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Coaching practice
Dynamical systems
Ecological psychology
Non-linear pedagogy
Task constraints
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Renshaw, I., Davids, K. W., Shuttleworth, R., & Chow, J. Y. (2009). Insights from ecological psychology and dynamical systems: Theory can underpin a philosophy of coaching. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 40(4), 580-602.
The aim of this paper is to show how principles of ecological psychology and dynamical systems theory can underpin a philosophy of coaching practice in a non-llnear pedagogy. Nonlinear pedagogy is based on a view of the human movement system as a nonlinear dynamical system and has been basically defined as the application of concepts and tools of nonlinear dynamics to coaching practice. A systems orientation is adopted to show how nonlinear dynamical movement systems demonstrate an openness to environmental information flows, use inherent degeneracy to adapt movements to dynamic environments, show capacity for self-organisation, and fluctuate between stability and instability as changes in constraints on performance shape transitions in system organisation. We demonstrate how this perspective of the human movement system can aid understanding of motor learning processes and underpin practice /or sports coaches. We provide a description of nonlinear pedagogy followed by a consideration of some of the fundamental principles of ecological psychology and dynamical systems theory that underpin it as a coaching philosophy. We illustrate how each principle impacts on nonlinear pedagogical coaching practice, demonstrating how they can substantiate a framework for the coaching process.
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