Classification of Motor skill

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  • Classification of motor skills (continuum's)
    • Muscular involvement (Gross-fine)
      • Gross skills: involve large muscle movements where there is little concern for precision. Examples are running, swimming, hammer throwing.
      • Fine skills: involve more intricate movements using small muscle groups. They usually involve accuracy and emphasise hand-eye coordination. Example is wrist/finger action of a cricket bowler.
      • In this classification we look at precision of the movement.
    • Enviornmenta Influence (Open-Closed)
      • In this classification we are concerned with how enviornmenta conditions affect the movement skill.
        • Open skills: involve movement skills that are affected by the environment. They are generally externally placed in an environment that is unpredictable Examples, pass in rugby, football.
        • Closed skills: are movement skills that are not affected by the environment. In these skills we aim to do the same technical model at each performance and they are therefore habitual. Example, tennis serve, gymnastics through vault.
    • Continuity (Discrete-Serial-Continuous)
      • In this classification, we are concerned with how clearly defined the beginning and end of the movement skill are.
        • Continuous skill: are movement skills that have no definite beginning or end. The end of one cycle of the movement is the start of the next. Example, running, cycling, swimming.
      • Discrete skill: are movement skills that have a clear beginning and a clear end. If this single skill is to be repeated, it must start again. Example, a penalty, high serve in tennis.
      • Serial skills: are movement skills that have a number of discrete elements that a put together in a definite order to make a movement or skill. Example, gymnastic/ trampoline sequence.
    • Pacing (Self-paced-Externally paced)
      • In this classification we are concerned with the level of control that the performer has over the timing of the movement skill.
        • Self-Paced: The performer determines when the movement skill starts together with the rate which it proceeds. Example, High jump, tennis serve.
      • Externally-paced: the control of the movement skill is not determined by the performer but by the environment. Example, receiving a pass in football.
    • Difficulty (Simple-Complex)
      • In this classification we are concerned with how complex the movement skill is.
        • Simple skills: would have very low levels of some of the aspects identified above. Performers would have little info to process and few decisions to make. Example, sprinting, swimming.
      • Complex skills: would have high levels of most of the aspects identified. The skill will have many sub-routines where speed and timing are critical. Example, tennis serve, somersault.
    • Organisationa (High-Low)
      • In this classification we are concerned with how closely linked the sub-routines of the movement are.
      • Low organisationa skills: are made up of sub-routines that are easily separated and practised by themselves. Example, swimming strokes, gymnastics sequence.
      • High organisationa skills: are movement skills where sub-routines are very closely linked together and very difficult to separate without disrupting the skill. Example, cartwheels, golf swing.


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