Sports Medicine

, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 271–283

Expert Performance in Sport and the Dynamics of Talent Development

  • Elissa Phillips
  • Keith Davids
  • Ian Renshaw
  • Marc Portus
Current Opinion

DOI: 10.2165/11319430-000000000-00000

Cite this article as:
Phillips, E., Davids, K., Renshaw, I. et al. Sports Med (2010) 40: 271. doi:10.2165/11319430-000000000-00000

Abstract

Research on expertise, talent identification and development has tended to be mono-disciplinary, typically adopting genocentric or environmentalist positions, with an overriding focus on operational issues. In this paper, the validity of dualist positions on sport expertise is evaluated. It is argued that, to advance understanding of expertise and talent development, a shift towards a multidisciplinary and integrative science focus is necessary, along with the development of a comprehensive multidisciplinary theoretical rationale. Here we elucidate dynamical systems theory as a multidisciplinary theoretical rationale for capturing how multiple interacting constraints can shape the development of expert performers. This approach suggests that talent development programmes should eschew the notion of common optimal performance models, emphasize the individual nature of pathways to expertise, and identify the range of interacting constraints that impinge on performance potential of individual athletes, rather than evaluating current performance on physical tests referenced to group norms.

Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elissa Phillips
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Keith Davids
    • 2
  • Ian Renshaw
    • 2
  • Marc Portus
    • 3
  1. 1.Biomechanics and Performance AnalysisAustralian Institute of SportCanberraAustralia
  2. 2.School of Human Movement StudiesQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.Sport Science Sport Medicine UnitCricket Australia Centre of ExcellenceBrisbaneAustralia