Review the classification of skills to include the differences between individual, co active and interactive skills.

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Review the classification of skills to include the differences between individual, co active and interactive skills

‘Skill consists of the ability to bring about some end result with maximum certainty and minimum outlay of energy…’ (Guthrie, 1952)

Welford described the concept of skill as ‘An organised co-ordinated activity in relation to an object or situation which involves a whole chain of sensory, central and motor mechanisms.’

Every sport requires different types of skill, as each sport has individual requirements. The four main elements of the classification system are; body involvement, environmental conditions, continuity and pacing. (Physical Education and the Study of Sport. Davis et al) Skills are further categorised into open or closed, discrete, serial or continuous, self or externally paced, and fine or gross skills. (Advanced PE for Edexcel; Galligan, Maskery, Spence, Howe, Barry, Ruson, Crawford)

Closed and open skills can be placed on Knapp’s open-closed continuum

                0       1       2       3       4       5       6       7       8       9       10                                                                                                            

closed                                                                                                         open

                 3       2      1                                           5       4

Closed skills;

  • Have no outside influence
  • Are consistently performed the same each time
  • Have a stable and predictable environment  

(Advanced PE for Edexcel. Galligan et al)

Examples of closed skill are;

  1. Tennis serve.  I have placed this at 2 on the continuum. The server is not affected by their opposition and time limits, and they are also allowed a second serve. The reason it is not completely closed is because the server may be slightly affected by environment conditions, such as bright sunlight or strong winds.
  2. Basketball free throw.  This is placed at 1 on the scale. The player is completely in control of the free throw and cannot be interrupted. The game will be situated on a basketball court, which is usually inside, so the environment will not affect them. However, the pressure to score could slightly hinder their performance.
  3. Gymnastics routine.  This is placed at 0. This has no outside influences that can affect the gymnast. The environment is constant, there is no opposition so it should be performed the same each time.
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An open skill is one which;

  • Is affected by the environment
  • Has unstable and variable outside influences
  • Is never performed exactly the same each time

(Advanced PE for Edexcel. Galligan et al)

Examples of open skill are;

  1. Receiving a tennis serve.  This is placed at 8 on the scale. The serve strength, speed, height and direction are entirely influenced by the server. There are also outside variables such as a slippy court or the ball has spin on it. However, the receiver can decide to take the ball early or late, by ...

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