3rd Edition

Developing Sport Expertise Researchers and Coaches Put Theory into Practice

Edited By Damian Farrow, Joe Baker, Clare MacMahon Copyright 2024
    180 Pages 29 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    180 Pages 29 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The athlete development process spans from initial sport engagement to elite-level performance to effective career transition out of sport. This is a long and complicated process. Identifying and nurturing talent, fine-tuning sport skills, and maintaining high levels of performance over the course of a career requires many thousands of hours of training and, increasingly, the input and support of expert coaches and sport scientists.

    In this fully revised and updated new edition of the leading student and researcher overview of the development of sport expertise, a team of world-class sport scientists and professional coaches examine the fundamental science of skill acquisition and explore the methods by which science can be applied in the real-world context of sport performance.

    This book surveys the very latest research in skill acquisition, provides a comprehensive and accessible review of core theory and key concepts, and includes an innovative "Coach’s Corner" feature in each chapter, in which leading coaches offer insights from elite sport and critique contemporary practice in sport skill development. The third edition of Developing Sport Expertise will be invaluable reading for all researchers and students in the areas of expertise in sport, skill acquisition, motor control and development, sport psychology, or coaching theory and practice.

    1. A Very Brief Introduction to Applied Sport Expertise

    Damian Farrow, Joe Baker, and Clare MacMahon

    2. Sowing the Seeds of Success: Specialization, Diversification and Early Athlete Training

    Joe Baker, Gillian Ramsay and Alexandra Mosher

    3. The Athletic Skills Model as a Foundation for the Development of Expertise: Creating Challenging Environments

    Geert J.P. Savelsbergh and Rene Wormhoudt

    4. Coaching for Creativity

    Veronique Richard and Darren Holder

    5. Predicting Athletes’ Futures – A Necessity with Little Scientific Basis

    Till Koopmann, Kathryn Johnston, Alex Roberts, and Jörg Schorer

    6. The Expert Sports Official in Research and Practice

    Clare MacMahon, Tammie van Biemen, Henning Plessner, and Alexandra Pizzera

    7. Developing the Expert Performance Coach

    Mark W. Bruner, Colin McLaren, Rachel Van Woezik, and Jean Côté

    8. Evaluating Coaching Expertise

    Chris Cushion

    9. Technology Supported Coaching

    Damian Farrow, Peter Le Noury and Olivia Cant

    10. Self-Regulated Learning in Sport Practice: Agency, Assessment, and Actioning

    Bradley W. Young, Lisa Bain and Joseph Baker

    11. Data Informed Practice

    Tim Buszard and Sam Robertson

    12. Perception and Pressure: Research and Implications

    Mark R Wilson, Samuel J Vine, Tom Arthur and David J Harris

    13. Play with and Against! Insights for the Development of Decision Making in Team Sports

    Pedro Passos

    14. Developing Technical Skill Expertise

    Georgia Giblin, David Whiteside and Machar Reid

    15. Female Sport Expertise through a Skill Acquisition Lens: A Key Future Direction

    Clare MacMahon, Anthea Clarke, Alana Leabeater, and Alex Roberts


    Damian Farrow is the Umpiring Coaching & Innovation Manager for the Australian Football League. He is also a Professor of Skill Acquisition at the Institute of Health and Sport, Victoria University, Australia. His current roles are typical of Damian’s career, being situated both in the high-performance sports industry and academia. His research and practical interests centre on the development of sport expertise with a particular focus on practice methodology and decision-making skills. Damian is the author/editor of seven books and over 150 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.

    Joseph Baker is Professor and Tanenbaum Chair in Sport Science, Data Modelling and Sport Analytics in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education at the University of Toronto, Canada. He has also held visiting researcher/professor positions at the Carnegie Research Institute at Leeds Metropolitan University in the United Kingdom, Victoria University and the Australian Institute of Sport in Australia, and the Institute of Sport Science at Westflische Wilhelms-Universit Münster in Germany. His research considers the varying influences on optimal human development, ranging from issues affecting athlete development and skill acquisition to barriers and facilitators of successful aging. Joe is Past President of the Canadian Society for Psychomotor Learning and Sport Psychology and the author/editor of 12 books and over 200 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.

    Clare MacMahon is an Associate Professor at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. With a particular focus on talent development in sport and expertise in sports officiating, Clare’s research brings together cognitive psychology and human movement. Clare is active in skill acquisition in Australia and internationally, having co-established the Australasian Skill Acquisition Network, which brings together researchers and practitioners, and as the Oceania representative for Sport Psychology to the International Association of Applied Psychology.