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Qualitative perspectives on how Manchester United Football Club developed and sustained serial winning.

Horrocks, DE, McKenna, J, Whitehead, AE, Taylor, PJ and Morley, AM (2016) Qualitative perspectives on how Manchester United Football Club developed and sustained serial winning. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching. ISSN 1747-9541

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Talent development in sport is well represented in scientific literature. Yet, the drive to protect ‘trade secrets’ often means that access to these high performing groups is rare, especially as these high level performances are being delivered. This leaves the details of high-end working practices absent from current academic commentary. As a result, clubs interested in developing excellent practice are left to build on personal initiative and insight and/or custom-and-practice, which is unlikely to yield successful outcomes. To address this shortfall the current study reports on prolonged engagement with a single high performing club, considering how their practice corresponds with existing sport talent development models. The paper ends by proposing an evidence-based, football-specific model for talent development, maintained high level performance and serial winning. This model emphasises four dominant features: culture, behavioral characteristics, practice engagement and the managing and guiding of performance ‘potential’. The study provides insights into the visceral reality of daily experiences across the life course of professional soccer, while advancing the evidence-base for understanding how Manchester United achieved their serial success.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 11 Medical And Health Sciences, 17 Psychology And Cognitive Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Sport Studies, Leisure & Nutrition (closed 31 Aug 19)
Publisher: Sage Publishing
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2015 09:57
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 13:54
DOI or ID number: 10.1177/1747954116655053
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/2167
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