Pathways to elite performance
Posted by Dean Holden at July 4th, 2013
by Pathways to the Podium Research Team, 23 March 2011
If we were to take a sample of some of the World’s most decorated athletes, and have a quick glance at how they came to arrive at the pinnacle of their respective sports, we would find that there are a number of alternative pathways toward achieving sporting success.
On the one hand there are athletes like Tiger Woods who are considered child prodigies due to their high level of involvement and achievement in their sport from a very young age. On the other hand there are athletes like Wayne Gretzky who, although quite successful in their sport as a child, are known to have played a variety of sports until late adolescence. Yet still different again, there are athletes like Clara Hughes who after being hugely successful in one sport, decide to transfer their skills to another sport, subsequently achieving great success in the second sport as well!
The Pathways to the Podium Research Project will explore the sporting experiences of athletes in detail, however in an upcoming three-part series we review the existing research relating to alternative pathways to elite performance. The first article in the series will consider elite performance via early specialisation, the second will discuss elite performance via diversification, and the third will look at elite performance via talent transfer.