A-Level PE Chapter 2.1 (Year 1/AS book)


Characteristics of Skill

- There are 7 characteristics of skill which can be remembered through the acronym ACEFACE:

  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Consistent
  • Effecient
  • Fluent
  • Accurate
  • Controlled
  • Economical
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Skill Classification: use of continua

- There are 6 skill contiua's:

  • Open and Closed
  • Gross and Fine
  • Self-Paced and Externally Paced
  • Discrete, Continuous and Serial
  • High and Low: Organised
  • Simple and Complex
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Open and Closed Skill

- An open skill is performed when a sporting environment is unpredictable, such as dribbling the ball in hockey, whereas a closed skill is in a predictable environment, such as a throw in shotput.

- An unpredictable emvironment simply means all the things that the performer has to think about when playing the sport - such as the pitch, the opposition, the position of team mates. This means the player must make decisions as the skill is in progress and such a skill ight not be best practiced with variety.

- Performing a skill in a predictable environment when, rather than having to adapt actions during the execution of the skill, the performer can repeat the actions consistently qand there are fewer decisions to make.

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Gross and Fine Skill

- Gross skills use larger muscle groups and are used in sports such as hockey and football, whereas fine skills use smaller muscle groups and are used in sports such as darts and archery.

- An example of a gross skill is using your quadriceps whilst running with the ball in football.

- An example of a fine skill is using your wrist muscles in darts.

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Self-Paced and Externally Paced Skill

- A self-paced skill means the pace of the skill being done is dtermined by the performer, whereas an externally paced skill means that the performer has no vontroll over the pace of the skill taking place.

- An example of a self-paced skill is a penalty kick in football, as the player chooses when to kick the ball.

- An example of an externally paced skill is sailing, as the sailor must react to the speed of the wind and the flow of the current.

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Discrete, Continuous and Serial Skill

- A discrete skill is a skill that has a clear beginning and end, such as a tennis serve.

- A continuous skill is a skill that has no clear beginning and end, such as cycling.

- A serial skill is a series od distrete skills put together in a specific order tp make a more intergrated movement, such as a beam routine in gymnastics.

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High and Low: Organised

- A high organised skill can't be broken down into sub routines, however, low organised skills can be broken down into sub routines.

- An example of a high organised skill is a volley in football as the action is very quick and the sub routines merge quickly as the skill is performed.

- An emaple of a low organied skill is a swimming stroke, as each stroke can be broken down into the sub-routines of arms actions, leg action and body position, and they can be easily identified and practiced seperately if needed.

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Simple and Complex Skill

- A simple skill is oe that requires few decisions to be made whilst being performed, whereas a complex skill requires decision making using a lot of information when being performed. 

- An example of a simple skill is a forward roll and limited decisions are being made whilst the skill is being performed.

- An example of a complex skill is dribbling in hockey, as the player as to process information of: where their teammates are, where the opposition are and where the goal is.

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Transfer of Learning

- Types of transfer:

  • Positive
  • Negative
  • Zero
  • Bilateral

- Ensuring positive transfer:

  • As far as a coach is concerned, it is the useful effect of positive transfer that is required since this may help players to aquire a greater range of skill. Positive transfer can be encouraged by making sure that training is realistic, so that the use of cones or rugby tackle bags are replaced by real people in small sided games - a more relevangt representation of the game
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Positive Transfer

- Positive transfer is when the learning of one skill helps the learning of another.

- Positive transfer tends to happen when two skills have a similar shape and form - the actions of the two skills are simila so that the movements of one skill help the action of another.

- Examples would include the similar arm action of the overarm volleyball serve and the tennis serve or the similar actions of a basketball pass and a netball pass.

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Negative Transfer

- Negative transfer os when the learning of one skill hinders the learning of another.

- Negative transfer happens when there might be some familiarity with the environment in which the two skills are performed and this familiarity may cause confusion when the actions od the two skills are not the same. Badminton and tennis games are played on a court divided by a net, but the action of the tennis serve uses the arm; the wrist action of the badminton serve is different, hence negative transfer.

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Zero Transfer

- Zero transfer is when the learning of one skill neither helps or hinders the learning of another skill, as niether of them have similarities in action or environment.

- The swimming arm action and the foot placement in rock climbing having nothing in comon and therefore there is no transfer affect between them.

