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Sports

K. Davids (SSC21) – Specificity and Generality of Learning in Sports Practice is needed to enrich…

My area of research is in skill acquisition, motor learning expertise and talent development. I am particularly interested on designing learning experiences and practice tasks for athletes and individuals involved in sports, exercise and physical activity across the whole skill spectrum. One of the problems that we have identified in current traditional approaches is that there is a great emphasis on specialisation in one specific sport at an early age. This results in young children being identified as athletes in a particular sport, even before they developed the foundational movement skills needed for performance in that particular sport. Thus, our research programme focusses on an ecological dynamics rationale, which emphasises the needs for a better balance between the foundational movement experiences of individuals and specialised practise and training in one particular sport. Presently, the traditional approaches emphasise specialisation in detriment of an ecological dynamic approach more focused on athlete enrichment. Ultimately, the latter concept underlies the idea that more general and varied rich sport-experiences can help individuals to move more proficiently, which will then allow them to specialise at a later stage of their motor development.

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