Performance milestones in the development of expertise: Are they critical?
Taylor and Francis
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Exercise and Health Sciences/Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research
Fifty-seven female netballers completed a training history profile to examine whether the achievement of performance milestones and/or accumulation of sport-specific practice were indicative of an athlete's level of expertise. Similar to previous research, results revealed that expert and developmental athletes accumulated a greater number of hours in netball-specific practice relative to the recreational participants, but did not differ in the number of sports played or hours accumulated in non-netball specific practice. Interestingly, some performance milestones were achieved by the expert and developmental athletes earlier than the recreational participants, however, the developmental athletes achieved a number of milestones at an earlier age than the experts. These findings are discussed in relation to contemporary models of skill development, namely deliberate practice (Ericsson, Krampe, & Tesch-Römer, 1993) and the developmental model of sport participation (Côté, 1999) and the underpinning socio-environmental factors that may influence sport participation and subsequent development of expertise.