Differences in self-regulatory skills among talented athletes: The significance of competitive level and type of sport

Laura Jonker*, Marije T. Elferink-Gemser, Chris Visscher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Research has shown that talented athletes outscore their mainstream peers on the basis of self-regulation. Although valuable, this does not tell us more about the distinction between good athletes and the best, which is a prerequisite in talent development. Therefore, we examined the self-regulatory skills of 222 male and female talented athletes aged 12-16 years as a function of competitive sport level (junior international or junior national athletes) and type of sport (individual or team sports). Multivariate analyses of covariance in combination with a discriminant function analysis revealed that oreflectiono distinguishes between athletes at the highest levels of excellence. Furthermore, athletes playing individual sports had higher scores on oplanningo and oefforto than team sport athletes, highlighting the importance of differences between types of sport. In conclusion, we emphasize the importance of reflection as a self-regulatory skill. Reflection facilitates the development of sport-specific characteristics, which may vary by type of sport. This means that an advanced sense of reflection may help talented athletes to acquire desirable characteristics during their otalento years to ultimately reach adult elite levels of competition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number922927272
Pages (from-to)901-908
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Volume28
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Metacognition
  • motivation
  • expert youth athletes
  • individual
  • team sports
  • talent development
  • DELIBERATE PRACTICE
  • HOCKEY PLAYERS
  • PERFORMANCE
  • LEARNER
  • ELITE
  • STRATEGIES
  • MODEL

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