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How Elite Athletes are Made
Free Acess | 5.15pm - 6.15pm
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Developing Champions: How Elite Athletes are Made
Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Recreation
The University of Utah
Many factors contribute to the development of expertise. The contribution of hereditary characteristics and the importance of practice, instruction, and the mentorship of significant others such as parents and coaches are often debated. A common or lay opinion is that elite performers are born rather than made, creating the perception that less ‘gifted’ individuals may continually strive to reach excellence without making the necessary gains needed to become experts in the domain. However, recent research in the sport and cognitive sciences has indicated that individuals achieve excellence through many hours of deliberate, purposeful practice with the specific intention of improving performance. Typically, for example, elite athletes have to devote in excess of 10,000 hours of practice to achieve excellence, regardless of sport. This commitment and continual engagement in practice is the most important determining factor on the path to excellence. Hereditary factors may also be important in helping individuals develop the necessary ‘rage to master’ (i.e., the commitment and motivation to persist in practice over many years). The proposal is that expertise develops as a result of adaptations to the unique environmental constraints imposed during practice and performance. In this presentation, an attempt is made to highlight the practice history profiles of elite performers, with a particular focus, and to illustrate through reference to recent empirical research the type of psychological adaptations that arise as a result of extended involvement in practice. A particular focus will be on the development of perceptual-cognitive skills such as anticipation and decision making in team games and racket sports. Practical implications for talent selection and development are highlighted, with attempts to illustrate the nature and type of practice activities most likely to help nurture future generations of experts.
|Organiser||University of Lausanne|
Amphimax 414 |
University of Lausanne