The contribution of structured activity and deliberate play to the development of expert perceptual and decision-making skill
Posted by Dean Holden at May 24th, 2013
Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 2008, 30, 685-708
© 2008 Human Kinetics, Inc.
Above diagram taken from: Soberlak, P. & Cote, J. (2003) The Developmental Activities of Elite Ice Hockey Players. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 15 (1), pages 41 – 49.
The developmental histories of 32 players in the Australian Football League (AFL), independently classified as either expert or less skilled in their perceptual and decision- making skills, were collected through a structured interview process and their year-on-year involvement in structured and deliberate play activities retrospectively determined. Despite being drawn from the same elite level of competition, the expert decision-makers differed from the less skilled in having accrued, during their developing years, more hours of experience in structured activities of all types, in structured activities in invasion-type sports, in invasion-type deliberate play, and in invasion activities from sports other than Australian football. Accumulated hours invested in invasion-type activities differentiated between the groups, suggesting that it is the amount of invasion-type activity that is experienced and not necessarily intent (skill development or fun) or specificity that facilitates the development of perceptual and decision-making expertise in this team sport.
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