Unconstrained: The theory and practice of ecological dynamics in sport

Event status:

Explore the theory and practice of ecological dynamics in sport.

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Monday 05 February 2024 09:00 am until Monday 05 February 2024 05:00 pm (Add to calendar)
School of Allied Health, Human Services and Sport
Presented by:
Kane Middleton
Type of Event:
Alumni; Conference; Forum/symposium; Health/wellbeing/lifestyle; Public Lecture; Seminar/Workshop/Training; Sport

Ecological Dynamics is a contemporary framework in motor learning that merges concepts of dynamical systems theory and ecological psychology for explaining performance, development, and learning in sport contexts. This Symposium is founded on the strategic partnership between La Trobe and Sheffield Hallam Universities and presented by the Sport, Performance and Nutrition Research Group. This collaboration brings together some of the most influential and innovative academics and practitioners in the field, where they will share how they use an ecological dynamics framework to inform their work in movement analysis, coaching, and talent identification and development.

A full agenda will be supplied to all registrants closer to the event. Interaction and conversation will be a key part of this symposium, with plenty of opportunities for participants to engage in discussions, comment on and raise questions in presentations, exchange experiences, and share insights and ideas from different sport contexts.

The symposium will be a hybrid event where registrants can choose to attend face-to-face on our Bundoora campus, watch a live stream, or get access to the recordings after the event.

Coffee and tea will be provided while lunch can be purchased from our food and beverage outlets on campus.

Sign up now to secure your place.

Discounts are available for current University students.  Please email alliedhealthshortcourses@latrobe.edu.au for the discount code.

Prof. Keith Davids

Sheffield Hallam University

Presentation: 'Repetition without Repetition' empowers Skill Adaptation: Implications for Sports Practitioners

Keith is a Professor of Motor Learning with an international reputation for applications of the theory of ecological dynamics as a systems-oriented framework for understanding perception-action coupling in dynamic task performance and the role of functional variability in movement coordination. He has published over 400 peer reviewed publications in international journals and has received over $2m in research funding in projects related to sport, health, and exercise. He has held professorships in UK, New Zealand, Australia, Norway and Finland. He has worked with external organisations in providing advice, guidance and mentorship in training task designs and coach education in UK, Australia, Singapore, Finland and Norway.

Keith will present on behalf of himself and Fabian Otte on how their work underpins contemporary approaches to sports practice, exemplified in the context of preparing professional football goalkeepers for performance.

Craig Morris

British Canoeing

Presentation: Prepared, but not planned: Applying Ecological Dynamics in high performance paddlesport

Craig Morris is an award-winning Olympic Canoe Slalom Coach and high-performance Coach consultant with over 17 years of experience in performance coaching. Craig has gained international recognition for his ability to develop individual athletes and teams through a trans-disciplinary approach to development transcending pathway to podium. Personal coach to 18 individual senior Olympic, World and European podiums and over 35 World Cup podiums, across 4 Olympic disciplines, Craig is regarded as one of the World’s leading Canoe Slalom coaches and skill acquisition specialists. Craig aims to be innovative in his coaching practice and is increasingly engaged worldwide in fields including leadership, coach development, skill acquisition, mentoring and ecological approaches to performance coaching.

Prof. Jonathan Wheat

Sheffield Hallam University

Presentation: Movement variability in sport and exercise biomechanics from an Ecological Dynamics perspective

Jon is Professor of Sport and Exercise Biomechanics and Associate Dean, Research and Innovation in the College of Health, Wellbeing and Life Sciences at Sheffield Hallam University, UK. He has expertise in biomechanics, motor learning and sports engineering research, with 140 peer-reviewed journal articles, conference papers and book chapters, and an income portfolio of approximately £2.2m. His biomechanics work overlaps with motor learning and is heavily influenced by the Ecological Dynamics approach; centred around understanding movement coordination and the functional role of movement variability.

Dr Victoria Brackley

Victorian Institute of Sport

Presentation: In the pool with biomechanics and ecological dynamics

Dr Victoria Brackley, more commonly known at VB, is a Performance Scientist in Biomechanics at the Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS). VB is embedded within the swimming program and also works with individual scholarship athletes, such as para triathlon. Prior to the VIS, VB was a PhD scholar in biomechanics and skill acquisition at Victoria University in partnership with Swimming Australia. VB’s research explored the transfer of drills in the training environment to the skills required in competition. VB also has a background in engineering before entering the high-performance sport arena in late 2015.

