Science for Education Today, 2022, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 7–32

Early identification, development and support of talent in sport: Attitudes of judo coaches

Maznichenko M. A. 1 (Sochi, Russian Federation), Sadilova O. P. 1 (Sochi, Russian Federation), Mushkin V. G. 1 (Sochi, Russian Federation), Mushkinа I. A. 1 (Sochi, Russian Federation)
1 Sochi State University

Introduction. The article explores the problem of identifying, developing and supporting children’s sports talent in judo classes. The purpose of this study is to reveal judo coaches’ attitudes to these issues and to compare them with existing scientific knowledge on talent identification and development.
Materials and Methods. In order to solve the research problem, the authors reviewed Russian and international research investigations on sporting talent. The sample consisted of 131 judo coaches from different regions of Russia who were interviewed. The authors provide recommendations on comprehensive psychological and educational support for talented children engaged in judo.
Results. The coaches identified three groups of indicators of talent in judo: physiological parameters (strength, agility, endurance, flexibility); anthropometric parameters (developed musculature, body composition, physical readiness for power exercises); psychological and behavioral factors (readiness for training and competitions, industriousness and perseverance, interest in judo, readiness to accept its philosophy and values). In order to assess these characteristics, the coaches use exercises on strength, agility, stamina, step tests, anthropometric tests (Parzizkova test). Two thirds of the coaches highlighted the need for an entry assessment before admitting children to judo classes. All respondents agree that it is necessary to start the development of talent in judo from preschool age. Play and sporting games are mentioned as the most appropriate measures of sporting talent development for pre-school children.
Among the factors contributing to sporting talent development in judo, the coaches distinguish the following: grouping children according to their abilities and introducing enriched curriculum for talented young athletes (68.4%); the use of play and games (100 %), taking into account the motivation and interest of a gifted child in a particular method (63%). 76.9% of the respondents emphasize the significance of psychological and educational support for talented children. The problems identified by the coaches include: illnesses caused by excessive physical exertion (76.9 %), difficulties in combining sports with school education (69.2 %), lack of time for age-appropriate rest and leisure activities (38.5 %), problems in building relationships with peers and parents (30.8 %).
Conclusions. The study concludes that talent identification and development in judo include the emphasis not only on physical but also on moral qualities. Children talented in judo require psychological and educational support from their coaches, which is aimed at preventing psychological disorders, developing adequate self-esteem, helping to build relationships with peers and parents, and the ability to cope with emotional and physical stress. 57.1% of the coaches agreed that they need further training in identifying, developing and supporting gifted children.


Sports talent; Children; Judo; Talent development; Coaches’ opinions and attitudes; Psychological support; Educational support.

For citation:
Maznichenko M. A., Sadilova O. P., Mushkin V. G., Mushkinа I. A. Early identification, development and support of talent in sport: Attitudes of judo coaches. Science for Education Today, 2022, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 7–32. DOI:
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Date of the publication 30.04.2022