A Balanced approach to excellence: life-skill intervention and elite performance

Deidre Anderson

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


    To become an elite performer in the modern world, individuals must discipline themselves to train and practice for many years. Usually they need to dedicate most of every day in pursuit of their dreams. More and more countries have been developing systems to identify this talent very early in life and are finding new ways to nurture it. The challenge faced by most elite performers is how to manage this intense focus and still build a resilience and capacity to meet the many transitions and demands required in both elite performance and life. These skills are more often than not under developed 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 (Alison and Meyer 1988, Baillie 1993, Blann and Zaichkowsky 1989, Blinde and Greendorfer 1985, Lerch 1984, Lavallee et al. 1997). Other performance environments such as dance and music have also captured the interest of researchers (Davidson and Burland 2006, Burland and Davidson 2004, Patton and Ryan 2000, Saposnek 1995, Patton and McMahon 1999, Wallach 1988). This growing body of literature has led to some performance environments introducing early intervention programs 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
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the Interntional Symposium on Performance Science 2009
    EditorsAaron Williamon, Sharman Pretty, Ralph Buck
    Place of PublicationUtrecht, The Netherlands
    PublisherAEC (European Association of Conservatories)
    Number of pages11
    ISBN (Print)9789490306014
    Publication statusPublished - 2009
    EventInterntional Symposium on Performance Science 2009 - Auckland
    Duration: 15 Dec 200918 Dec 2009


    ConferenceInterntional Symposium on Performance Science 2009


    • transitions
    • life-skills
    • athlete identity
    • athlete foreclosure
    • self identity


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