My study blog

How we learn Physical Skills

Posted by lednum on November 12, 2006

What i have tried so far:

Gradual Build up



Trial and error



Physical Manipulation


 WE all learn basic physical skills using the above methods, At a certain age, 9-10, maybe later, we develop interests in certain areas-either by ourselves as part of a peer group, or due to parents interests.

The important thing is that we understand the different ways to improve our skills, how certain skills require different ways of learning and how skills and technique is NOT preparation of the body.

Methods of skill learning/practicing

1. Solo/parter/group

here we practice the skills concerned, although some times we must use other people to make the practice more game like or realistic , i.e you must use them as opposition, as a helper or in plays which need more than one person.

2.Show Practice

In this situation we can practice the movements concerned without having to hit the implement. This usually involves copying someone else, but avoids the “complication”of having to focus on a ball . The idea is that the performer will learn the movement patterns and then be able to use them when you introduce the implement – also useful with large group.

3. Opposed/unopposed

In this situation practice is not neccessarally at one of these extremes but can be replaced on a continuum between them. It is important to be able to learn the basic skills in a stress situation, but then introduce opposition(pressure) as our skill develops.

4. Gradual build up (progression)

This is used in the learning of complex and potentially dangerous skills. You learn the skills bit by bit, mastering one part before moving on.


practice the whole skill, identify the part of the skill that is weaker than the others,extract it and work on it, then practice the whole skill again.

6. Repitition and Drills

Repitition involves going through skilll again and again. Learners can therefore become used to the skill. Repitition/drills can “groove” the skill, helping it to become second nature. We can adopt drills by varying the degree of difficulty /pressure depending on our skill level. Problems can arise with boredom, lack of motovation or fatigue.

7. Massed or destributed practice

Massed means one big chunk with no breaks. Distributed practice means breaking it down into small sections/ spread through out the day or over the course of a week. Massed practice is more appropriate for high level or highly motovated performers, although there are obvious problems with fatigue. Distributed practice is best for learners or improvers, or where a skill is physically demanding. It should also avoid problems of boredom or low motovation. The problem with skill training, for us, is simply one of time.

8. Conditioned games

This is agame in which the teacher or coach can change rules, numbers or equipment to improve the learning experience.


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