Discuss the differences between skill ability and technique and explain how you would structure practices to enhance these compounds of fitness. Skill, ability and technique are all required for an athlete to perform at the very top of their chosen sport. All of these are different but all rely on each other in order for a great performer to exist.Skill is described as a practical ability and a sporting cleverness. It is not something that you are born with but it can be improved through practice and is the combination of technique and ability. One concept of skill is:
Skill can be defined as an organised coordinated activity in relation to an object or situation, which involves a whole chain of sensory, central and motor mechanisms (welford, 2000) Ability is described as competence it is also called the building blocks of sport. It is something that is innate, that you are born with or you learn in very early life. Because of this it is not something that can be improved upon easily as such but it can be honed through practice. Technique is described as a method of performance in an art that requires skill for mastery of a sport; it can be learnt and improved upon with practice.
There are many different kinds of skill: Cognitive skills: these are intellectual skills and involve a thought process. One example of this is the measuring of someone’s jump in the triple jump. Perceptual skills: these involve interpreting a stimulus. This is when we see something in a sporting situation and how our brain interprets it. Motor skills: these use the muscles and involve movement and muscular control. One example of this is most things in sport including running or tackling in rugby
Perceptual motor skills: sports do not require just one kind of skill but a combination of all of the above skills these are collectively known as perceptual motor skills. This is the perceptual motor skill model: The first step is to see a stimulus for example in badminton an opponent with the racquet very close to the shuttle in readiness for a serve. The next step is to interpret what you saw this will require using prior knowledge and experience. The third step is to think about what is going to happen, the opponent will probably hit the shuttle short. The final step is to move in readiness for what is going to happen, in this situation that would be to move closer to the net so that you will be in the correct place to return the opponents serve.
We perform skills in many different environments and who is around us affects what kind of skills we perform. To develop skills we must practice because as the saying goes: Practice makes perfect Individual skills: these are those skills that are performed in isolation with no one else around us. One example of this is throwing the javelin because we perform the skill all alone and then we are followed by another performer. Coactive skills: these are the skills that are performed at the same time as other performers but we do not interact with them. One example of this is a 200-meter race because you perform your skill surrounded by others but we do not interact with them.
Interactive skills: these are the skills where other athletes are directly involved with you and the skills that you perform, there is also active opposition. One example of this is in rugby because the skill of you tackling an opponents meets them using avoidance skills to attempt not to be tackled. To develop skills further we must practice. There are four main types of practice: Fixed practice: this kind of practice involves repetition of a specific skill. The skill can then become over learned and of a second nature to the performer. This allows the performer to perform the skill without any thought it becomes habitual. Ideal skills for this kind of practice would be ones that are always performed in the same way so a fairly closed skill would be perfect, one example of this would be a conversion in rugby because the action of kicking the ball at the goal is always very similar.
Variable practice: this kind of practice involves learning the required skill first and then there are a number of situations that the athlete must apply the skill to. This type of practice is good for fairly open skills as they will never be the same again and need constant adjustments. The practice can be learned first of all in a closed environment and then made more open until it is the same as in a game situation. For example a tackle in rugby could start out as standing with someone and tackling them without and running. Then it could be done at a slow walking pace and then built slowly up to running pace and then developed so that the opponent is trying not to get tackled, just like in a game situation.
Distributed practice: this type of practice involves dividing the practice session into blocks so that after doing one activity there is then a short break for a rest and feedback and then a different activity can be done. This kind of practice is perfect for younger performers who may not have a very long attention span and for beginners. Massed practice: this practice involves continuous working for the entirety of the training session. The performers will work without breaks. This means that they can experience performing under fatigue like they would in a game situation. This is good to develop fitness but requires a certain fitness level to take part in it. Although skill ability and technique are all individual they are all connected. They are all required for a top class performer. All kinds of practices in all kinds of environments are also required to become a great performer because after all practice does make perfect.