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AS and A Level: Acquiring, Developing & Performance Skill

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Writing about ‘Arousal’ in sport

  1. 1 Definitions of arousal may vary, but whichever one you use, you must acknowledge the author and the date it was established. This practice is essential and normal for study in higher education.
  2. 2 Arousal is necessary and ideally is ‘managed’ to maintain ‘optimal’ levels. This means that you are ‘excited’ both cognitively and physiologically enough to be ‘ready’ to perform, but are not overly aroused so much that your performance will deteriorate as a result.
  3. 3 Many questions or assignments will expect you to analyse the 3 key theories of arousal : Drive, Inverted U and Catastrophe Theory. Analysis requires you to present both the credible or advantageous side to the theory AND the less constructive or valuable perspective (ie the good and bad points about it as a theory to explain something).
  4. 4 Theories are JUST that – They are someone’s interpretation or reasoning for something. They will present evidence to support their theory, however, it is possible that another person will disagree and will present a different theory as explanation. When writing ‘critically’ you should be open to exploring, considering and explaining BOTH perspectives.
  5. 5 Drive Theory (Hull, 1951) is the most simplistic and suggested that the more aroused you are, the more likely the dominant response will be performed (this doesn’t matter whether it’s the correct skill or not!)

    The Inverted U hypothesis (Hebb 1957); suggests that performance will increase up til the optimal level of arousal and above that, will ‘gradually’ descrease.

    Catastrophe theory (Fazey and Hardy 1988) develops this, but suggests that arousal above optimal levels will ‘catastrophically’ drop, but can be increased again if cognitive arousal is reduced and controlled.

How to interpret an assignment task or essay title

  1. 1 Understand the question fully BEFORE you write - whichever module topic it is from, the process of preparing and constructing the answer will be similar. It is good practice to interpret the title or question before you think about the answer or writing. Too often, students begin writing and just follow their stream of thought thereafter. This can lead to inconsistencies and disjointed arguments.
  2. 2 • Question analysis – what is the command verb being used. This is the verb that indicates what you have to do to the topic.
  3. 3 Question analysis – Analyse, discuss and evaluate are sometimes prefixed with ‘critically’ – these all require you to consider 2 sides or different perspectives on a topic, with your thoughts and conclusions.
  4. 4 Question analysis – Describe, outline and state are more simplistic and require statements about something. Explain takes this further and requires detail as to WHY you state something; a degree of reasoning.
  5. 5 • Sections of a question – Questions can sometimes require you to respond to more than one command verb and therefore write more than one section as an answer.

Technology in sport

  1. 1 Terminology – Use the appropriate jargon for equipment and facilities (eg: hypoxic or hypobaric chambers for simulated altitude training). This shows a higher level of research and knowledge.
  2. 2 Technology for safety –Many technological developments have intended to ensure the safety of participants and spectators. Sadly, many developments evolve as a result of a tragedy or where there have been problems (eg: a cord attaching runners on a treadmill to cut out the motor if they fall)
  3. 3 Technology for comfort – People of all levels of performance (from recreational to elite) appreciate and will buy equipment and clothing that allows them to train and compete in great comfort.
  4. 4 Technology for performance – There are so many examples of developments that increase an athlete’s performance. These include footwear suitable to different playing surfaces or SZR racing swim suit to reduce friction.
  5. 5 The technological debate – in any ‘critical’ task it should not be assumed that advances in technology are advantageous or appropriate. A higher level student will present arguments that both support and challenge the inclusion of technology in sport.

  • Marked by Teachers essays 2
  1. Marked by a teacher

    Discuss how modern technology aids an athlete's preparation for competition

    5 star(s)

    However, it can be argued that these cameras shouldn't be used as they can be dangerous; in the 2004 Olympics, Sarah Price badly hurt her leg due to getting it caught on an underwater camera during warm up. Furthermore, there are also issues with grants given. Many small swimming clubs would be unable to afford to buy the underwater cameras, because they are very expensive - this would mean more government money has to go into buying this equipment. Many people argue that this money could go to better use.

    • Word count: 1078
  2. Marked by a teacher

    Describe arousal, anxiety and stress including their causes. Explain effects on performance.

    4 star(s)

    For example, the arousal levels in a Rugby team training session are likely to be higher because it requires persistence and perseverance. A training session is a low cognitive task, therefore arousal levels are going to be higher, and are likely to be more beneficial to long term performance. Performers become more intrinsically motivated and self-directed, as at training they are much more eager to learn and improve. Whereas, a Golfer (putting) which is a high cognitive task, is likely to initiate lower arousal levels - where concentration is at its highest and decision making is essential; so, as a

    • Word count: 1986

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?

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