Video Credit: Interviews by Noni Edwards | Video by Logan Fish and Sonia Shah

Identifying and developing talent is one of the key things to consider when managing a team, as on the sporting field or in the classroom.

According to recruitment consultancy Michael Page Middle East, a good manager will identify those in their business who have the skills, ambition and capability to drive their teams and then provide the means to enable them to become great future leaders.

But how do you identify a talented member on your team? Ex-Arsenal midfielder Ian Selley believes talent is both born and bred.

“A lot of people tend to go for the star players in the team, which are important but you also need to be part of the team. We do like seeing players who are individually technically very good, but the guys in behind who make the team tick over, these guys are very important as well,” says Selley.


Identifying talent in the classroom is not as easy as ABC either.

Lizzie Robinson, the primary headteacher at Jebel Ali School, says it’s important to create a level playing field.

“The approach within a school is one that makes it possible for all children to shine,” says Robinson. “Talent in its raw form is something you don't see very often, but developing the mindset is something we should be doing for all children.”

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Image Credit: Gulf News

Making it fun

Whether on the field or in the classroom, both coach and teacher agree that having fun is the key, when inspiring young people to make the most of their potential.

“It’s all about managing their personalities and getting the best from the player.” says Selley. “Give them lots of confidence to be who they want to be, play how they want to play but also its about fun. We find here that if we make the sessions and games fun, we get a lot more out of the players,” says Selley.

“Helping the child to enjoy the process of developing the talent, perhaps without too much emphasis on where that talent may or may not lead,” says Robinson.

It’s also important not to overdo the motivation either, or it may be perceived as pressure.

“It’s all about managing their personalities and getting the best from the player. You have to be careful what you say obviously with young children, just try to guide them and give them your own personal experiences,” says Selley.

“So children don't feel pushed or don't feel that actually this talent has become something of a burden because it leads to too much practice or too much pressure,” says Robinson.

And some final words from the field on how to breed success from your players and boost the team’s performance?

“They have to know they have to work for it, it's not going to come easy,” says Selley. “I as a player myself know there's always someone better, so you have to, when you train, train as hard as you can, when you play, you have to try and impress.”