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J Sports Sci Med. 2003 Mar 1;2(1):1-9. eCollection 2003 Mar.

Nurturing sport expertise: factors influencing the development of elite athlete.

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School of Physical and Health Education Queen's University , Canada.


The development of expertise in sport is the result of successful interaction of biological, psychological, and sociological constraints. This review examines the training and environmental factors that influence the acquisition of sport expertise. Research examining the quality and quantity of training indicate that these two elements are crucial predictors of attainment. In addition, the possession of resources such as parental support and adequate coaching are essential. Social factors such as cultural influences and the relative age effect are also considered as determinants of sport expertise. Although it is evident that environmental factors are essential to the acquisition of high levels of sport development, further research is clearly required.


Parents; coaching; practice; skill-acquisition


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