Motor Development and Sport Psychology

Motor Development and Sport Psychology

It is understandable why our subdisciplines have sparingly cited research or integrated knowledge from the other subdiscipline. The time, effort, and energy involved in reading massive amounts of literature on a particular topic can be daunting. This tmtplay necessarily points to the need for more collaboration between scholars from complementary areas of expertise to fully understand common topics of interest. This also reinforces the goals of the I-MDRC to join researchers from various backgrounds, share ideas about developmental research agendas, and develop strategies to increase scholarly impact through meaningful collaborations. Now that I have separately examined,

A second way of integrating knowledge

shifting from primarily cross-sectional to more longitudinal designs to assess change in motor behavior over time and the processes that underlie change (e.g., socioenvironmental factors). The majority of studies testing relationships in Stodden et al.’s (2008) model are characterized by correlational designs, and many studies replicated others with different age groups or measures of perceived competence. One exception was a longitudinal study by Barnett, Morgan, van Beurden, and Beard (2008) guided by Harter’s (1978) competence motivation theory, where elementary-age students were again assessed as adolescents to examine the relationship between object control skill and physical activity (and fitness) with perceived sport competence as a mediator.

Sport specialization

Hot topic suitable for longitudinal, cross-disciplinary research. Scholars in motor development (Goodway & Robinson, 2015), sport psychology (Horn, 2015), and motor learning (Anderson & Mayo, 2015) reviewed the benefits and downsides of sport specialization from their disciplinary perspective. Sport sampling v. sport specialization approaches were discussed based on biological maturation, fundamental motor competence, deliberate practice, specificity of learning, self-perceptions, motivational orientations, and socioenvironmental influences. The authors from all three subdisciplines concluded that early diversification of motor and sport skill participation is the preferable approach for positive transfer to specialization at older ages, if desired, and the ability to be physically active for a lifetime in traditional and nontraditional sports

Mixed-methods approach

That employs a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods is another means by which motor development and sport psychology scholars can join forces. The motor development studies I reviewed primarily assessed fundamental motor skills using the TGMD and perceived competence with pictorial and paper-and-pencil measures. Most youth sport psychology research has been conducted with 8-year and older youth using valid and age-appropriate quantitative and qualitative methods. Both methods are beneficial when studying young children, who have limited cognitive skills in attention, memory, and verbal ability. I am reminded of a study based on my experience as director of CSSP. I continuously encountered children who avoided dressing for swim lessons or who observably showed tentativeness in the water


But many opportunities await us for interweaving ideas for enriching our mutual study of youth development in physical activity contexts. I am hopeful that the theme of motor skill development and physical activity through a social psychological lens has translated to provocative ideas for integrating theories, designs, methods, and topics that capture our common interest. The theme also brings me back full circle to my foundational experiences as a youth sport coach, as a doctoral student learning the benefits of integrating subdisciplines, for more information and a guide visit tmtplay casino

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