Analysing Motor Skills


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Why do we use continua?

- It is difficult to be specific about skills, some have elements of all characteristics to a greater or lesser extent

- These characteristics can change depending on the situation in which they are performed

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Muscular Involvement

Gross -

  • A gross skill involves large muscle groups, and there is little concern for precision

Hammer throwing

Fine -

  • A fine skill involves small muscle groups, and needs a lot of accuracy. Emphasis on hand-eye co-ordination!

Throwing a dart

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Environmantal Continuum

Open -

  • An open skill is affected by the environment, team mates, opponents, playing surface.
  • There are LOTS of decisions to be made.
  • Usually externally paced.

Shooting in netball

Closed -

  • Not affected by the environment
  • Habitual
  • Follow a technical model
  • Usually self-paced

Gymnastic Vault

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Discrete -

  • Clear beginning and end
  • Skill must be started again if wanting to repeat

Gymnastic Vault

Serial -

  • A number of discrete elements, that are put together in order to create a movement or sequence

Triple Jump

Continuous -

  • No definite beginning or end
  • End of one cycle is the beginning of another
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Self (Internally) Paced

  • Performer is in control
  • The performer determines when the movement will start, and the rate that it proceeds

Javelin Throw

Externally Paced

  • Movement not determined by the performer
  • Determined by the environment
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