‘You create your own luck, in a way’ About Norwegian footballers’ understanding of success, in a world where most fail
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonAugestad, P., Bruu, M., & Telseth, F. (2020). ‘You create your own luck, in a way’About Norwegian footballers’ understanding of success, in a world where most fail. Soccer & Society, 22(3). https://doi.org/10.1080/14660970.2020.1815009
The article is based on interviews with twelve young footballers who turned pro with the Norwegian top-flight club Odd BK. After asking why they succeeded in making the transition from promising talent to established top-level footballer, we investigate how the players’ own explanations tally with the two predominant theories in research on talent development, namely deliberate practice and successful talent development environments. We shall see that the basic elements of these theories resemble the players’ own recipes for success and more or less specify how the players and the club can achieve progress. However, neither of these theories relates to the structural situation that the players find themselves in, namely the fact that most hard-working players are never offered a professional contract. The looming uncertainty provides fertile ground for the development of notions of luck and the intricate workings of chance.