European tennis: a comparative analysis of Talent Identification and Development (TID)
Seibold, Michael Eduard
This thesis critically examines and assesses how Talent Identification and Development (TID) programmes for tennis are organised and implemented in four European countries. The thesis is based upon a multi-disciplinary and comparative research design, using both quantitative and qualitative research strategies, and the research methods of literature surveys, documentary research and semi-structured interviews, supplemented by a self-completion questionnaire. The study directly compares the views of key actors (players, coaches, administrators and parents) involved in TID practice in tennis in two of the countries: the Czech Republic and Germany. Two additional European countries, the United Kingdom (but focussing on England) and France, also form part of the research for comparative purposes. Following an original analysis of published and unpublished national and international literature, websites, documents and data in each of these countries, interviews were conducted in English and German with 39 key informants from the Czech Republic and Germany. The results indicated gaps between the theory and practice of TID and that tennis in the countries examined is likely to remain and become an even more socially exclusive sport within the next few years. Talent Development will be funded either by the public sport system, by private initiative, or both, but talent identification and development in tennis will remain limited to children from families with above average financial backgrounds.