The target article describes an interesting study, which provides some challenging findings regarding athletes' pathway to excellence. The suggested links between critical life events, need for success, personal characteristics, and eventual performance level make sense from a psychodynamic perspective. This commentary will discuss some critical points related to the application of the findings in talent identification and -development programs. These are (1) the possible effect of the selection of participants on the results (including the impact of dependence on others for team sport athletes and the opportunity for multiple medal attainment), (2) a lack of detail in the description of how the athletes approached the critical life events (the perception of an event may contribute more to development than the event itself), and (3) a lack of detail in the description of the practice process throughout development. Some interesting differences were found in the motivation for and approach to practice, but little detail was given about what the athletes exactly were doing at the time. The concept of self-regulated learning may be useful in explaining how super-elite athletes action their goals through quality practice.
- prestatie psychologie