Bagom talentbegrebet. En sociologisk analyse af forudsætninger for den excellente sportspræsentation


  • Inge Kryger Pedersen



Beyond the concept of talent: A sociological analysis of the path to achievement of excellence in sport. This article starts with an analysis of the concept of talent, because this concept is usually employed in such a way that talent itself is indistinguishable from its effect. This obstructs any rational analysis of the actual paths to achievement that are pursued in the field of sport. An alternative concept of talent is presented, that refers to a particular kind of praxis as well as to particular conditions that must be fulfilled in order to establish and maintain a career in the sphere of elite sport. Both literature analyses and own interviews indicate that the achievement of excellence in sport is characterized by success in sustained employment and perfectionization of technique (both as regards the sport and as regards psychological techniques), by discipline in relation to all aspects of sports work (from training to arriving on time), and by attitude (training is not considered boring or mere-ly obligatory). It appears that there is nothing extra-ordinary or superhuman about the many minor acti-vities on the path to achievement of excellence. What produces the mundane state in which achievement of excellence occurs is that these activities are performed consistently and correctly under the right conditions.