Stages of Skill Acquisition

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Stages of Skill Acquisition


  • Main priority is the individual understanding the task
  • Conceptualisation – clear mental picture on the task. Essential to produce the desired movement.
  • Demonstrations, videos, highlighting, key points can help the learner
  • Need to avoid ‘information overload’


  • Emphasis on practice
  • Errors still occur but are smaller and less frequent
  • Feedback still important
  • ‘Kinaesthetic sense’ is developed
  • Learner feels more at ease as confidence increases
  • Can remain in this stage for years or never progress onto next stage


  • Characterised by the ability to automatically execute a skill
  • Movement properly sequenced and performed instinctively
  • Movement is smoothed and aesthetically pleasing because of efficient muscle movement
  • Can attend to other cues while giving little thought to performing the skill

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