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Topsport Talent Schools in the Netherlands: A Retrospective Analysis of the Effect on Performance in Sport and Education

In order to help talented athletes to attain the highest possible level in both their sport and education, Topsport Talent Schools (TTS) were founded in the Netherlands in 1991. This research aims to investigate the effect of attending a TTS on the sport and education performance levels of talented athletes. A retrospective study was conducted amongst 242 (former) talented athletes from six sport federations. Results indicate that attending a TTS did not influence the current and highest attained sport performance levels of talented athletes (at both junior and senior level). Neither were talents who had attended a TTS more satisfied about the combination of school and sport, nor were they more motivated for their sport. Furthermore, results indicated that talents who had attended TTS were less motivated to do well in school; also they attained lower educational levels in both their secondary school and further education.