Sport practitioners as sport ecology designers: how ecological dynamics has progressively changed perceptions of skill "acquisition" in the sporting habitat

Woods, Carl T., McKeown, Ian, Rothwell, Martyn, Araujo, Duarte, Robertson, Sam, and Davids, Keith (2020) Sport practitioners as sport ecology designers: how ecological dynamics has progressively changed perceptions of skill "acquisition" in the sporting habitat. Frontiers in Psychology, 11. 654.

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Over two decades ago, Davids et al. (1994) and Handford et al. (1997) raised theoretical concerns associated with traditional, reductionist, and mechanistic perspectives of movement coordination and skill acquisition for sport scientists interested in practical applications for training designs. These seminal papers advocated an emerging consciousness grounded in an ecological approach, signaling the need for sports practitioners to appreciate the constraints-led, deeply entangled, and non-linear reciprocity between the organism (performer), task, and environment subsystems. Over two decades later, the areas of skill acquisition, practice and training design, performance analysis and preparation, and talent development in sport science have never been so vibrant in terms of theoretical modeling, knowledge generation and innovation, and technological deployment. Viewed at an ecological level of analysis, the work of sports practitioners has progressively transitioned toward the facilitation of an evolving relationship between an organism (athlete and team) and its environment (sports competition). This commentary sets out to explore how these original ideas from Davids et al. (1994) and Handford et al. (1997) have been advanced through the theoretical lens of ecological dynamics. Concurrently, we provide case study exemplars, from applied practice in high-performance sports organizations, to illustrate how these contemporary perspectives are shaping the work of sports practitioners (sport ecology designers) in practice and in performance preparation.

Item ID: 63390
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1664-1078
Keywords: constraints-led approach, ecological dynamics, self-learning and preparation for performance, practice designs, skill adaptability
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2020 Woods, McKeown, Rothwell, Araújo, Robertson and Davids. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Funders: Fundacao para a Ciencia e Tecnologia (FCT)
Projects and Grants: FCT Grant UIDB/00447/2020
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2020 07:41
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4207 Sports science and exercise > 420799 Sports science and exercise not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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