PE - Sport Pyscology


Skill and Ability

A SKILL is a learned action to bring about the result you want with certainty and minimum effort.

ABILITY is a person's set of traits that control their potential to learn a skill.

There are four different classifications of skills: basic & complex, open & closed, self-paced & externally-paced, gross & fine.

Most skills are somewhere imbetween these classifications. They are put on a continuum.

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Skill Clasifications

Basic & Complex Skills

A basic skill doesn't require much decision making e.g. running.

A complex skill requires a high level of decision making e.g. backflip in gymnastics.

Open & Closed Skills

An open skill is performed in a changing environment, where a performer has to react and adapt to external factors. E.g. In football where you pass depends on positions of your team and the opposition.

A closed skill is always performed in the same predictable environment - it's not affected by external factors. E.g. Gymnastics - the routine is the same as rehearsed.

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Skill Classification cont

Self-Paces & Externally-Paced Skills

A self paced skill is controlled by the performer - they decide when and how quickly it's done.

An externally paced skill is affected by external factors, which could control when it starts and how quickly it's done. E.g. opponent in netball can determe where the ball will be passed.

Gross & Fine Skills

A gross skill involves powerful movements performed by large muscle groups e.g. weight lifting.

A fine skill uses smaller muscle groups to carry out precise movements that require accuracy and coordination e.g. archery.

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Can be combined with other types of guidance, helpful for elite performers who understand technical language.

Hard to use when teaching complex skills, could be confusing to a beginner.


Works well for beginners as they can copy the skill, slow motion videos can be good for elite peformers to highlight small details.

Manual and Mechanical

Helpful for teaching beginners as they get the 'feel' of a skill, helpful for teaching complex skills.

Performer could begin to rely on it. Difficult with large groups.


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Intrinsic - you know how well you did the technique because of what it 'felt' like.

Extrinsic - feedback baced on others informing you on how well you did. E.g. Coaches or videos

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