Sport science, in both application and research, has traditionally been the road not taken in understanding sports performance in the Middle East. Similarly, within motor sport, a limited knowledge base exists in either the physiological or psychological aspects of performance. For instance, less than ten articles on motor sport have been published in the major sport science journals. However, as we navigate this territory it will become evident that in the U.A.E. and in Qatar (see Chapter 13), sport science has been recognised as the royal road to excellence in sports performance. This new avenue has the potential, not only to illuminate the processes for identifying and nurturing talent, but as we will see, it has ramifications for our understanding of exercise, health and psychological well-being in contemporary Middle Eastern society. In this chapter, we reviewed the Arab roots of sport science, explored the current approaches of this interdisciplinary domain, and highlighted how sport science has the capacity to influence research and practice in allied fields. The discipline of sport and exericse psychology was elucidated and particular attention was given to the scientist – practitioner model. Furthermore, limitations of particular research topics were noted and the role of both PST and metacognition was alluded to. Debates between two routes to explain the development of expertise were resolved on the basis of recent theories and evidence. And furthermore, the ability of the theory of deliberate practice to provide a road map for talent identification is clarified. And finally, the case study exemplifies an integrated applied sport science based approach to talent identification in motorsport. The consequences of this approach are two-fold. Firstly, as stated by Mohammed Bin Sulaymen (2011b), “this experience that the drivers are getting will be incredibly beneficial to their racing career and their aspirations of racing on a world stage.” And secondly, the case study demonstrates the potential of sport science to describe, explain, and predict performance to key stakeholders in the Middle East. To paraphrase the poet Robert Frost, sport science can make all the difference.
|Title of host publication||Sport Management in the Middle East: A Case Study Analysis|
|Editors||Mohammed Ben Sulayem, Sean O'Connor, David Hassan|
|Publication status||Published (in print/issue) - 15 Mar 2013|