The Podcast

Talent ID Isn’t All That ft. Todd Widom

Welcome to Season 12 Episode 2 of the ParentingAces Podcast, a proud member of the Tennis Channel Podcast Network. Coach Todd Widom is back with us discussing the limitations of talent identification in young athletes.

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Governing bodies in junior tennis have traditionally relied on talent ID to determine where to allocate their financial and coaching resources. Players as young as 8 years old would get “tapped” by the organization based on guesses made about their future size, commitment to the sport, and upside potential. As we know, that has led to many mistakes over the years with some children being the Chosen Ones then burning out due to over-playing or injuries and other children being denied coaching and financial resources well before they had a chance to grow into their potential.

In this week’s podcast, Todd Widom discusses the limitations of traditional tennis talent identification. He argues that the current system of identifying talent fails to account for the differences between players and their individual journeys. He also explains why tennis players need to be evaluated more holistically and how to create a better system of talent identification.

Todd and I chat about the factors to consider when trying to decide who will “make it” and who won’t, and why Talent ID is such an inexact science. We present several different schools of thought and what parents should consider when deciding whether to invest their time and money in expensive coaching and tournament play.

To contact Todd or to get information on his training, you can reach him at [email protected]. If you aren’t already, be sure to follow him on Facebook and Instagram as well.

If you’re so inclined, please share this – and all our episodes! – with your tennis community. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or via your favorite podcast app. And check out our logo’d merch as well as our a la carte personal consultations in our online shop. To support ParentingAces’ work with a financial donation of any size via PayPal, click here.


Intro & Outro Music: Morgan Stone aka STØNE

Audio & Video Editing: Lisa Stone


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