The purpose of this paper is to investigate athlete selection procedures implemented by 25 provincial and national level coaches in New Zealand. One of the main focuses of the study was the degree to which workplace human resource management (HRM) selection practices were utilised, or could have been beneficial, for athlete selection. As many selection controversies have been caused by unclear or unspecified selection procedures, the study focused on discovering what processes coaches utilised when selecting athletes and, importantly, to what degree these processes were communicated to athletes.
The data were collected via semi‐structured interviews and interpreted using thematic analysis which enabled the extraction of the major recurring themes.
Although the majority of coaches supported the use of HRM selection processes, only six reported implementing HRM type practices. Overall, the study found that coaches on the whole did not fully utilise HRM selection practices. Furthermore, although there tended to be some degree of communication of these processes to athletes, this was not always done in a clear and precise way.
Core HRM practices, procedures, and terminology are seemingly rarely utilised in the athlete selection processes of amateur team sport. It is argued that future research should focus on determining how best to implement workplace HRM selection processes for team athlete selection.
Somewhat surprisingly, very little past research has investigated current athlete selection processes in relation to workplace HRM selection practices. The present research increases the understanding of current team athlete selection and provides discussion of the results in relation to HRM selection best practice.
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