The feudal glove of talent-selection decisions in sport –Strengthening the link between subjective and objective assessments

Michael Bar-Eli, Ronnie Lidor, Franziska Lath, Jörg Schorer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


When making talent-selection decisions in sport, coaches, scouts, program directors, and policymakers typically adopt two approaches: The subjective approach, also known as the coach's eye, where these professionals select or de-select athletes based on their personal observations and impressions; and the objective approach, where they apply a multi-faceted formula for awarding scores to the athletes' motor skills (such as agility and coordination) and psychological capabilities (such as leadership and motivation) – as a mean for predicting their future success. These two approaches are often perceived as complementary in the strive to reach optimal selection decisions in sport. In this conceptualized article, we examine challenges associated with such talent-selection decisions, and address the coach's eye as an example of a subjective assessment approach. We also address the concept of fast and frugal heuristics for making selection decisions in sport, while elaborating on bounded rationality and the human machine paradigm. Finally, in addition to discussing certain "built-in" limitations in sport-selection decisions, based on judgment and decision-making models, we provide a rationale for adding the big-data approach, as a mean for enhancing links between the subjective and objective assessments currently used in talent-selection decisions in sport.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalAsian Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Coaches
  • Judgment and decision making
  • Scouts
  • Sport analytics
  • Talent development
  • Talent selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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