Sport Psychology Declarative Knowledge in Sport: A By-Product of Experience or a Characteristic of Expertise?
This research examined whether skilled sports performers' enhanced declarative knowledge base is a by-product of experience or a characteristic of expertise. Experienced high-skill (n = 12) and low-skill (n = 12) soccer players and physically disabled spectators (n = 12) were tested on soccer recall, recognition, and anticipation ability. MANCOVA showed that high-skill players demonstrated superior anticipatory performance compared with low-skill players, who in turn were better than physically disabled spectators. ANOVA showed that high-skill players demonstrated superior recall performance on structured trials only. Also, low-skill players were significantly better than physically disabled spectators on the structured trials. MANCOVA showed that high-skill players were better at recognizing structured and unstructured trials. No differences were found between low-skill players and physically disabled spectators. It appears that high-skill players possess a larger and more elaborate declarative knowledge base. Thus, declarative knowledge is a constituent of skill rather than a by-product of experience.