This paper summarizes a keynote presentation the author gave in 2017 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA) focused on the decade of research in motor development between 2007 and 2017. It was organized around an agenda for the future proposed by Thelen in the year 2000, which included 6 themes: multimodal perception and action, formal models and robotics, embodied cognition, neural bases of motor skill development, learning and plasticity, and cultural and individual differences. The author also covers an impactful area of research on the links between motor competence and physical activity and health-related fitness. Important discoveries between 2007 and 2017 have reinforced the idea that motor development makes a fundamental contribution to virtually every domain of development.
David I. Anderson
David I. Anderson and Anthony M. Mayo
This paper examines the costs and benefits of early specialization in sport from a skill acquisition perspective. The focus is on whether early specialization in a single sport is the best way to facilitate the acquisition of skill in that sport. The paper is organized relative to the two major conceptual frameworks that have motivated much of the discussion about early specialization in sport: the theory of deliberate practice and the Developmental Model of Sport Participation. Our analysis reveals that while early specialization in sport is one way to reach elite status, it is not the only way. Considerable evidence shows that many elite athletes specialized in their sport late, following diversified experiences with other sports. These findings raise a number of exciting questions about the long-term development of skill in sport.