Holistic and Ecological Approaches in Talent Development: The role of the environment in athletes’ careers and acquisition of expertise

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Research on athletic talent has evolved from talent detection to talent development with both perspectives focusing on an individual athlete. This individual focus has been mirrored in the applied work of the sport psychology practitioner in youth competitive sport who has primarily focused on equipping individual athletes with the psychosocial skills required in a sport career. In contrast, the holistic ecological approach (HEA) to talent development in sport (Henriksen, Stambulova & Roessler, 2010) acknowledges the role of the overall environment in athletes’ development. The HEA integrates the somewhat opposing talent discovery and development approaches by focusing on how an environment manages the balance between these two, and how this balance becomes a part of the environment’s identity. Ecological perspectives on talent development hold rich insights for developing theories, research and applied practices that mirror the complexity of talent development in the real world. In terms of research, the HEA proposes a shift in research attention from the individual athletes to the broader developmental context in which they develop with a particular focus on successful athletic talent development environments. In terms of applied sport psychology, the HEA will stimulate practitioners to look beyond individual athletes and aim to include and optimize athletes’ environment to support their development. In the present symposium, we will include a research and an applied focus. The first oral will introduce the HEA and give examples of research findings and applied cases. The second oral will present a specific successful environment in badminton. The third oral will introduce a dual career environment (golf and study) in Sweden. The fourth oral discusses the role of practice environments in the acquisition of expertise using Brazilian football as an example. The final oral looks the role of the sociocultural environment in athletes’ career transitions.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2017
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event14th World Conference on Sport Psychology - Sevilla, Spain
Duration: 10. Jul 201715. Jul 2017
Conference number: 14
http://www.issp2017.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/FINAL-PROGRAM-ISSP-2017.pdf (Final Program )


Conference14th World Conference on Sport Psychology
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