Young athlete selection to follow science-based approach

Finding talent in sports in the country will now be taking a more science-based approach. The national sports coaches and instructors will select athletes through the talent identification process which will encourage young athletes to take up sports they have the potential to perform well. To this effect, 23 national coaches and instructors attended a seminar on Science-Based Coaching Skill Development conducted by an expert from the World Athletics, the international governing body for the sport of athletics.

In the Talent Identification process, a young athlete’s selection will purely be based on psychology, nutrition, physiology and biomechanics. And it will be carried out through motor learning to figure out which sport the child can excel in.

In response to the growing need to improve sports in Bhutan, the Bhutan Amateur Athletics Federation with an expert from the World Athletics has held the seminar which came to a close yesterday.

The participants said that though sports science and talent identification is a new concept to them, they are now aware of how crucial it is to improve sports in the country.

“Let’s say somebody is good at both football and running. Without a proper talent identification process, we might never know which of the two sports he has more potential in. That is exactly why it is important to understand biomechanics and science while identifying and nurturing young talents. Till now, selection processes in the country have been very raw or crude, even,” said Tsheltrim Yoezer, a coach.

“If we select talented young athletes based on science and data, Bhutanese youth have the potential to perform great on international stages. That is why we have decided to inculcate science into the sport in the country, be it in school or federations,” said Dorji Tenzin, the General Secretary of BAAF.

Karl Günter Lange is an expert on sports science from the World Athletics. He said that having a ‘science-based, systematic Talent Identification process’ is essential for the country to produce high calibre athletes. He added that providing correct training is key to identifying young talents.

“For this correct training, you need infrastructure and you need human resources, you need qualified coaches. This is what we are doing here today. So, from the chosen group of potential athletes, trained in appropriate facilities with appropriate programmes, you may then find one who improves fast. This is your talent.”

He added that this can make the athlete’s development process more controlled and less random. And that way, coaches can advance in improving the efficiency of all the athlete’s development processes and programmes.

Karma Samten Wangda

Edited by Phub Gyem

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