A/Prof Carl Woods

Victoria University

Presentation: Harnessing key ideas from an ecological approach to guide performance preparation in sport

Carl is a Principal Research Fellow and co-Lead of the Research Theme Sport that Inspires within the Institute for Health and Sport at Victoria University. Broadly, his research investigates skill, learning, education and knowledge at the intersection of Sport Science, Ecological Psychology, and Anthropology. More recently, he has been exploring ways of learning to live and research more response-ably, which has led him to establish an emerging line of research referred to as a Corresponsive Sport Science.

Dr Derek Panchuk

Derek Panchuk Consulting

Presentation: Using coach observation to check-in on the alignment between contemporary coaching practice and ecological dynamics theory

Dr Derek Panchuk is a world-leading skill acquisition specialist who helps coaches build bridges between the science of learning and the art of coaching so they can discover new ways to develop talent and teams. Derek uses his 20 years of experience in elite sport to support coaches as they create engaging and innovative learning experiences underpinned by the latest research in skill acquisition. Derek is the founder of where he works with coaches to evaluate and grow their coaching toolkit.

Dr Jonathan Leo Ng

RMIT University

Presentation: Rethinking movement assessment: Insights from an ecological dynamics perspective

Jonathan is currently Program Director for the Bachelor of Education at RMIT University. He has a physical education background and has experience in policy and curriculum design with the Ministry of Education (Singapore). He obtained his PhD in the area of motor learning and movement assessment from the University of Otago (New Zealand). His research focuses on the application of ecological dynamics theory in instructional design and approaches. He is currently involved in projects focusing on developing movement competence in children and youth. He is also involved in projects investigating the role of contemporary instructional approaches and its impact on physical activity and wellbeing.

Dr Alex Roberts

Queensland Academy of Sport

Presentation: What makes a talented athlete? It depends! An ecologically-guided approach to talent identification and development

Alex is the Talent Identification and Development Lead at the Queensland Academy of Sport, and an Adjunct Lecturer at La Trobe University. She has experience in qualitative methodologies, skill acquisition and coaching science. Alex has experience in the collection and application of experiential coach knowledge, training design and assessment, and evaluation of feedback and coaching efficacy. She has worked with the Australian Institute of Sport to assess, design and deliver training and training interventions, with a specialisation in combat sports.

Dr Alex Lascu

WA Cricket

Practical Session: The Woolworths Cricket Blast program now encourages centre coordinators to use a stage-based approach to skill development and grouping of young people during activities (aged 5-10yo). The stages closely mimic the phases of skill learning (explore, discover, exploit), but the coordinator training does not mirror this, meaning that their development is treated linearly while they’re expected to respond to nonlinear dynamical systems (young children). To address this dissonance, a portion of the practical training for coordinators has been redesigned to align with ecological dynamics by designing in relevant coaching affordances to develop their attentive responsiveness.

Alex Lascu (she/they) is a skill acquisition specialist working with WA Cricket as the Learning and Capability Specialist for community cricket. After their recent PhD on talent development and ecological dynamics in women’s cricket, she is responsible for the learning and development of all community cricket coaches, umpires and volunteers in Western Australian cricket, as well as researching and supervising students in sports coaching, skill acquisition, ecological dynamics, and the value of community sport.

Ms Courtney Porter

Queensland Academy of Sport

Presentation: The role of skill transfer and learning in high performance talent transfer: Insights from research and practice.

Courtney is a skill acquisition specialist, coach, and researcher with 15 years of experience in the sporting industry. She currently works in partnership with coaches and performance staff to support Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Specifically, Courtney assists in the planning, design, and delivery of training environments that ensure athletes learn to perform when pressure and consequences are at their highest. Courtney has published her work in peer reviewed journals and presented at domestic and international conferences on the topics of practice design, self-regulated learning, and perceptual-motor skills of talent transfer athletes.

Western Lecture Theatre, La Trobe University (Bundoora Campus)



2 Mar 2024 9:36 am

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