A balanced approach to excellence: Life-skill intervention and elite performance

Deidre Anderson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


An elite performer in the modern world must discipline themselves to train and practice for many years and dedicate most of every day in pursuit of their dreams. Many countries have been developing systems to identify this talent very early in life and are finding new ways to nurture it. The challenge for most elite performers is to learn how to function in such an intense environment by building resilience in order to cope with the transitions and demands required in both elite performance and life. These skills are often underdeveloped as a result of the myopic environment typically created for the elite performer. One of the most challenging transitions often faced is retirement. The basis of much research in this area has been undertaken in sport. Other performance environments such as dance and music have also captured the interest of researchers. This growing body of literature has led to some performance environments introducing early intervention programmes to broaden the life skills of the performer. The belief is that this will protect them from the uncertainty and anxiety about their futures and will result in fewer traumas when they have to deal with the transition from elite performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-620
Number of pages12
JournalReflective Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


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