The Learning Environment
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The Learning Environment
All factors external to the performer. While learning new skills the physical environment should be constant allowing the learner to concentrate on the skill at hand.
Training in conditions similar to the game or using equipment worn in the game will aid familiarity with the performance situation and minimise the effect of external factors that are outside the performer’s control.
Nature of the Skill
Movement tasks may be classified according to different criteria:
- The stability of the environment (Open or Closed)
- The precision of the movement (Gross or fine)
- How distinctive the beginning and end points of the skill are – continual, serial or discrete.
- The timing- externally paced or self paced
This is a skill that occurs in an unstable unpredictable environment. Eg’s of open skills include Cricket, Rugby, Tennis, and Basketball.
This is a skill that is learnt in a stable, predictable environment. Eg’s of closed skills are gold, archery, weight lifting and synchronised swimming.
Requires the use of large muscle groups for execution
Require the use of small muscle groups to perform the movement.
Has a distinctive beginning and end that can be identified
Involves a sequence of smaller movements that are assembled to make a total skill
Has no distinct beginning or end
It is the athlete that determines the pace of the skill execution (self paced)
Externally paced Skills
The timing of the skill is not determined by the player
As well as the physical environment the way individual practices a new skill will affect how quickly they learn it.
Massed vs. Distributed Practice
Requires performers to take infrequent breaks between long periods of instruction and skill development routines.
Example of a runner who is running continuously without any long breaks.
Works best when athletes are:
- highly motivated
- Unable to attend a number of sessions
Involves a broken practice session with intervals or rest on other activities in between practice intervals.
E.g. Doing some running training, and then doing some bike training.
Works best when:
- Performer lacks interest
- Task is difficult
- Motivation is low
- Task causes fatigue
Whole vs. Part Practice
Involves the teaching or demonstrating of the entire skill as a whole. Some skills are best learnt doing it all together.
Involves the skill being broken down into smaller skills and learning them individually before putting them all together. Some skills are too complex to learn all at once
- Refers to receiving information on how the skill was performed
- Occurs at every stage of the process
- May occur subconsciously or very consciously
- Effectiveness of feedback dependent on the time available for feedback.
- Too much feedback can have a negative effect
- Performers may develop a dependence on the feedback
- When feedback is withdrawn performance declines
Feedback has three functions:
- Reinforce what is done well
- Provide a basis for correcting aspects that need improvement
- Motivate for continued effort and improvement
Sources of Feedback
- Refers to when a person receives it form the sense inside the body
- Movement is felt then sent to brain then adjustments are made to performance
E.g. A handstand, body sends message back to the brain regarding necessary modifications
- Is what you see and hear that is outside the body’s own senses.
E.g. Coach telling you stuff, getting assessment task back above 80%, hitting a ball and listening for the sound.
Types of Feedback
Knowledge of results (KR)
- Provided externally after the completion of the action
- The information about the outcome of the movement
- It suggests how successfully the skill was performed
- Particularly important during early stages of learning as it enhances performance during practice.
Knowledge of performance (KP)
- Is information about the pattern of movement.
- It gives feedback regarding the quality of execution of the skill.
- This feedback may come from within or outside the body.
By combining KP and KR the success of skill execution will improve significantly
Timing of Feedback
Concurrent or current feedback is gained whilst performing a movement skill. It is simultaneous with the skill execution and is relayed throughout the body. E.g. Coach says throw a ball a bit higher
Is gained after the skill has been executed. Therefore it is too late to produce a response at the time.
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