1.3 Classification of Skill

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1.3 Classification of Skill
How can skills be classified on a continuum?
Why do we classify skill?
 To understand the nature of skilled performance
 To provide a basis of which types and methods of training will be most successful
The performance of a skill may greatly vary as they are performed in changing environments.
This makes classification a difficult process and is why Continua are used.
A continuum is a link between two extremes which blend together gradually.
We are concerned with 4 Continua…
 Open-Closed
 Self Paced- Externally Paced
 Gross-Fine
 Discrete-Serial-Continuous
Open – Closed Continuum
 How stable is the environment?
 Does what is happening in the environment affect how the skill is performed?
 How cognitive or perceptual is the skill?
Open
Unstable, changing environment
Opponents, team mates, flight of the ball
Closed
Stable, unchanging environment
Athletics area (Shot Putt) or Gymnastics routine
Performance highly affected by change
Required to change depending on teammates
Performance not affected by change
No attention needed to actions of others
High level of cognitive/perceptual skill
High levels of decision making
Low level of cognitive/perceptual skill
Little decision making required
Externally Paced- Self Paced Continuum
 What Controls the rate or pace at which the skill is performed?
 What controls the start of the movement?
Externally Paced
Self Paced
The rate of movement is controlled by
external factors
Receiving an opponents serve in Tennis
The rate of movement is controlled by the
performer
Speed of rotation in a gymnastic somersault
The initiation of movement is controlled by
external factors
Defender reacting to the movement of a forward
The initiation of movement is controlled by
the performer
Start of a dive in a competition
Gross- Fine Continuum
 Are large or small muscle groups used when performing the action?
Gross
Fine
Major body movements involving large
muscle groups
Intricate, fine movements involving small
muscle groups
Associated with strength, power and
endurance
Associated with accuracy and precision
Often a fundamental motor pattern
Requires high levels of hand-eye
coordination
Kicking,Throwing a ball, shot putt, long jump etc.
Table tennis shot, Dart throw etc.
Discrete- Serial- Continuous Continuum
 Is there a clear beginning and end to the movement?
 Is it composed of a number of separate elements?
Discrete
Serial
Continuous
Single specific skill
A number of discrete skills chained
together
Movement is on-going
Clear beginning and end
Basketball free-throw
First movement triggers the next
End of one cycle leads to the
beginning of another
Gym routine, triple jump
Cycling, Swimming, running
Placing Skills on the Continuum
X X
XX
Open
Externally Paced
XX
Gross
XX X
Discrete
XX
XX
X
Self Paced
Fine
X
X
Closed
Chest Pass in netball
Dive
Return of table-tennis serve
Swimming front crawl
Continuous

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