindy competed for Canada at the 1994 Commonwealth Games as a member of the women’s Field Lacrosse Team.

With all of Cindy’s energy focused on speed skating, the results have been extraordinary. She is a six-time Olympic medallist and four- time World Champion – allowing her to wear the crown as the most complete speed skater in the world.

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