Chapter

Extreme Sports Medicine

pp 365-382

Date:

An Ecological Dynamics Framework for the Acquisition of Perceptual–Motor Skills in Climbing

  • Ludovic SeifertAffiliated withSport Sciences, Centre d’Etude des Transformations des Activités Physiques et Sportives (CETAPS) – EA 3832, University of Rouen Email author 
  • , Dominic OrthAffiliated withSport Sciences, Centre d’Etude des Transformations des Activités Physiques et Sportives (CETAPS) – EA 3832, University of RouenSchool of Exercise & Nutrition Science, Queensland University of Technology
  • , Chris ButtonAffiliated withSchool of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Otago
  • , Eric BrymerAffiliated withSchool of Exercise & Nutrition Science, Queensland University of Technology
  • , Keith DavidsAffiliated withCentre for Sports Engineering Research, Sheffield Hallam UniversitySport and Health Sciences, FiDiPro Programme, University of Jyväskylä

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

Uncertainty in extreme sports performance environments, like rock and ice climbing, provides considerable psycho-emotional and physiological demands which challenge the acquisition of perceptual–motor skills. An ecological dynamics theoretical framework adopts concepts and tools of nonlinear dynamics and ecological psychology to investigate and model the relationships that emerge in extreme sports between athletes and their performance environments. In this relation, the interactions of athletes with key objects, surfaces, events and significant others during a sport like climbing emerge from interdependent personal, task and environmental constraints on performance. Performance behaviours emerge through the continuous and active exploration of environmental properties by individual athletes. Properties of rock cliffs, icefalls and mountains provide a high level of uncertainty due to continuous weather-driven changes. Their unpredictability signifies that performance may be considered as an ongoing coadaptation of climber’s behaviours to dynamically changing, interacting constraints, individually perceived and encountered. In this chapter, we consider the continuous interactions between climbers and their environment to understand how they can be coached to perceive key environmental properties when climbing and adapt their behaviours towards achieving performance goals.

Keywords

Ecological dynamics Climbing Movement variability Affordances Degeneracy Skill acquisition Expertise Representative design