The theory of Ecological Dynamics proposes that talented performance in sport emerges when an individual continuously adapts to surrounding constraints to develop an increasingly functional relationship with a specific performance environment. Crucial to this relationship is the way in which a talent development environment (conceptualised as an ecological niche) impacts upon athlete development practices. The daily, weekly and monthly development tasks athletes engage in must support a deeply intertwined relationship between values (affordances) and meaning (information), which can lead to performance excellence during competition. This perspective of talent development may be challenged by the associated values, beliefs, traditions, customs, behaviours, and attitudes that are embedded within the ecological niche. To protect development practices against social, cultural and historical norms, it is suggested that performance managers and coaches should design collaborative and integrated practice programs, based on a coherent theoretical framework of learners and the learning process, to enhance athlete functionality.