Examining the development environments\ud of elite English Football Academies: the\ud players’ perspective
- Publisher: Multi-Science Publishing
As a preliminary investigation, we examined elite youth football academy players' perceptions of the quality of their developmental environment, at a crucial stage in their progression to a professional level. With institutional ethics approval, the Talent Development Environment Questionnaire (TDEQ)was used to survey 50 elite players aged 16-18 (m17.1,±s=0.6 years)recruited from the academies of Premier League and Championship clubs in England. Overall, the results suggest that elite player development environments are perceived to be of a good quality. However, while academies appeared strong in areas related to coaching, organisation, and sport-related support; they were somewhat deficient in areas related to athlete understanding, links to senior progression, and key stakeholder relationships. In addition to the importance of establishing well-integrated youth and senior teams and positive working relationships with parents; the findings underline the necessity for academies to pay close attention to the psychosocial environments they create for developing players. Theoretical considerations and applied implications for those involved in elite player development are discussed.
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