The SCORE Study
My research focusses on examining how to improve and build an individual’s self-efficacy. According to Bandura (1977), an influential social cognitive psychologist, self-efficacy is a personal judgement of one’s capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to manage prospective situations. Simply, it is concerned with a person’s belief in their ability to succeed at a particular task given certain situational demands. An individual’s general self-efficacy is the foundation of their motivation, performance accomplishments, and emotional well-being. The stronger an individual’s self-efficacy belief, the higher their subsequent performance is likely to be. While weaker self-efficacy beliefs are likely to promote lower subsequent performance. Although self-efficacy is not the same as actual ability, they are closely related. Improving an individual’s ability to execute a domain-specific task is likely to cause a subsequent increase in that individual’s domain-specific self-efficacy.
We are keen to explore the relationship between domain-specific education and training programs and changes in an individual’s self-efficacy beliefs. We aim to apply our findings to the development and validation of a series of football-specific talent identification and recruitment measures that will form the Scouting Efficacy Scale in Football (SES-F). The instrument will measure the self-efficacy of an individual’s ability to make judgements and decisions regarding the identification and recruitment of footballers. The construction of the measure will comprise of reviewing the current talent identification and recruitment research in sport and gaining insights from experts in the field from academia, caching and recruitment. The measure will then be extensively validated using quantitative methods before its functionality is examined through piloting an education and training program for coaches and recruiters.
At the end of the project, we hope to have developed a measure that can be used to develop education and training tools for practitioners that are efficacious by design and serve to refine judgement and decision-making practices throughout the industry. This, in turn, aims to improve processes, consistency and thus alignment between practitioners and their organisations – serving to refine talent identification and recruitment practices throughout the industry.
Statement of Significance
Talent identification practices for predicting performance within football have gained considerable interest within the research and applied communities. Studies to date have often conflated research examining the identification and development of athletes in the field. Despite a growing and established body of literature there remains a need to better understand the role of coaches and recruiters in the identification and recruitment of athletes. To date, research has often focused on how best to conceptualize talent, the key indicators of athletic performance and environmental design in the identification and recruitment of athletes. This has led to an absence of reported operational and procedural distinction in the identification and recruitment of athletes, resulting in a lack of consensus and direction for practitioners.
As it stands, the studies that have sought to understand talent identification and recruitment process from the perspective of the practitioner have employed qualitative designs. The findings suggest recruitment practices are highly complex, with practitioners’ decisions routinely based on intuition and deliberation. Therefore, for the industry to progress more research needs to be conducted from the perspective of key stakeholders in football recruitment. Through introducing a measure of self-efficacy and proposing it’s use as a tool to validate and improve education and training programs; we hope to add valuable insight and advance discussions on the role of talent identification and recruitment practitioners.
In order for the project to be successful a series of outputs are first needed:
A comprehensive review of the literature examining how to improve and build an individual’s self-efficacy.
The conceptualisation and development of a series of measures that will form the first Scouting Efficacy Scale in Football (SES-F).
Recruit coaches and recruiters who are regularly participating in tasks associated with the identification and recruitment of footballers.
Examine the initial validity of the measure and determine its reliability for use in the field.
Develop a pilot study examining the measures use as a tool to determine the efficacy of a training program designed to improve the identification and recruitment of footballers.
At the end of the project, we hope to have a developed measure of Scouting Efficacy Scale in Football (SES-F) that can be used to improve our understanding of talent identification and recruitment practices from the perspective of the practitioner. We hope that the measure is used to develop education and training tools that are efficacious by design and serve to refine practices throughout the industry. Furthermore, we hope the measure instigates a discussion in the field, is critiqued, developed and replicated across a variety of sports.