Classification of Skill

Skills are classified on the basis of  a range of continua.

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Gross - Fine

This is whether the large, gross muscle groups or small, delicate muscle groups are being used.

Gross skill = Strong, Powerful movement using major muscle groups. e.g kicking, throwing a ball and long jump.

Fine Skill = Small, Precise movement with high accuracy using smaller muscle groups. e.g a tennis drop shot.

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Discrete - Fine - Continuous

This is whether or not an observer can see a clear beginning or end to a movement, whether it is composed of seperate elements, or whether the movement has no clear beginning or end.

Discrete = movement with a clear beginning and end.
e.g a basket ball throw

Serial Skill = Series of specific movements chained together in a sequence. e.g gymnastics routine.

Continuous Skill = no clear beggining or end, one end of phase blends into the start of the next phase. Cycling, Swimming, Running.

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Externally Paced - Self Paced

The pacing continuum is concerned with what controls the rate at which the skill is performed and what controls the start of the movement.

Externally Paced = The rate of movement is influenced by external factors ( oppenents).  e.g football defender reacting to the attacker.

Self Paced = The rate of movement is controlled by the performer. e.g start of a dive in swimming.

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Open - Closed

Deciding whether a skill is open or closed depends on how stable the environment is and whether what is happening in the environment affects how the skill is performed.

Open Skill = Skill that is affected by the environment (mostly invasion games) e.g the changing flight of a ball.

Closed Skill = Skill performed in a stable, unchanging environment where the environment has little impact on the performance of the skill. e.g athletics are - shot putt.

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