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Skill in Sport

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Stephanie Webb

on 2 October 2014

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Transcript of Skill in Sport

Skill in Sport
'Skill is the learned ability to bring about predetermined results with maximum certainty and efficiency.

For example, scoring a goal in basketball is a skill, A technique would be a lay up.

Skill is a learned pattern of movement that we choose to use, and therefore decision making is an important part of skill. Practice and repetition help decision making and therefore aid skill.

Am I in a good position to score? How far out am I? Where is the defender?

Talented athletes often make complicated skills look easy and they select the right skill at the right time.
What is skill?
Types of skill
Basic Skills v Complex Skills
Basic skills are simple skills that we often learn first, and they form the basis of most sports. They do not require intricate body movements. For example, running.

Can you think of any other examples?

Complex skills can require more movements and finer control of many body parts. They may be more specific to a sport.

To perform a tennis serve what would you need to know and practise?
Fine motor skills v Gross motor skills
Open Skill v Closed Skill
Open skills are movements that vary depending on the environment. This can include the weather, other players and the playing surface. The performer is consistently monitoring the situation to stimulate the skill response.

Closed skills are normally in a fixed environment and the athlete has more control. The practice conditions normally replicate the competition conditions.

Most skills are a mixture of closed and open skills.

The more open the skill, the more you respond to the environment.

Factors affecting skill
There are many factors that can affect skill. Consider the following ...
Age and maturity
Motivation (the driving force which makes us do something)
Arousal conditions (the intensity of the motivation)
Teaching/Coaching experiences
Personality- Extroverts v Introverts.
How do we learn skills?
We learn skills by moving through three phases. These are called...

Cognitive Phase

Associative Phase
Autonomous Phase
See page 112, The world of sport examined.
How do we perform a skill?
Information-Processing Model
1. Input
- brain receives information from our senses on the situation. Messages from our joints, skin, muscles and inner ear provide information on movements and body position.
Selective attention
- allows us to block out irrelevant information, this improves with experience. This is important due to
limited channel capacity
2. Decision making
- we use our memory (based on experience) and perception (how we interpret the information) to anticipate and make sense of the information and make a decision.
3. Output
- the reaction to the situation. The central nervous system (CNS) sends signals to muscles to perform.
4. Feedback
- provides vital information about the outcome and success of our decisions.
Gross motor are movements that involve large muscle groups. They often involve strength, endurance and power

For example running, discus throw

Fine motor skills involve smaller muscle groups that are intricate, precise and often require high levels of hand eye coordination. For example darts and catching a ball.

Again gross and fine skills can be placed on a continuum.

Can you think of any examples that include both gross and fine movements?

Information Processing
Selective Attention
Limited Channel Capacity
The Action
Internal Feedback
External Feedback
Knowledge of results
Knowledge of performance
Feedback is the vital information we receive about the success of a skill or performance. It helps us to analyse and improve.

Internal feedback - This comes from our sense and proprioceptors in our muscles and joints. Information is sent back to the brain as an overall sense of body position and movement. We often get a feeling if a movement felt right or not.

External feedback - Comes from sources outside of ourselves. For example video analysis or coaches comments.

To make improvements it is important to receive both information on both the KNOWLEDGE OF RESULTS - the success of a performance or skill, did the goal go in? and KNOWLEDGE OF PERFORMANCE - how well the skill was performed rather than the result. This can be partly internal from our own judgements or from a coaches comments.

Feedback is important to allows us to develop and improve our skills.

Therefore, how can feedback be delivered to have the most positive impact?
Considering the limited channel capacity of individuals it is important we consider how we learn and teach skills. The age and ability of the individual, as well as the activity also need to be considered.
Visual - Using demonstrations
Verbal - Clear, specific teaching points
Manual - physical guidance and support from a teacher can give confidence
Skills can be taught through whole or part practice.
For example a front somersault would need to be taught as a whole skill.
Can you think of a skill that could be taught in parts?
Feedback is vital for progression
Internal and external
Given in small chunks that can be processed and acted upon
Time provided to act on feedback
Experiences in one sport may aid learning skills in an another sport. The teacher can help by high-lightening these transferable skills.

This can also have negative transfer when learning a new but similar skill.
How do we learn a new skill?
To avoid over loading it is important that guidance is specific, clear and brief (kept simple).
Guidance can be given in 3 ways...
Skills can also be taught in massed practiced or distributed practice?

Which skills would use massed practice and which would use distributed practice?
Our memory has two parts, short and long term memory.

We retain information in our short term memory for a short amount of time.
Practice and repetition pushes this information into our long term memory so we can access it again in the future.
Feedback can aid this process .
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