Discuss the differences between skill, ability and technique and explain how you would structure practices to enhance these components of fitness.
Every sport requires a certain amount of skill, ability and technique. Together, these fitness components contribute to becoming a successful sports performer.
Skill is defined as a movement which “a predetermined objective is accomplished with the maximum efficiency and minimum outlay of energy”. Skills involve a co-ordinated act of complex movements brought together in a consistent and smooth movement, for example, scoring a goal in hockey. Different skill classifications are required for different sports which all affect an athlete’s performance such as individual, co-active and interactive, whereas some skill types apply to all sports. Skills can be cognitive, this involves thought processes, perceptual skills involve the interpretation of stimuli and motor skills involve the muscular system. Ability is an athlete’s natural talent for a particular sport and contributes to skill, it is defined as “inherited traits that determine an individuals co-ordination, balance, speed of reactions etc.” (R.Arnot and C.Gaines) As it is innate, it cannot be learned, for example strength and co-ordination. Athletes learn to use their innate qualities in order to improve their performance. A technique is the basic movements of any sport and is “how you perform a skill”. Movements within a sport are made up of a combination of techniques, for example, tumbles in gymnastics comprise of different phases, depending on the difficulty of the agility, each phase that makes up the entire skill is a learned technique.