Sibling interaction as a facilitator for talent development in sport

Robin D. Taylor*, Dave Collins, Howie J. Carson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

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 (n9), 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-230
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Science and Coaching
Issue number2
Early online date1 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • emotion
  • Family Systems Theory
  • interpersonal skills
  • resilience
  • rivalry


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