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Research Reviews

Ecological Dynamics Approach to Skill Acquisition

Keith Davids, Duarte Araújo, Luis Vilar, Ian Renshaw & Ross Pinder

The Big Idea

When asked to comment on what he found to be so special in playing the classical guitar, Andres Segovia spoke of his sitting position in playing it.  He said he leans his body forward slightly to support the guitar against his chest, “for the poetry of the music should resound in our heart.”  So why shouldn’t the poetry of the sports player resound in his or her heart?  Which is what this research study is about:  How can we improve the very heart of our play?


  • Learning sport skills when the goal is developmental change over months or even years is best accomplished when the actual sport performance environment is integrated into the training and testing experiences.
  • Successful learning designs need accurate understanding of the current skill level of the player, the goals and interactions to be learned, and the need to identify the variety of constraints.
  • It is the dynamic sequencing of a player’s...

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