The perceptions and practices of talent development for female cricketers : a skill acquisition perspective

  • Alex Lascu

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    As the profile of women in sport continues to grow and the Australian Women’s Cricket Team players become household names, the lack of representation by female athletes in research needed to be addressed. Through a detailed literature review from a holistic perspective, we have provided a foundation of knowledge for talent development in cricket using ecological dynamics as a contemporary approach to human movement and skill acquisition. The experiential knowledge of elite female cricketers and coaches was captured in two qualitative studies to ground the knowledge and theories of talent development with key stakeholder experiences. The initial investigation of perceptions and practices of talent development in cricket outlined an inherent reliance on talent identification, a linear pathway experience for players, a rise in professionalism, and misaligned coaching practices for skill development. To address these key issues, a grounded theory approach to professionalism was taken and the roles of athletes and organisations in promoting women’s sport were explored. Two field-based experiments were then conducted centring on skill development approaches at the foundation level of the talent development pathway. Based on an informed framework of skill acquisition and representative task design, it appears that skill development at the amateur level could be improved to provide greater talent development opportunities for more female cricketers. A controlled trial intervention indicated that representative learning design is appropriate for skill development with amateur female cricketers, with improved skills in a majority of bowlers and batters. To support the ongoing growth of cricket for women, opportunities to compete and develop talent should occur beyond the talent development pathway in local cricketing communities by improving coaching practices and allowing players to develop at their unique rate. Key outputs from this thesis include a task design tool developed for coaches to support their approaches to skill and talent development, a grounded theory of professionalism for women in sport and a guide to creating holistic talent development programs.
    Date of Award2021
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorNaroa Etxebarria (Supervisor), Wayne Spratford (Supervisor) & David Pyne (Supervisor)

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