Athletes and sports teams as complex adaptive system: A review of implications for learning design. [Atletas y equipos deportivos como sistemas adaptativos complejos: Una revision de las Implicaciones para el diseño del aprendizaje].

Keith Davids


Ecological dynamics is a systems-oriented theoretical framework which conceptualises sport performers as complex adaptive systems. It seeks to understand the adaptive relations that emerge during coordination of interactions between each performer and a specific performance environment. This approach has identified the individual-environment relationship as the relevant scale of analysis for explaining how processes of perception, cognition and action underpin expert performance in sport. This theoretical overview elucidates key ideas from previous work identifying functional characteristics of complex adaptive systems, such as co-adaptation, emergent coordination tendencies and capacity to utilise affordances, which underlie performance and learning in team and individual sports. The review of research focuses on how key principles of ecological dynamics inform our understanding of learning and transfer, and their impact on practice task design in sport development programmes. To support this analysis, data from research on performance of elite and developmental athletes in individual and team sports are presented to highlight important principles of learning design from an ecological dynamics perspective.


La dinámica ecológica es un marco teórico orientado a los sistemas que conceptualiza a los athletas como sistemas complejos adaptativos. Con el objeto de comprender las relaciones adaptativas que surgen durante la coordinación de las interacciones entre cada uno de los athletas y un medio/ambiente de actuación específico. Este enfoque ha identificado la relación individuo-ambiente como la escala de análisis relevante para explicar cómo los procesos de la percepción, la cognición y la acción respaldan el rendimiento de expertos en el deporte. Este documento de posición teórica aclara características funcionales esenciales de los sistemas adaptativos complejos, tales como co-adaptación, tendencias emergentes de coordinación y la capacidad de utilizar affordances, que subyacen en el desempeño y el aprendizaje en deportes individuales y en equipo. La discusión se centra sobre cómo los principios fundamentales de la dinámica ecológica informan nuestra comprensión del aprendizaje y la transferencia, y su impacto en el diseño de tareas prácticas en los programas de desarrollo deportivo. Para apoyar este análisis, se presentan los datos de la investigación sobre el desempeño de los atletas de élite y de desarrollo en los deportes individuales y de equipo para destacar importantes principios de diseño de aprendizaje desde una perspectiva dinámica ecológica.



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Palabras clave/key words

ecological dynamics; complex adaptive systems; coordination tendencies; emergence; constraints; affordances; transfer; learning design.

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RICYDE. Revista Internacional de Ciencias del Deporte

Publisher: Ramón Cantó Alcaraz
ISSN:1885-3137 - Periodicidad Trimestral / Quarterly
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