Dynamics of Skill Acquisition, Second Edition, provides an analysis of the processes underlying human skill acquisition. As the first text to outline the multidisciplinary ecological dynamics framework for understanding movement behavior, this heavily updated edition stays on the cutting edge, with principles of nonlinear pedagogy and methodologies from the constraints-led approach.
Students and practitioners across a variety of professions—including coaches, physical educators, trainers, and rehabilitation specialists—will appreciate the applied focus of this second edition. Movement models throughout the text provide examples for visualizing task constraints and enhancing the study and understanding of movement behavior. Athletes and sports teams are presented as specific complex adaptive systems, with information on designing learning environments and adapting programs to foster skill development.
Readers will learn the historical evolution of dynamical systems theory and the ecological dynamics framework. These foundational concepts illustrate the integration between intentional action, cognition, and decision making and their effects on performance and behavior. Complex theoretical concepts are explained in simple terms and related to practice, focusing on the implications of the work of pioneering researchers such as Nikolai Bernstein, Egon Brunswik, James Gibson, Scott Kelso, and Karl Newell. Case studies written by practitioners contain specific examples of the ecological dynamics framework in action, bringing theory to life. By learning how to identify and manipulate key constraints that influence learning skilled behavior, readers will gain insight into practice designs for creating positive learning experiences that enable individuals to develop and learn functional movements.
Throughout the book, learning features guide readers through material with clear direction and focus to improve understanding. Spotlight on Research sidebars provide detailed descriptions of important studies to connect theory, research, and application. Lab activities teach application skills beyond the content, ensuring reader understanding. In addition, chapter objectives, self-test questions, and Key Concept sidebars highlight important concepts in each chapter.
With the study of human movement now bridging many disciplines, including motor development, psychology, biology, and physical therapy, Dynamics of Skill Acquisition, Second Edition, provides a timely analysis of the ecological dynamics framework and presents a comprehensive model for understanding how coordination patterns are assembled, controlled, and acquired. The theoretical roots and development of the ecological dynamics framework provide application strategies for all people with an interest in movement coordination and control.
AudienceAn upper-level undergraduate or graduate textbook for courses in human movement and skill acquisition. A professional reference for movement practitioners and scientists, including teachers, coaches, trainers, physical educators, physical therapists, rehabilitation specialists, sport scientists, psychologists, biomechanists, sport analysts, and physiologists.
Chapter 1. Athletes and Sports Teams Considered as Complex Adaptive Systems
Chapter 2. Physical Constraints on Coordination: Dynamical Systems Theory
Chapter 3. Informational Constraints on Coordination: An Ecological Psychology Perspective
Chapter 4. Intentionality, Cognition, and Decision Making in Sport
Chapter 5. Understanding the Dynamics of Skill Acquisition
Chapter 6. How Interacting Constraints Support a Nonlinear Pedagogy
Chapter 7. Redefining Learning: Practical Issues for Representative Learning Design
Chapter 8. Designing Individualized Practice Environments
Chapter 9. Practice for Sports Teams
Chapter 10. Modified Perceptual Training for Athletes
Chapter 11. Practitioners as Designers
Chapter 12. Expertise and Talent Development in Sport
Chris Button, PhD, is a professor and the dean of the School of Physical Education, Sport, and Exercise Sciences at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. He received his PhD in sport and exercise science in 2000 from Manchester Metropolitan University in the United Kingdom. His doctoral research focused on coordination and interception skills and applying ecological concepts to the study of interceptive actions.
Button is accredited as a biomechanist through Sport and Exercise Science New Zealand. He is also an executive committee member of the Australasian Skill Acquisition Network. Button regularly works with the coaches and athletes of High Performance New Zealand and has provided sport science support in netball, football (soccer), swimming, and motor sports.
Button publishes his research in a variety of books and journals on sport science, pedagogy, and movement science. Such topics have attracted interest within both scientific and political circles, as evidenced by recent invitations to provide expertise for the New Zealand Ministry of Health, Water Safety New Zealand, High Performance Sport New Zealand, and others. He is also a soccer coach for junior and adult learners.
Ludovic Seifert, PhD, is a professor at the University of Rouen Normandy. He is the vice dean of the Centre d’Etudes des Transformations des Activités Physiques et Sportives (CETAPS) lab and the head of the master’s program in sport performance analysis. He obtained a certificate in physical education in 1998 and a PhD in sport science from the University of Rouen Normandy in 2003.
Seifert’s field of research relates to motor control and learning and expertise and talent development following an ecological dynamics approach. His emphasis focuses on movement coordination and visual-motor skills, with a particular interest in swimming and climbing. Such topics have led him to work closely with several French sport federations (such as swimming, climbing and mountaineering, and ice hockey) and professional clubs. His research has been published and cited extensively in peer-reviewed journals.
Seifert is the university’s representative for Ecological Dynamics & Sport Performance, an e-lab of UNESCO’s UniTwin Complex Systems Digital Campus program. He is also certified as a mountain guide by the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association (IFMGA).
Jia Yi Chow, PhD, is an associate professor in the physical education and sport science department in the National Institute of Education at Nanyang Technological University. He is also an associate dean in the Office of Teacher Education at the same institute.
A physical educator by training, Chow’s area of specialization is in motor control and learning. His key research work includes nonlinear pedagogy, investigation of multiarticular coordination changes, analysis of team dynamics from an ecological psychology perspective, and examining visual-perceptual skills in sports expertise. He works closely with colleagues and practitioners in the Singapore Ministry of Education, local sport institutes, and international collaborators to enhance the work on nonlinear pedagogy.
Duarte Araújo, PhD, is an associate professor and director of the department of sport and health and faculty of human kinetics at the University of Lisbon in Portugal. He leads both the research center of this school, CIPER, as well as the Laboratory of Expertise in Sport. He is an associate editor of the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise as well as the Journal of Expertise.
Araújo’s research on sport expertise and decision making, performance analysis, and affordances for physical activity has been funded by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia. He has published more than 130 papers in scientific journals (with over 4,500 citations in the Web of Science) and more than 15 books about expertise, team performance, variability, cognition, and decision making in sport. He also supervises several doctoral students from Portugal, Italy, and Australia.
Keith Davids, PhD, is a professor of motor learning at the Sport and Human Performance Research Group at Sheffield Hallam University. He graduated from the University of London and obtained a PhD in psychology and physical education at the University of Leeds. He has previously held professorial positions in the United Kingdom (Manchester Metropolitan University), New Zealand (University of Otago), Australia (Queensland University of Technology), and Finland (Finnish Distinguished Professor in the faculty of sport and health sciences at the University of Jyväskylä).
Davids’ research program investigates sport performance, skill acquisition, and expertise enhancement in sport and how to design learning, training, and practice environments to successfully achieve these outcomes. He collaborates on research in sport, physical activity, and exercise with colleagues at universities in Spain, Portugal, France, Netherlands, Iran, Macedonia, New Zealand, Australia, and Finland. A large proportion of his scientific and practical research has been undertaken in collaboration with the New Zealand South Island Sports Academy, the Queensland Academy of Sport, the Australian Institute of Sport, Diving Australia, Cricket Australia, GB Cycling, and the English Institute of Sport.