Discuss the differences between skill, ability and

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Discuss the differences between skill, ability and technique and explain how you would structure practices to enhance these components of fitness

Both skill and technique are learnt and developed, whereas ability is innate. Because skill and technique are learnt, they are dependent on practice to be able to progress. As ability is innate, you are born with specific abilities, which will help you to develop skills and techniques. For example, if you are of average height, have good coordination and have an abundance of fast-twitch fibres in your legs then you have the ability to become a sprinter. Although ability is said to be innate, research has shown that some abilities can be enhanced, especially in early childhood. However, innate abilities are needed to reach the highest levels in sport.

There are 3 types of skill:

Cognitive - involves thought processes

Perceptual - involves interpretation of information

Motor - involves movement

The relationship between skill, ability and technique can be defined with the equation:


The other components of fitness are: power, speed, muscular endurance, mobility, cardio-vascular endurance, co- ordination, local muscular endurance anaerobic endurance, and reaction time and body composition. Each different sport will require all theses different components of fitness to be able to perform in their sport. Some sports will require different or more than others. Components of fitness are important because without them a performer would not be able to perform their chosen sport or activity. High levels of fitness will hopefully improve the way they undertake their sport, giving a higher performance level. Practices can be used to improve levels of fitness and also technique and skill. Practice can be defined as: the repetition of technique and skill, often taken out of the context of a whole game, so that it can be improved.

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Fixed practice involves repetition of an activity leading to automatic responses. The movement becomes second nature, ideal for non-adaptive skills always the same. This could be a basketball player practicing a set shot who will shoot several balls over and over again trying to get it through the hoop. This is a closed skill. Variable practice involves a variety of activities and situations. The learner applies the skill to a number of different environments. In practice one learns to apply it to a range of different circumstances i.e. starting with a football and moving it from side to side whilst ...

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