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Bilateral Transfer

- Bilateral transfer is where the learning of one skill is passed across the body  from limb to limb. 

- An example of this is when a right-footed footballer would be encouraged to use the left foot when required, so that the impact of the shot from the left foot becomes equal to the impact of a shot with the right foot.

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Methods of Practice

- Whole practice

  • Information
  • Advantages
  • Disadvantages

- Whole-part-whole practice

  • Information
  • Advantages
  • Disadvantages

- Progressive part practice

  • Information
  • Advantages
  • Disadvantages
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Whole Practice - Information

- Whole practice methods involve performing the skill in its entirety without breaking it into sub-routines. This is the ideal way to teach a skill because it promotes understanding, establishes the links between sub-routines and creates fluency. The coach might decide to use whole practice when:

  • the skill is fast, ballistic and discrete such as the sharp action of a tennis serve
  • the skill is highly organised and cannot easily be broken down into sub-routines
  • the skill is simple and does not require much thought so that fewer demands are placed on the performer
  • the feel of the whole task is required as the learner develops and is ready to perform the whole task
  • the performer is advanced in the autonomous stage of learning, when movement is detailed and precise, and able to cope with the demands of the whole task
  • the links between sub-routines need to be maintained or the skill needs to be performed in a specific order, such as in a trampoline routine
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Whole Practice - Advantages

- Whole practice helps to create specific images that can be stored as a plan called a motor programme which is stored in the long-term memory and contains a mental image of all the parts of the skill. This is useful when the skill needs to be recalled from the memory and performed

- Whole practice is more realistic than part practice so it helps to produce the effect of positive transfer between skills learned in traning and those same skills performed on the pitch

- Whole practice helps to make the skill consistent - a major characteristic of skilled performance - and it will help the performer to keep good habits and be able to perform skills almost automatically

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Whole Practice - Disadvantages

- Whole practice may place unnecessary demands on the performer who may not not be able to cope with all aspects of the skill at once, especially if they are a beginner

- Whole practice could lead to the possibilty of fatigue if the performer tries to do the whole task without a break and there may be too much informtation for the performer to process

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Whole-Part-Whole Practice - Information

- With whole-part-whole practice, the performer has an attempt at the whole skill to get an initial feel for the movement. Then each part of the task is practiced individually or specific weaknesses are highlighted, practised seperately and then put back into the whole skill. An example is a fairly experienced volleyball player who has a problem with the spike: the whole action can be looked at and then a specific issue with the arm action is idenified and corrected. 

- The whole-part-whole method is used when a beginner is doing a complex task and may need to concentrate on one part of the skill to get this part right before making progress. This is important when the skill is hard to break down or it has high organisation so that the coach concentrates on one aspect of the skill at a time. Since the skill is not broken up, then the links between the sub-routines are maintained. The coach could even highlight a specific weakness, isolate this weakness and then correct it. 

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Whole-Part-Whole Practice - Advantages

- Whole-part-whole practice can provide motivation when success is achieved when long-standing weakness is corrected

- Whole-part-whole practice provides immediate feedback and therefore corrects errors and allows the selected part to be intergrated successfully into the whole action

- Whole-part-whole practice allows fluency and intergration of the sub-routines to be maintained while errors are corrected.

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Whole-Part-Whole Practice - Disadvantages

- Whole-paret-whole practice could produce negative transfer effects unless the coach intergraates the part back into the whole during the same training session. 

- Whole-part-whole practice is moer time consuming than whole practice

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Progressive Part Practice - Information

-Progressive part practice is sometimes called chaining. The first part of the skill is taught and then the rest of the parts are added in sequence. This method of practice is used for serial skills when the order is important and when the links between sub-routines need to made. It might also be used for dangerous skills such as learning a routine on a trampoline. 

- The progressive part methods of practice are useful when the skill is low-organised and can be broken down so that each part is clear. Progessive part practice can be used when the skill is serial so chaining can occur and each part can be gradually added until the skill is complete. A complex skill could benefit from the use of part practice since one complex feature of the skill can be isolated, taking pressure off the performer.

