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Research Reviews

The Spawns of Creative Behaviour in Team Sports: A Creativity Developmental Framework

Sara D. L. Dos Santos, Daniel Memmert, Jaime Sampaio, and Nuno Leite

The Big Idea 

In the team sports it is traditional that when coaches are asked what they are coaching, the usual response is, for example, “I coach soccer.”  But if soccer coaches were collectively to adopt the general idea of what these researchers call the Creativity Development Framework, they might be more inclined to say “I coach creativity.”  However odd this latter response may seem, the authors of this paper imply that this is exactly what coaches should be coaching.  They propose a science-based non-system of five incremental development stages from youth beginner levels through post-16 ages guided entirely by the unfolding characteristics of player creativity.


  • The five age-defined stages are beginner, explorer, illuminati, creator, and rise.
  • In the early stages practice and training environments promote intrinsic motivation, diversification, deliberate play, and non-linear pedagogies where discovery and exploration are encouraged.
  • In the later stages there is progressive specialization where game-emphasis training enhances player abilities and talents to make creative connections between differing contexts.
  • Manipulating task constraints...

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