A multitude of performance domains pursue the goal of understanding how we develop talent
and expertise. Therefore, the main objective of the present work was to embrace this pursuit
whilst operating in a sporting context. The work initially adopted an exploratory, critical and
investigative approach to the problem with the remaining series of studies emerging from these
initial findings. Study 1 utilised ethnographic enquiry over an eighteen month period whilst
working in collaboration with the Rugby Football Union Elite Referee Unit. The study found
shifts in existing perspectives of expertise and talent development including a) the movement
from a descriptive and phase-staged approach to one which is dynamic and non-linear, b) nonnormative as well as normative influences, c) recognition of an 'expert self as intrapersonal,
interpersonal, group and social, d) expertise development existing at micro-, meso- and macrodevelopment levels, e) an integrative, contextualised and multiplicative nature of expertise, f)
emergent as well as planned development, g) identification of a 'nested' and ecological outlook
of expertise acknowledging the necessity of a positive 'talent development environment'.
Additionally, mechanisms of expertise expanded on the existing theory of deliberate practice to
include 'deliberate experience' and 'transfer of skills'. In sum- study 1 encountered an approach
to expertise which embraced complexity and paradox, was equally psycho-social dynamic than
intrapersonal and fostered the necessity for a creation of contexts from which elite performance
can morph. From these findings, and alternative studies and readings, a period of reflection
occurred where models of 'non-linear and dynamical systems', 'talent development
environments', 'adaptive expertise', 'fractal models' and the promotion of adaptive expertise,
self-regulation and meta-cognitive skills required to negotiate the complex pathway associated
with eminent performance was explored before a final sense-making notion of 'expertise as
constructivism' was embraced. The remainder of the work embraced this constructivist
approach of expertise and talent development which was then researched in collaboration with
the Scottish Small-Bore Shooting team over a two year period. The period of work embraced
'constructivism as action research'. Study 2 utilised an 'ecological task analysis' of the Scottish
Small Bore Shooting team and its members to identify constraints and affordances of excellence.
It also served as a benchmark of existing levels of expertise which were evaluated at the end of
the action research. Study 3 served as the primary research study and assessed the overall
efficacy of the constructivist developmental approach inclusive of major transition processes
over the two year period as served by the constructivist design. The program was deemed
successful in relation to performance outcomes at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.
Study 4 focused on the importance of creating constructivist 'talent development environments'
in comparison to an existing work of literature. Findings suggest a constructivist talent
development environment which attends to both the planned and emergent nature of expertise
requires fostering. Finally, a theoretical model of constructivist expertise and talent development
is offered encompassing the overall findings of the work.