Outline the differences between skill, ability and technique and explain how practice makes perfect.

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Outline the differences between skill, ability and technique

and explain how practice makes perfect

Skill is an inherent part of every sport. Performers use skill to achieve their objectives, for example; scoring a goal, executing somersaults or hitting a forehand winner. Skill is fundamental to all sports performance.

Skill and technique are often used to inter-changeably in sport. Skill could be defined s a performer’s ability to select, organise and perform techniques, appropriate to a particular situation, in an effective, consistent and efficient way.

Techniques are concerned with how performers execute sports movement; skill is concerned with why and when performers execute the movements. A sliced serve in tennis, a round off in gymnastics and a push pass in hockey are all examples of techniques. Most sports involve a variety or combination of separate techniques. Therefore, learning a variety of techniques is important for developing sport potential.

Ability is a term synonymous with the word skill and is often used in the definition of skilled behaviour. Abilities are said to be enduring capacities or qualities and characteristics that a person has within them. Abilities are said to be innate, inherited traits, factors that help, for instance a persons agility, co-ordination and speed of reactions.

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A performer learns to use these underlying innate qualities in an organised way in order to carry out a co-ordinated movement.

To perform a skill, the first thing you need to do is learn it, using your information processing system.

Input                Decision-making                Output                Feedback

The best way to learn a complex skill is to break it into parts and learn each part separately. Move the skill into your long-term memory through lots of practice.

Principles of Practice

  • All practices should be chosen as a result of assessment.
  • All practices should be chosen to suit the learners’ present level ...

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