Ecological dynamics and transfer from practice to performance in sport
This chapter reviews ideas and implications of Nonlinear Pedagogy for implementing transfer of training in sport. The micro-structure of practice refers to how coaches and practitioners simulate critical aspects of competitive performance environments in training programs to develop skills and enhance performance of individual athletes. Specifying information is a Gibsonian term from ecological psychology that is roughly equivalent to the ‘gold standard’ information needed to regulate specific actions, such as vision of the take-off board to regulate gait control in run-ups for long jumpers. The design of practice micro-structure can enhance the relationship between information and action by simulating conditions of competitive performance. The proposal in ecological dynamics, that specifying information is functionally relevant for regulating human behaviors, has clear implications for specificity of transfer in sport. The interaction of specific practice experiences in a given sport, with earlier, variable, non-specific practice experiences, could benefit long-term development of excellence.