OCR- Skill

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What is skill?

"The learned ability to bring about predetermined results with maximum certainty, often with the minimum outlay of time or energy or both " (Guthrie, 1956)

> Learnt

> predictable, consistent and efficient.

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Information recievedduring or after a performance. < alows performer to alter and improve their performance.

Intrinsic Feedback- comes from within the performer. Having enough experience to see where you can improve your performance. needs to be given during or soon ater the performance.

Extrinsic Feedback- Comes from others (coach/teacher/parent etc). should be brief to avoid confusion.

Knowledge of performance (KP)- can be intrinsic, but most likely external sources. Analysing the nature of a performer to work out how to it can beimprove.

Knowledge of result (KR)- comes from external sources (result of game/judges score). useful when results indicate the cause of poor performance.

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Open and closed skills

Closed skills: require very little or no adjustment during performance. Habitual- once learnt they remain essentially the same. May require a lot of practise for perfection. The environment is relatively stable.E.g. Putting a shot; performer will have spent many hours perfecting the skill and will be using the same standard equipment. Skill may need to be tweaked according to wind speed and direction.

Open Skills: requires constant adaption. Performance environment may change, its not under the performers control. Many team games require open skills. E.g. Hockey; the way in which the player controls and passes the ball will depend on its speed, how close team mates are and the likelihood of a challenge.

Adapting skills: many sports require skills to be adapted to circumstances. E.g. Netball; when the other team win the ball, the player must switch from attacking to defending. Some activities require perfection of both open & closed skills. E.g. Rugby; a place kick is a closed skill which is perfected over many hours but passing is an open skill needing constant adaption.

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Skills and ability

Ability-innate-born with it.

Speed- the ability to move quickly

Reaction-time- speed of response to stimulus; linked to speed of movement. E.g. performers in the 100m have to react quickly to the starting gun.

Agility- ability to move quickly +control and change the point of balance. E.g. Goalkeeping in football; protecting the goal from shots.

Co-ordination- the ability to link movements in a controlled way. E.g. Dance.

Flexibility- ability to stretch and bend for maximum movement at a joint. E.g. Gymnastics.

Balance- ability to maintain balance when moving and standing still. All sports need this.

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Levels of skill

when talking about the level of performance key things to remember are:

Consistency- Novice: performs a skill differently everytime. Top-level: performs a skill the same everytime.

Energy- Novice: uses up a lot of energy very quickly. Top-level: reserves energy.

Time- Novice: unable to perform a skill quickly. Top-Level: performs skills quick and efficient.

Adaptability- Novice: they are unable to adapt their skills(e.g. a novice batsman is bowled out due to an inability to adapt their skill). Top-Level: daptation of skills to meet demand of situation.

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Learning and developing skills

simple skills: can be learned in one go

Complex skills: need to be broken down. Then pieced together, once perfected to make a whole skill.

How are skills learnt?

Demonstration/copying: skills learnt: by copying a good technical model. By a performer demonstrating a skill (live/video)& immediate feedback given on performance.

Practise: "Practise makes perfect!" a good demonstartion is essential. Intrinsic and extrinsic feedback must be available. Practise can be a whole skill or a broken down skill.

Trial & Error: doing something until you make it work. This is risky, because bad habits can be picked up.

Role Models: Stars in sports are influential. Useful in demonstrations. Need to be techniqually good. They also promote sporting values in their conduct.

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Learning skills: info processing


Input: What is happening?- E.g. how fast is the ball moving?

Decision making: how to respond- E.g. pass or dribble?

Output: performing the decision

Feedback: information on how well the skill was performed.

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Evaluation and analysis

> what is good? What is bad? > refer to tactics, skill and fitness.

> Planning: How to improve a performance

> Skill-learning: Provider of feedback must know how relevant skills are learnt and improved.

> Sport-specific skills: provider of feedback should have a detailed knowledge of skill under scrutiny.

> Sport-specific fitness: activity-specific feedback knowledge

> Sport-specific tactics and strategies: provider of feedback must know about specific tactics and strategies relevant to game/activity.

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Michelle SMith


This resource covers the basics of skill and how skill is learnt 

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