Discuss the Differences between skill, ability & technique. Explain how practise makes perfect.

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Discuss the Differences between skill, ability & technique. Explain how practise makes perfect.

What is skill?

Skill, Ability and Technique are words that are often used in sports literature and by coaches. They are sometimes taken to mean the same thing; however, this is not the case. Each has its own implications and concepts, but the terms are often linked. These aspects of sport are important in the training programmes and practices of athletes and need to be evaluated to learn how to make the chosen activity perfect.

Skill is sport specific. It exists within all sports but each sport entails different skills. A skill is seen as a coordinated act, involving a group of movements put together in a consistent and smooth manner. There are many interpretations as to what constitutes a skilful movement because views vary from novice to expert level. Skill has been defined by a number of different experts. The following are two definitions:

"An organized co-ordinated activity in relation to an object or situation, which involves a whole chain of sensory, central and motor mechanisms." (Welford, cited by Galligan et al 2000)

"Excellence of performance - the successful integration of a hierarchy of abilities (all of the abilities we have) appropriate to a task under given conditions." (Prof. G.P. Meredith) 

Both of the above quotes show the distinct link between skill, ability and technique. Skill can be broken down into a number of different formats. These are: Cognitive skills, Perceptual skills, Motor skills and perceptual motor skills. Cognitive skills involve the use of a person's intellect. Thought processes such as calculations, for example: working out goal difference in football or working out remaining points available on a snooker table. Perceptual skills involve the interpretation of stimuli i.e. how information received is processed. Motor skills involve joint and muscular control when performing an action, for example running or walking. These separate skills are all needed in order to be successful at a particular sport so skills are referred to as 'perceptual motor skills'. This is a process involving thought, interpretation, movement and cognitive skills.

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 What is ability?.

For it to be possible to perform a skill in any sport, the ability to carry out the necessary training or practice is required. In general, people are born with abilities (innate) or they are developed early in life; which explains why so many of today's sporting successes started at an early age e.g. Tiger Woods picked up his first golf club when he was three years old.

"Abilities are often seen as the building blocks of sport." (Galligan et al 2000) UcQ2WcOmu Visit UcQ2WcOmu

This quote from the 'Advanced PE' textbook shows how without the basic ...

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