Sibling interaction as a facilitator for talent development in sport

Taylor, R.D. orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-9530-8355, Collins, D., orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7601-0454 and Carson, H.J. orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-3785-606X (2017) Sibling interaction as a facilitator for talent development in sport. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, 12 (2). pp. 219-230. ISSN 17479541

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While current research has begun to address parental influences on talent development in sport, sibling interaction remains relatively under-examined. Therefore, this study aimed to explore the underpinning mechanisms through which sibling interaction impacts on talent development. Retrospective phenomenological interviews were conducted with four sets of siblings (N = 9), where at least one sibling had competed to an elite level. Findings revealed several higher-order themes that impacted positively on the talented athletes’ development: regularity of interaction in sport, emotional interpersonal skills, rivalry, resilience, co-operation and separation. Separation appeared as the athlete reached elite status, suggesting that these former mechanisms primarily impact during the development phase. Such findings support and extend the sibling, elite sport and talent development literature and provide valuable insight for both practitioners and academics. Importantly, coaches should consider a sibling’s role as an important mechanism outside of the formal coaching structure for talent development.

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