Developing Creativity to Enhance Human Potential in Sport: A Wicked Transdisciplinary Challenge

Citations of this article
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.


The challenge of developing creativity to enhance human potential is conceptualized as a multifaceted wicked problem due to the countless interactions between people and environments that constitute human development, athletic skill, and creative moments. To better comprehend the inter-relatedness of ecologies and human behaviors, there have been increasing calls for transdisciplinary approaches and holistic ecological models. In this paper we explore an ecological dynamics rationale for creativity, highlighting the conceptual adjacency of key concepts from transdisciplinarity, dynamic systems theory, ecological psychology and social-cognitive psychology. Our aim is to extend the scope of ecological dynamics and contextualize the application of non-linear pedagogy in sport. Foregrounding the role of sociocultural constraints on creative behaviors, we characterize the athlete-environment system as an ecological niche that arises from, and simultaneously co-creates, a form of life. We elaborate the notion that creative moments, skill and more generally talent in sport, are not traits possessed by individuals alone, but rather can be conceived as properties of the athlete-environment system shaped by changing constraints. This re-conceptualization supports a pedagogical approach predicated on notions of athletes and sports teams as complex adaptive systems. In such systems, continuous non-linear interactions between system components support the exploration of fluent and flexibly creative performance solutions by athletes and sports teams. The implications for practice suggest that cultivating a constellation of constraints can facilitate adaptive exploration of novel affordances (opportunities/invitation for action), fostering creative moments and supporting creative development in athletes. Future models or frameworks for practice contend that pedagogies should emerge from, and evolve in, interaction with the sociocultural context in which practitioners and athletes are embedded.




Vaughan, J., Mallett, C. J., Davids, K., Potrac, P., & López-Felip, M. A. (2019). Developing Creativity to Enhance Human Potential in Sport: A Wicked Transdisciplinary Challenge. Frontiers in Psychology, 10.

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free