Institute of Sports Science

Research Line 5: Talent and giftedness research

By applying a broad conceptualization of giftedness, in this research area, we focus on the biographical development of talents and gifted individuals (mainly elite athletes). We are interested in environmental constraints, individual demands, and resources as well as critical life events and how these factors impact the developmental pathways of gifted individuals.

The main goal of this research area is to examine the special characteristics of the lifeworlds of talents and gifted individuals from a bio-psycho-social perspective to build a scientific knowledge base for the individualized and holistic support of talents. In our research, we look at the characteristics of successful careers but also at obstacles for career development such as the burden of dual careers in sport and burnout.

For this purpose, qualitative interviews and biographical mappings are employed, as well as quantitative and mixed-method approaches.

Projects within this research area are the GOAL-study and a study on the developmental pathways of gifted individuals in sport, music, and mathematics.