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Progressive Part Practice - Advantages

- Progressive part practice allows the learner to focus on one aspect of the task and can potentially correct specific weaknesses

- Progressive part practice allows the learner to rest so fatigue is reduced

- Progressive part practice allows the learner to bring about success in stages so that motivation levels are restored

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Progressive Part Practice - Disadvantages

- Progressive part practice can be time consuming and it might neglect the feel of the whole task and might ignore the links between sub-routines

- Progressive part practice could have a negative transfer between each sequence of the skill so the coach should ensure that the first part of the task is learned well before attmepting to make further progress.

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Types of Practice

- Massed practice:

  • Information
  • Advantages and Disadvantages

- Distributed practice:

  • Information
  • Advantages and Disadvantages

- Varied practice:

  • Information
  • Advantages and Disadvantages

- Mental practice:

  • Information
  • Benefits and Coaching
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Massed Practice - Information

- Massed practice is continuous, with no rest between sessions. It is used when the skill is discrete, simple and the environment is closed. This means that there are unlikely to be many changes needed to the skill and numerous repetitions can be undertaken.

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Massed Practice - Advantages and Disadvantages

- Advantages:

  • it promotes fitness so that the performer can cope with extended demands of the task
  • motor programmes can be stored more easily so that they can be recalled in the future
  • it is an efficient use of coaches and players time

- Disadvantages:

  • it can produce fatigue, especially if the performer lacks fitnes, and again there s a danger of negative transfer unless the practice conditions are similar to the real game
  • demands of a player are high in the form of practice so the coach should make sure the practice is kept simple and the player has the motivation to keep repeating the drills
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Distributed Practice - Information

- Distributed practice involves rest intervals between sessions. It should be used when the skill is continuous and the performer may need a break. It could be used when the skill practice is changed because the skill is open and unpredictable and the break is used to explain the changes or additions to the practice drill. During practice of a complex or externally paced skill, the coach might use a break to relieve the pressure and intensity from the players

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Distributed Practice - Advantages and Disadvantage

- Advantages:

  • it takes the pressure off the performer and allows some recuperation after a tough session of practice and the possible onset of fatigue
  • it is good for beginners since it allows controlled progress to be made at the pace of the performer and feedback or coaching advice can be offered to the performer during the rest intervals
  • may offer motivation to the performer

- Disadvantages:

  • it is time consuming
  • not useful for expert players who wish to over-learn their skills, so the possibilty of negative transfer
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Varied Practice - Information

- It is often appropriate during training for team sports to change the drills and the type of practice so that the players learn to adapt to changes in the environment. For instance, the coach may use massed practice with a fixed drill to practise shooting without opposition; the coach may then switch to more progressive practice and use some 3 vs 2 drills

- Varied practice should be used when the skill is open and the environment is unpredictable. This means that there are likely to be changes in the sporting environment when the skill is performed, so the practice session should replicate these conditions. An externally paced skill may mean that the performer has to adapt to changes in the environment, so again varied practice should be used to practice such skills. During a continuous skill, the player may need a little variety to maintain motivation

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Varied Practice - Advantages and Disadvantages

- Advantages:

  • it allows the players to adapt their skills to changing environment and is very appropriate for open skills
  • prevents the players becoming stale and may add a little fun and games to the practice session, increasing the motivation of the players
  • it helps to develop a method of adapting existing skills from the memory store, called a 'schema'

- Disadvantages:

  • it is more time consuming
  • it might place unnecessary demands on the players if they are given too many things to focus on and there is also therefore a danger of failure
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Mental Practice - Information

- The process of mental practice is an increasingly popular technique which is used in addition to physical practice to aid performance. The athlete goes through the performance in the mind without movement, either just before a major event or as part of a training programme between periods of practice. . Mental practice has the greatest results when it is combined with physical practice. Players may use mental practice as part of the warm-up to rpovide preparation for the task ahead. A games player may mentally rehearse a move or a set play before the kick off. 

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Mental Practice - Benefits and Coaching

- Benefits:

  • improves confidence and lowers anxiety
  • stimulates the muscle receptors so that the player is better prepared and reaction times are increased
  • can be done externally or internally

- Coaching:

  • for beginners, it should be short and the key parts of the task should be emphasised
  • for expert performers, the techniques should be established so that coaches can devote a whole session to preparing for a major game
  • fofr advanced performers, it is important to develop this because it can give that extra edge by improving reaction time, activating the muscles and more
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Methods of Practice - Table

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Types of Practice - Table

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Types of Practice - Table

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