Providing a Sports Talent Identification Model for Children and Adolescents Based on Mental-Physical, Cognitive, Coping, and Basic Psychological Skills
Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)
Background & Objectives

In recent years, sports psychologists, coaches, supervisors, and athletes have shown interest in psychological skills topic. Evaluating the mental capabilities of children and adolescents with physical disabilities is very important in determining their capacity as successful athletes. It can be beneficial to include purposeful and inclusive talent identification in athletes' psychological talent identification programs. Despite the difficulties in predicting the long–term success of young athletes, talent programs are currently expanding worldwide, so it is essential to observe the talent of child and adolescent athletes scientifically. In recent years, sports federations for the disabled around the world have shown attention to the disabled, especially the discovery of sports abilities in people with physical disabilities to show their talents and performances in the Paralympic Games. Therefore, this study aimed to provide a model for sports talent identification of children and adolescents based on mental–physical, cognitive, coping, and basic psychological skills.


The research was an applied study in terms of purpose and used a mixed–method design. In the qualitative stage, semi–structured interviews were purposefully conducted with 15 experts, including managers, teachers, coaches who were experts in children's and adolescents' sports, and several national team psychologists. In these interviews, psychological indicators in identifying sports talents in children and adolescents were identified, and content analysis was performed. After reaching theoretical data saturation and using the Delphi method, 37 concepts were extracted, and finally, 21 items were approved. In the quantitative stage, a researcher–made questionnaire with 21 questions (a 5–point Likert scale) in psychological skills (mental–physical, cognitive, coping, and basic psychology) whose content validity was approved by 7 experts were distributed among 210 sports experts in the field of children's sports talent and active adolescents and collected upon completion. Finally, 200 people answered the online questionnaire correctly, and their data were analyzed. Descriptive statistical methods, including mean, frequency, and standard deviation, were used to describe the variables in the research community in SPSS23 software. Regarding the inferential statistics, structural equation modeling was performed to analyze the data in Smart PLS3.


The study results confirmed the convergent validity (AVE=0.714) and internal consistency (CR=0.909) of the questionnaire. Also, the confirmatory factor analysis classified the constructs of psychological skills into 4 main factors. Based on this analysis, basic psychological skills (p=0.027, β=0.787), mental–physical skills (p=0.042, β=0.734), cognitive skills (p=0.039, β=0.669), and coping skills (p=0.048, β=0.641) were explained as psychological indicators in sports talent identification of children and adolescents with physical disabilities. According to the fit indices of AGFI=0.87, GFI=0.94, CFI=0.97, and RMSEA=0.049, the model had a good fit.


Based on the study findings, psychological indicators can be used in sports talent identification of children and adolescents with physical disabilities as a diagnostic tool.

Middle Eastern Journal of Disability Studies, Volume:12 Issue: 1, 2022
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