Stages of Learning Skills

The transition through these three phases allows the individual to learn how to perform movements that were previously unfamiliar to them, as they improve their sensory awareness. The ultimate aim of any coaching plan is to help shift the execution of a skill from a conscious effort, to an unconscious reaction. However, this pace of skill acquisition will vary from learner to learner, and is dependent on the complexity of the skill at hand.

C] њ Cognitive: The cognitive stage is characterized by high attention demand, in which the individual must develop a clear mental picture of what the correct skill looks like: allowing them to understand the sub-routines required to correctly execute the skill. With conceptualization essential for movement production, clear and concise explanations/demonstrations are essential in communicating such information. For example, a tennis coach may focus on a basic forehand technique.

In this early phase of learning, the coach will place particular emphasis on the visual aspect of being side on to the ball, with the racquet parallel to the ground. Depending on the skill, however, an athlete ill typically make frequent and gross errors, as they develop the synchronization between mind and muscle – known as the kinesthesia sense. Once the individual has a basic understanding of the skill, the coach will then employ a part-practice method, in a closed environment to help the athlete refine a particular aspect of the task.

The part practice method involves a skill being broken down into smaller components, with each sub-skill practiced separately. This practice method is ideal throughout the cognitive phase, as it allows the learner to enhance their knowledge of the skill, whilst also allowing he coach to give relative feedback in rest periods – thus avoiding information overload. Typically, part-practice is undertaken in conjunction with a continuous skill, as it is one that has no real beginning or end, but is maintained in a repetitive fashion.

The starting and finishing point Of these skills are determined by the performer (externally paced), thereby allowing the individual to further reinforce the cognitive fundamentals learnt. Therefore, delayed and extrinsic feedback is paramount when teaching cognitive learners, as it helps to reinforce successful skills, correct or modify unsuccessful skills, and motive the athlete. Delayed feedback (or terminal feedback) refers to information provided to the athlete after the skill has been performed.

Usually communicated externally, such feedback also relates to extrinsic feedback – that which emanates from an outside source, such as a coach or spectator. As this stage typically revolves around the grasping of a particular concept, performance elements tend not to be incorporated in this stage of learning. However, basic skill drills employed will allow the athlete to focus on the relevant cues in performing the skill without additional pressure. For example, a coach my include a closed, dribbling drill into his plan for a beginner basketball team to help develop their hand-eye- coordination.

While this performance fundamental does not encompass tactical or strategic elements, when utilized in conjunction with part-practice and external Amelia Napier year 12 PDP/H/PEED feedback, it will ultimately help enhance the cognitive understandings of the individual. The continuous, self-paced paced nature of the skill also allows performance to be undertaken in a stable and predictable environment, which is ultimately more conducive for skill learning. For most basic motor kills, this can be a relatively quick stage of transition. However, rates of progress through the cognitive phase may vary from one individual to another. Associative: The associative phase, on the other hand, is characterized by the need to practice the appropriate skill, until a correct motor pattern is established between the mind and body of the athlete. As the individual performs the given skill on a more frequent basis, they further enhance their kinesthesia sense. At this point of the associative phase, the athlete is not only more consistent in their execution of the skill, but able to recognize their own errors and develop a degree of intrinsic feedback (that which is received from the overprotective mechanisms as a result of movement or self-talk).

For example, once a netball player has understood the thought fundamentals behind shooting, their success per basket in the associative stage will ultimately be greater when compared to that of the cognitive phase. As a result of these errors becoming less frequent both in number and in magnitude, the coach will then kick to adjusting the practice method implemented for the given skill. Continued and varied practice methods are essential factors of the associative phase, as they allow the athlete to develop the required skills of a specific sport.

Whole, massed practice will usually be employed (characterized by continuous practice with short rest intervals until the motor skill is learnt in its entirety). While the coach continues to play an integral role with their delayed and external feedback, the athlete will begin to develop their own intrinsic feedback, as sensory awareness increases. As the scope of feedback begins to expand, so too, does the athlete’s ability to perform the required skill. While this stage is centered around massed practice, the coach will also egging to incorporate performance elements to further enhance the skill level of the athlete.

This will usually involve the basic motor skill learnt in conjunction with either decision making and/or strategic/tactical development. For example, once a beginner soccer team has comprehended the rudimentary gross skill (involving the use of large muscle groups) of kicking a ball, the coach may utilities a two-on-two drill for his players to undertake. Through the use of such performance elements, the players will enhance their decision making abilities under pressure, whilst also improving tactical wariness through the simulation of game-like situations.

The nature of the skill in the associative stage will also begin to shift, with the incorporation of externally forced factors, forcing the performer to respond in a variety of ways. Players during this exercise will also start to self-correct the fine motor skill of ball placement through the development oftener kinesthesia sense. While the length of this stage also varies, the individual will typically spend the most amount of time in this phase, as they continue to refine the skill at hand – relative to the transitional continuum. L Autonomous: 0 The final stage of skill acquisition is the autonomous stage – typically characterized by the athlete’s ability to execute a skill which is sequenced and performed instinctively (without thinking). As a direct result of the Amelia Napier individual consolidating the various discrete skills (which have a clear beginning and end) that comprise of fluent action, the skill will appear smooth, and effortless as the autonomous stage is reached.

For example, when a driver has transitioned from the cognitive phase through to the autonomous stage of manual driving, there comes a point where the individual is able to respond to the stimulus without any thought – thereby changing gears instinctively. As a consequence of this highly refined motor pattern, an athlete who has reached this level of mastery is able to focus on other relevant cues such as the movements of the opposition and anticipation.

All While this stage is characterized by effectively undertaking a required skill, performing such tasks in isolation will not always guarantee success in developing sporting ability. The coach, therefore, must continue to implement practice methods to help foster the complete development of the athlete. Distributed practice is usually implemented in this stage of learning, and is didst anguished by shorter periods of work with particular emphasis placed on performing a range of skills.

Despite errors in the autonomous phase being extremely rare and almost imperceptible, feedback remains crucial. Extrinsic feedback usually continues in a delayed format, while intrinsic feedback occurs more frequently in a heightened, concurrent form (feedback received during a performance – allowing for the immediate correction of the skill). However, it is imperative that the coach continues to offer a knowledge of the reference, to ensure the further identification and refining of minor and biomedical errors.

While the coach is still required to provide training drills, however, stronger attention is placed on the performance elements of the given skill. D Tactical and strategic development requires the utilization of varying pressure situations to help mirror gemlike conditions, as opposed to stationary practice or drills. Furthermore, the nature of the skills present in the autonomous stage focus on the influential open environment and externally- paced factors to further simulate game-like conditions.

For example, once an elite Rugby League team has mastered both gross and fine motor skills (which are discrete in nature), the coach will begin to shift focus onto serial, strategic development. Ideal for those in the autonomous stage, serial skills require a number of separate skills to be performed in a specific order to achieve the set movement required. This may encompass the use of assimilated games or scenario-based skills, thereby enhancing the team’s ability to read the play, strategies, develop tact’s and apply them effectively through the use of concurrent feedback.