Breadth and depth of knowledge in expert versus novice athletes

John Sutton, Doris J. F. McIlwain

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    This chapter discusses the complex open sports, reliance on knowledge is often treated with some suspicion by elite athletes and coaches, and ambivalent attitudes to expert knowledge are also apparent in the theories. The complex, highly structured, culturally embedded worlds of elite sport afford extraordinary opportunities for cognitive scientists to study the mind in action. The tasks posed in professional sport are extremely diverse, and both the role and the application of expert knowledge will likely vary widely. Terminology in this area can be confusing, and the utility of the term “knowledge” in this context is not secure: a richer vocabulary would be welcome. The well-established expert advantages in perceptual anticipation, such that experts attend to relevant advance cues and can predict the time course of events earlier and more accurately, are not isolated from cognition, but spring from and, in turn, test and update the experts’ elaborated knowledge.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationRoutledge handbook of sport expertise
    EditorsJoseph Baker, Damian Farrow
    Place of PublicationLondon ; New York
    PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis Group
    Number of pages11
    ISBN (Electronic)9781317691181
    ISBN (Print)9781315776675
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Publication series

    NameRoutledge international handbooks


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