Aligning the talent pathway: Exploring the role and mechanisms of coherence in development

Webb, Vincent, Collins, David John orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7601-0454 and Cruickshank, Andrew orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-8893-2341 (2016) Aligning the talent pathway: Exploring the role and mechanisms of coherence in development. Journal of Sports Sciences, 34 (19). pp. 1799-1807. ISSN 0264-0414

[thumbnail of Author Accepted Manuscript]
PDF (Author Accepted Manuscript) - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.


Official URL:


Although our understanding of psychological and social factors in talent development continues to expand, knowledge of the broader system that underpins the entire talent pathways is relatively limited. Indeed, little work has moved beyond the recognition that coherence in this system is important to consider how this may be achieved; particularly in relation to coherent coaching. As such, the aim of this article was to address gaps in talent development and coaching literature and explore principles and potential mechanisms of coherent coaching in sport organisations’ talent pathways. After defining and contextualising coherence in whole talent pathways, including barriers to attainment, we discuss how an understanding of coach epistemology can provide a basis for integrating personal and collective coach coherence and therefore a coherent performer experience. With epistemology as our focal point, we then consider how coherent coaching may be supported through the strategic recruitment and placement of coaches, complimentary coach education and development and the use of change agents who can set and shape the coaching milieu, facilitate cross-level communication and enable epistemology-focused reflection and evaluation. Finally, we conclude with some brief recommendations for advancing practically-meaningful knowledge in this important area.

Repository Staff Only: item control page