Understanding the acquisition and maintenance of sporting expertise: Current perspectives


The acquisition and maintenance of high levels of sporting skill continues to fascinate large numbers of the Canadian population. In recognition of Canada's role as host of the 2015 Pan-Am and Para-Pan-Am Games, this symposium focuses on the multidisciplinary processes involved with the acquisition and maintenance of sport skill in able-bodied and para-sport athletes. The first two presentations in this symposium explore psychological factors that appear to underpin elite athletes' ability to perform deliberate practice, a variable highly related to attainment. Young et al propose a scale for measuring athletes' ability to practice, while Tedesqui et al. examine the concept of 'Consideration of Future Consequences' as a possible buffer of individuals' capability to self-regulate thereby affecting practice behaviours. From the psychological, the symposium shifts to the influence of geographic factors on athlete development. LaForge-MacKenzie et al. consider how geographic factors might constrain the development of Canadian Olympians. In the fourth presentation, Lemez et al. focus on an area of high performance sport that has received very little research attention. More specifically, they examine the developmental histories of high performance athletes in wheelchair basketball. Finally, Schorer et al. considers the maintenance of skilled perceptual performance in elite volleyball players. Collectively, these five presentations highlight the range and complexity of issues currently being considered in sport expertise research.