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Skill Ability and Technique

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What is the difference between Skill, Ability and Technique and explain how you would structure practices to enhance these components of fitness? In my essay, I shall cover what ability, technique and skill actually are, and their differences. I will go onto explain the relationship between all of these components of fitness and then go on to further explain how you can improve them by changing the styles and approaches of different types of practices. To be able to work out what practices suit each component of fitness, we first need to know the definitions of ability, technique and skill. "Ability is the make up of an athlete whom we inherit from our parents" (Quote from Text Book). Abilities can be either perceptual or motor or a combination of both, however, most abilities to do with action is a combination and is referred to as psychomotor abilities. These skills can be developed from a young age through simple play and childhood experiences. Examples of ability are Static and Dynamic strength, Extent and Dynamic Flexibility, Gross body co-ordination, Stamina, Static and Dynamic Balance, Hand-Eye co-ordination and Agility. A clear definition of technique is as follows; "A well-defined procedure used to accomplish a specific activity or task. ...read more.


Firstly, to obtain the knowledge about what practices best suit the enhancements of each component of fitness, you first need understand the four types of practice; Fixed, Variable, Distributed and Massed. Fixed Practice involves the repetition of an activity, which allows the skill to be over learned or automatic to the learner. This type of practise is ideal for performances that need to be doing in the exact same way. Massed practice is when you perform a practice in a match like situation, for example, lacrosse, where you set a practice of a 6 a-side game with similar rules. This can be developed in a full sized game with identical rules. Rules can be adapted to help the performer improve. Variable Practice involves a variety of activities. The learner will practice applying his/her skills to a number of different environments in practice, allowing the development of both the skill and ability to adapt when come up against different situations. This is especially good practice for real games or races as it replicates the constantly changing situations. Distributed Practice involves the division of a practice session into sections. The overall session involves breaks between each section during which the next activity is explained. ...read more.


For example, in lacrosse the skill of cradling the ball can be first practiced by just walking with the ball in the stick, then at jogging pace, then at full speed until eventually the cradling is practised using defenders and ultimately in a game situation. In badminton, you can start off with soft smashes to the body, and over time the practice can be continually developed step by step until the performer is practicing returning hard smashes all over the court. As High jump doesn't contain many open or interactive skills, this type of practice would not be ideal for the sport. To actually teach certain ability to a performer, I think it is crucial to use the fixed practice at all times. This is because specific abilities do not differ from person to person, they only improve, so by repeating these abilities continuously, you eventually perfect it. In conclusion I feel that skill, technique and ability are all closely linked and that changing one affects another. Skill and technique can be improved where as ability is natural. It is also very clear from the information I have provided that it is easy to structure practices which are highly efficient at enhancing each component of fitness, but it is crucial you pick the correct ones. ...read more.

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