Classification of Skills

classification of skills

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Analysing a Skill

When analysing a skill, it is useful to group different skills that have similar characteristics. This helps both the teacher and the student to learn the skill and to select an appropriate training method to help teach them.

The process of classifying skills is commonly beased on the use of a continuum or sliding scale. This allows a general interpretation of the characteristics of the skills to take place and for several skills to be compared at the same time.

The four continua that must be learnt include:

- open/closed continuum

- gross/fine continuumm

- self-paced/externally-paced continuum

- discrete/serial/continous continuum

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Open/Closed Continuum

The open/closed continuum is based on the environment and what influence it has on the skilled movement. A number of factors that might have an impact on the performance inlcude playing conditions, proximity of crowd or position of other players. etc.

Open skills are affected by the environment because they are usually externally-paced, involve quick decision making, the environment is not predictable and is unstable and changing.etc. Closed skills are not affected by the environment because decisions are pre-planned, are usually self-paced, the envirnoment is predictable and is stable and constant.

However, there are some examples of a closed skill taking place in an open environmet. An example of this would be a tennis serve . This is because the performer has to take into account the other players positon on the court. Another example would be a player taking a penalty kick or a free throw. The skill is closedbut takes place during a break from theusual predictable environment.

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Gross/Fine Continuum

This is based on the amount of muscular movement and the precision required during the execution of the skill. For example, a goal kick would be a gross skill because it uses a big muscle movement to do and is not necessary accurate or precise. An example of a fine skill would be a snooker shot because accuracy and precision are vital factors.

Gross skills contain large muscle movements and large muscle groups. They are also not very accurate and precise and are not necessarily a high priority.

Fine skills use small muscle movements and groups but is precise and accurate.

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Self-paced/Externally-paced continuum

This is based on the amount of control that the performer has over the execution and timing of the movement. This is also manily based on two factors: the timing and initiation of the movement as well as the actual speed/rate of the movement.

A self-paced skill is using closed skills and has the performer controlling when they start the movement and controlling the speed of the movement. Examples would be a high jump, long jump or a golf swing, for example.

A externally-paced skill usually open skills and sees the performer changing the speed in relation to other peoples movements or changing events. Also, the start of the movement is based on other players movements and reactions.

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Discrete/Serial/Continuous Continuum

This is based on the relationships between subroutines and identification of the beginning and end of the movement.

Discrete Skills involve a clear beginning and end and a short time duration for completing. An example of a discrete skill would be a crickt shot ora somefault.

A serial skill is a series of discrete skills linked together with a set order. Examples would be a triple jump or a basketball lay-up.

A continuous skill is a movement with no clear beginning and end and also has no extended time duration. Also, the end of one movement is the start of the next. Examples of a continuous skill would be swimming, cycling or running.

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