Types of practice

  • Created by: Tooth04
  • Created on: 11-04-22 15:47

Massed practice

Massed practice is continuous training with no rest intervals, used for closed, discrete and simple skills - the skill can be practiced with mulitple repetition with minimal changes necessary. 

  • Advantages:
  • Promotes fitness so performer can cope with demands of the task. 
  • Effective use of time 
  • Constant repetition helps skill become habitual.
  • Motor programmes can be stored. 
  • Disadvantages:
  • Fatiguing 
  • Danger of negative transfer unless practice mimics game situation.
  • High demands, can lead to reduction in motivation through constant failure. 
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Distributed practice

Distributed practice involves rest intervals in between sessions, can be used to support open skills with changing or unpredictable environments to explain changes or additions the drill. 

  • Advantages:
  • Allows recuperation after a tough session and the onset of fatigue.
  • Useful for beginners as feedback can be offered in the rest intervals. 
  • Mental practice can be used in intervals to reinforce movements of the skill. 
  • Can build intrinsic motivation if praise is given during the rest intervals.
  • Used to complete dangerous tasks, where dangerous aspects can be avoided. 
  • Disadvantages:
  • Time consuming 
  • Not useful to expert players who wish to over-learn thier skills.
  • Danger of negative transfer after a rest period. 
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Varied practice

Varied practice is where the practice type and the practice drills are changed. More suitable for open sports so players learn how to adapt to changes in the environment. E.g. a coach switching from massed practice shooting drills to distributed practice 3v2 attacking drills. 

  • Advantages:
  • Appropriate for open skills. 
  • Increases motivation as variety of drills or practice prevents boredom. 
  • Helps build sub-routines.
  • Develops a set of adapting exisiting skills called a 'schema'. 
  • Disadvantages:
  • Time consuming.
  • Risk of negative transfer.
  • May place unnecessary demand on the performer and lead to a danger of fatigue e.g. overload.
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Mental practice

Mental practice is where the athlete goes through the performance without movement. It can be used as part of the warm-up to help prepare for the task ahead. 

  • Advantages:
  • Improves confidence. 
  • Lowers anxiety.
  • Improves cognitive ability and decision making.
  • Injured players can use it to help the memory of the skill. 
  • Can be external and internal. 
  • Coaching mental practice: 
  • Beginners - focused short and key parts to imrpove confidence and highlight basic requirements of the skill.
  • Expert - whole sessions preparig for major games, with specfic strategies and tactics discussed.  
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