Skills and Practice

Skills and Practice

I. Understanding Skills

  • Skills are a blend of perceptions, decisions, and physical actions. It is acquired through practise and experience.
  • Coach plays a vital role in imparting and enhancing skills.

II. Types of Skills

  • Basic Skills: Fundamental movements, e.g., jumping, running.
  • Complex Skills: Requires coordination and multi-tasking, e.g., a gymnastics routine.
  • Open Skills: Helps respond to changing environments, e.g., a football coach adapting strategies mid-game.
  • Closed Skills: Fixed movements, e.g., a free-throw in basketball.

III. Stages of Skill Development

  • Cognitive Stage: Beginners understand the requirements of the skill and plan their movements accordingly.
  • Associative Stage: Reduction in errors as understanding improves.
  • Autonomous Stage: Movements become automatic, leaving capacity to perform in complex environments.

IV. Methods of Practice

  • Massed Practice: Continuing practise without intervals. Useful for acquiring simple skills.
  • Distributed Practice: Integrates breaks. More beneficial for complex and high-intensity skills.
  • Varied Practice: Different activities are mixed. Well-suited for open skills.
  • Fixed Practice: Repeatedly practising a closed skill.
  • Mental Practice: Visualising the skill performance to improve it.

V. Principles of Practice

  • Practice must challenge and stretch to be useful.
  • Players need feedback to correct errors and stay motivated.
  • The quantity and quality of practise fundamentally influence skill development.

VI. Factors affecting Practice

  • Feedback: Positive feedback improves motivation, and negative feedback helps to correct mistakes.
  • Guidance: Visual, verbal, and manual/mechanical guidance can be employed to enhance skills.
  • Age and maturation: Both can influence the learning capability and skill development.
  • Fitness level: A good fitness level can aid in mastering skills faster and performing them under fatigue.

VII. Transfer of Skills

  • Positive Transfer: The learning of one skill enhances the understanding of another skill.
  • Negative Transfer: The learning of one skill hinders the understanding of another skill.
  • Zero Transfer: The learning of one skill neither enhances nor hinders the understanding of another skill.