A recent Ski Racing feature, on "The results-based development paradox" underlines the need for smart coaching and smart parenting, as far as ski racing success is concerned.
The original article is here.
Short term results, at least up until U14-16 don't matter as much as you'd think... sometimes quite the contrary, I've unfortunately seen these effects myself along the years, but our entire system is based on results.
Sometimes kids with subpar skills get good results and then stop working as hard at improving the fundamentals and as they grow they fall behind. Or the reverse: kids with great attitude and good fundamentals don't get good results and that will sap their drive.
The end result is similar: they both tend to drop out around U16...
Coaches need to be smart, plan for the long term, focus on fundamentals and reward effort. Parents need to be smart and manage both successes and failures from the point of view of encouraging long-term development.
“If you begin playing without technique it is big mistake.” Little book of talent, quoting Larisa P. - tennis coach