Sport debut, adolescent talents and expert performance in sport as adult
2013 (English)In: Sociology and Sport in Face of New Challenges: The 10th European Association for Sociology of Sport Conference / [ed] Álvaro Rodríguez Díaz, David Moscoso Sánchez, Jesús Fernández Gavira, José Vinas Rodríhuez and Francisco Pires Vega, Cordoba: European Association for Sociology of Sport , 2013, 96-96 p.Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Research has showed that expertise, expert performances and differences between more and less skillful individuals, depend on experience (Coté et al, 2007; Ericsson, 2006). In this study we have investigated relationships between sport debut, perceived ability in sport during childhood and adolescence, and sport participation in adulthood among those who have not reached expertise levels. Result from the questionnaires (n 573) show that 93 percent of the respondents have practiced organized sport in their youth. A majority (63 %) are still active members in a sports club. Moreover, 19 percent made their sports debut before the age of five, 59 percent between the ages six and eight and 22 percent after the age of eight. By their own estimate, one third of the students were among the best athletes in their region before the age of 13 and 50 percent were selected to regional talent groups as teenagers. Those of them who practice organized sport today ranked their ability during childhood and adolescence higher. Many of those who made their sport debut early stated that they were selected to talent groups during their adolescence. One conclusion is that selections in sport not only impact on those who reach expertise levels, but also shape recruitment to broad sports. A second conclusion is that the effects of early sport debut and being selected to talent groups as adolescents are small with regard to expertise and expert performances in adulthood. On the other hand it is evident that early sport debut is positively related to being selected to talent groups. These findings can be understood in the light of Ericsson’s (2006) arguments that experience develops ability faster in the beginning of a learning process but that a continued development is harder to predict, even if one has been deemed talented and promising.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cordoba: European Association for Sociology of Sport , 2013. 96-96 p.
talent identification, talent development, expertise
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-71035OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-71035DiVA: diva2:621710
The 10th European Association for Sociology of Sport Conference, May 8-11, 2013, Cordoba, Spain.