Adopting an appreciative inquiry approach to propose change within a national talent development system
Taylor and Francis
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The subject of talent in sport continues to fascinate and intrigue as organisations seek to identify and deliver an effective talent development programme in an effort to ensure systemic success. In the quest to deliver an optimal national governing body talent development programme, this paper investigates the role that Appreciative Inquiry can play in addressing change within a complex landscape. The coaches (12 talent coaches) and researcher (Head of Performance) utilised an Appreciative Inquiry framework to identify a ‘routemap’ for change within the programme. Results highlighted the challenges and benefits of adopting a strengths-based approach to programme development within sport, particularly the generative capacity of Appreciative Inquiry amongst coaches. Results also indicate some complexities of strength-based collaborative change, namely the need for time to break through semantics and coaching rhetoric. Through the design and delivery of an Appreciative Inquiry summit, key themes for an optimal development environment were identified. Namely, coaches felt that when at its best the programme adopts a mastery focus. Findings indicate that to achieve this, participants felt that for the programme to become optimal, the themes of leadership, coach-athlete relationships and player autonomy were integral elements to build on going forward.
Sport, Education and Society;
Clements, D., Morgan, K. and Harris, K. (2020) 'Adopting an appreciative inquiry approach to propose change within a national talent development system', Sport, Education and Society. https://doi.org/10.1080/13573322.2020.1824903
Article published in Sport, Education and Society available at https://doi.org/10.1080/13573322.2020.1824903
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
- Sport Research Groups 
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