Talent Identification


“Believe in yourself. You are braver than you think, more talented than you know and capable of more than you imagine.” – Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Our Talent Identification (TID) Program (TID is a curated action plan designed for all athletes-those who want to improve their athletic performance as well as those who want to achieve the optimum athletic standard)  is a nationwide initiative to propel the State of Tamilnadu onto the International sporting arena. Our primary goal is to search students within Tamilnadu schools that exhibit exceptional athletic talent and offer them a Student-Athlete scholarship within Olympic Gold Foundation. Regardless of where the boys originate from, all boys undergo a strict three-tiered selection process

Athletic Training Center in Virudhunagar

The First Phase

The First Phase or the First Phase is a mass screening process that consists of simple, yet valid and reliable, tests to evaluate a student’s Body Shape and Physical Ability. During this phase, TID works very closely with the SEC and conducts testing of Grade 6 students in all government schools across Tamilnadu. Those students who have been ‘identified’ with potential are then invited to participate in the second phase.

The Second Phase

The Second Phase is held at Olympic Gold Foundation and is similar in structure to First Phase. While Second phase is held in a more competitive environment, greater emphasis is placed on the accuracy of the tests, and the students are exposed to our coaches, as well as additional tasks. The Second phase is also where those talents nominated by the Sports Federations and our OGF coaches are also approved. Second phase hopes to identify those ‘Gifted Sporting Traits’ within an individual.

The final Phase

The final Phase is the Golden phase and consists of a two-day mini-camp, again hosted by the Olympic Gold Foundation. Golden Phase is designed to be ‘observational’ in nature, where the students perform and train in a typical athletic environment. In doing so, we hope to learn more about the individual and concentrate on their physical talent, skill, work ethic, ability to learn, attention span, team dynamic etc. During Golden Phase, we have the best ‘Potential Sporting Talent’ within TamilNadu. The objective of the camp is to assess those students who have the desire and the work ethics to succeed. At the conclusion of Golden Phase, the best potential sporting talent, with the focus and desire to achieve a sporting dream, are nominated for full Olympic Gold foundation scholarships.

Some tips in testing, identification and development

  • Talent identification should occur when an athlete is identified as showing potential in an athletic event.

  • If an athlete is already participating in sports and games and is shown to be talented in that event this is more appropriately referred to as talent development.

  • Talent identification is most suited to events which have obvious physical and physiological requirements. In events where success is determined by skill and strategy the ability to predict performance is more difficult.

  • The training programme must be coordinated in schools and test results should be sent to provincial bodies.

  • Base level screening tests can be administrated by teachers and analyzed by athletic coaches and the provincial coaching committee.

  • After identification sport-specific tests should be used to refine the selection process.

  • This can only be successful when a well structured and resourceful talent development programme is provided.

Why TID as a selection process?

Top performances in sports are achieved after a lengthy training period of several years. It is widely believed that a minimum of 10 years (roughly 10,000 hours) of training are required to master a sport.

For most sports, elite level performances occur between the ages of 22 and 28; with the exceptions being gymnastics, swimming and a few others. Thus talents need to start official organized training between the ages of 12 and 14. We hope to be more educated and cultured about the talent identification through the OGF TID program.

The most common recruitment tool used in most countries is competition. Competition provides a form of “natural selection” inherent to the sport participation process where the athletic “cream” rises to the top. This natural selection process however, relies on the identification of athletes already participating in the sports. It also relies on a large population base to increase the level of competition. Unfortunately, natural selection does not seek out athletes with untapped or unrecognized talent. Therefore, many of the successful athletes around the world are those that happened to find a sport that suited their talents. Thus, the selection and participation of these athletes in their sport occurred more by chance, rather than by guidance.

TID program on the other hand, attempts to find the talent and then guide them to the best sports where their talents are most suited. In this way young potential athletes can be guided towards disciplines where they will receive a maximum return for the efforts they put into the sport and avoid the frustration of poor performances in sports for which they are less suited. Talent identification programs are also well suited to countries with populations because these societies cannot afford to waste any talent that they might possess.

Major Talent Identification Projects

  • Long term Athlete and pre-adolescent growth patterns

  • Maturation

  • Anthropometric and physical characteristics between Middle East populations