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Fitts & Posner Coursework

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Describe "Fitt's and Posner's" phases of learning and explain how you would structure practises to enhance a performance In this essay I will explain Fitt's and Posner's phases of learning and how I would structure practises to enhance performance. By practising a skill we can become better. Fitts and Posner theories were that everyone has to go through stages of learning, known as the cognitive, associative and autonomous stages of learning. Depending how good a person is at a particular sport, they will fall into a certain category. An example of this is Wayne Rooney. At a young age he was introduced to football and played amateur football from a young age, becoming one of the youngest strikers in football history. However by learning a skill in sport involves the development of skills by practice. An example of this is shooting practise - you can only become good by practising to kick the ball in between goalposts. Until a person becomes confident enough that they score a goal, they will naturally fall into the next category. The three stages of learning can be divided into two main categories; associationists and cognitivists. Associationists views learning of a sport as the link of particular stimulus and particular responses. Cognitivists see it as a function of the brain, where we learn through the understanding and knowledge of the sport. There are 3 stages of learning according to Fitts and Posner. ...read more.


Autonomous Learning at the autonomous stage is where the skill is done without conscious thought. The movements of the performer are fluent, consistent and athletically pleasing. There is an advanced stage of learning where the elements of the skill have become part of long term memory and are automatically produced in response to a an appropriate stimulus. The skill is automatic. The attention of the performer focuses on the next movement, for example tactics. Consistent practise is required to reinforce being at the autonomous stage. Success rate is 9/10 out of 10. In tennis for example a player would be able to perform a serve whilst contemplating what their opponent will do next, rather than being focusing on the technical side of the serve. Not all performers reach the autonomous stage in all skills. For those who do, if practise is not maintained revision to the associative stage will occur. Closed skills such as throwing events can be finely tuned so that a high level of performance can be produced. "Learning in its simplest form is the development of a position where we can't perform a skill to a stage where we can perform it." Knapp, 1973 The quote means that learning is a more or less permanent change in performance brought about by experience. Knapp is suggesting that once something is learnt, it remains with us, thus supporting the statement: Once you learn to ride a bike, you never forget'. ...read more.


There are no substitutions so the athletes' stamina must be high. By hitting a ball for a long period of time every other turn there must be a large amount of upper body strength. In order to help the athlete achieve this, the coach should set the athlete physical training such as sprints, press-up, sit-ups and bicep curls. Technique is needed when serving, volleying; as being able to retain balance quickly is essential. An example of this is Andre Agassi. "...he focused more on physical conditioning than in the past and became one of the fittest players on the tour. His upper-body strength allowed him to bench press 350 lb (159 kg), which helped him retain pace on his shots late into a match, as well as adding to his serve power. He had remarkable endurance and rarely appeared tired on court." Golf is a sport where the athlete has to be very concentrated on the game. Having a perfect technique allows one to compete to a high level. In order to help raise concentration levels the coach must remove all apprehension and put the athlete in a confident frame of mind. To help an athlete raise concentration before a game the coach could give the athlete a structured diet. Junk food will slow down the concentration rate. Tiger Woods had a bad putting strike so he went home and perfected it. "Well, that's one of the worst putting weeks I've had in a long time, very frustrating. When I get home I am going to practise until I get it right. ...read more.

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