How Did We Get Here? Exploring the Evolution of Athletic Development Perspectives

Oakley, Ben (2021). How Did We Get Here? Exploring the Evolution of Athletic Development Perspectives. In: Heaney, Caroline; Kentzer, Nichola and Oakley, Ben eds. Athletic Development: A Psychological Perspective. New York: Routledge, pp. 20–37.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003153450

URL: https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.432...

Abstract

This chapter provides a broader context of the different psychological perspectives often used in studying athletic development. It explores how psychological aspects of athletic development, as partly represented by the chapters in this book, link to each other and can be traced back to earlier foci. The field of athletic development has always been influenced by those studying elite athletes and excellence. At the time the Cold War was at its height and many coaches and sport scientists started to believe that physical profiling of young children might yield advantages in finding talent and success in the global sporting arms race. In contrast to measuring the quantity and quality of practice, the interest amongst some sport psychologists was on a more social perspective. The study of the environment that surrounds an athlete has a holistic focus on the overall atmosphere, relationships, culture, and organisational factors.

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