Selections to top-level sport teams
2010 (English)Report (Other academic)
The purpose of the study was to increase the knowledge of selections of athletes to top-level sport teams. Selections in alpine skiing and soccer were investigated and modern validity theory was used as the theoretical framework. Key issues concerned the goals and criteria involved in the selection processes, how the processes were performed and notions from the selectors (coaches) about the outcomes and consequences of the selections. The study was based on 14 semi-structured interviews with top-level coaches (selectors) highly involved in the selection processes in the individual sport of alpine skiing (national teams) and in the team sport of soccer (club teams/national team). The results show great differences in the definitions of the selection criteria among the teams. The selection criteria ranged from very well-defined to very vague. This has implications for the validity of the selections with regard to both what is really used as the grounds for the selections and how stable those grounds are. Some of the coaches were convinced that clearly defined criteria are a necessity for good selections, while others were not. There were some disparities between the club and federation boards and the coaches as regards both the level and the types of goals and ideas for the selections. From a validity standpoint this is problematic, as there might then be different kinds of goals that the selection method has to be adapted to. The selection decisions were mostly a result of the coaches’ discussions with each other. In some teams this was a fairly subjective process, and in other teams ranking lists played an important role in the decisions. Quite a few coaches from both sports said that they would choose an athlete with good behaviour and favourable personality over an athlete with better sports skills, if the system allowed for such alternatives. All coaches emphasised the importance of the selection criteria being formulated in such a way that they gave the coaches opportunities to influence the judgements themselves. All coaches stated that their eyes and their feelings were their most valuable selection tool. When it comes to the outcome and the consequences of the selections, the importance of the selections was experienced as very important To be selected to a national team in skiing was by some coaches described as a career-changing event, whereas the soccer coaches described the selections in soccer to be very important although not crucial for the athletes’ career. For the coaches it was said to be of utmost importance to select a successful team, as they otherwise could lose both their job and their respect. Most of the skiing coaches thought they selected the “right” skier, even if the athletes did not always achieve the expected results, while all the soccer coaches thought that they sometimes had selected the “wrong” player. Overall the results show that there are validity issues to be considered in the selection processes. It was also shown that many of the coaches regard the selection process as rather difficult and the evaluation of the process as challenging. The fact the coaches do not have any education concerning selections and how to deal with factors affecting the selections means that they have to figure out strategies for dealing with these complex situations.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Pedagogiska institutionen, Umeå universitet , 2010. , 118 p.
, Pedagogiska rapporter från Pedagogiska institutionen, ISSN 1403-6169 ; 83
selections in sports, predictions of sport performance, assessment of sport performance, consequences of selections
Research subject Education
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-33904ISBN: 978-91-7459-019-7OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-33904DiVA: diva2:318641