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Acquisition and Performance of Sports Skills

Acquisition and Performance of Sports Skills

Terry McMorris

ISBN: 978-0-470-84995-8

May 2004

320 pages


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Acquisition and Performance of Sports Skills provides students with the theoretical and practical background that is necessary for an understanding of the basics of skill acquisition and performance. This understanding is founded on the student's existing knowledge of sport and leads into the subject, using a student centred, problem-solving approach. The first half of the book examines the nature of sports performance and the second skill acquisition. There is a debate among researchers into psychomotor learning: the ecological versus the cognitive approach. Because this book is aimed clearly at students taking a first course in the subject the author includes examples from both schools of thought thus ensuring a balanced approach.
  • looks at skill acquisition firmly within the context of sports performance
  • takes students' practical experience as a starting point then clearly explains the underlying theories
  • presents both cognitive and ecological approaches to the subject to give a balanced view
  • excellent pedagogy including problem-solving tasks, practical experiments and revision notes at the end of chapters
Written by an author with many years teaching, research and practical coaching experience, Acquisition and Performance of Sport Skills proves invaluable for students of sport and exercise science taking a first course in skill acquisition, motor learning and/or motor control.

This is the second title to appear in the Wiley SportTexts Series that aims to provide textbooks covering the key disciplines within the academic study of sport.

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Series Preface xi

Prologue xiii

1 Skill, Ability and Performance 1

Learning Objectives 1

Introduction 2

Skill 2

Classification of skills 5

Ability 7

The ability–skill interaction 10

Summary 12

Theories of performance 12

Information Processing Theory 13

Ecological psychology theories 17

Conclusion 21

Key points 21

Test your knowledge 25

Part one 25

Part two 27

Additional reading 29

2 Perception 31

Learning Objectives 31

Introduction 32

Information Processing Theory and perception 32

Signal Detection Theory 33

Pattern recognition 36

Selective attention 37

Visual search 41

Individual differences 42

Summary 45

Ecological psychology and perception 45

Criticisms of the ecological approach 50

Summary 50

Conclusion 50

Key points 51

Test your knowledge 55

Part one 55

Part two 59

Additional reading 61

3 Decision Making 63

Learning Objectives 63

Introduction 64

Information Processing Theory and decision making 64

Individual differences 68

Dynamical Systems Theory and goal achievement 69

Research findings and problems with research design 70

Conclusion 73

Implications for coaches and players 73

Key points 74

Test your knowledge 76

Part one 76

Part two 77

Additional reading 78

4 Reaction Time 79

Learning Objectives 79

Introduction 80

Inter- and intra-individual differences 82

Hick–Hyman Law 84

Probability and choice reaction time 85

Psychological refractory period 86

Arousal and reaction time 87

Stimulus and response factors 88

Reaction-time research findings as evidence for Information Processing Theory 91

Key points 91

Test your knowledge 94

Part one 94

Part two 96

Additional reading 97

5 Anticipation 99

Learning Objectives 99

Introduction 100

Interceptive actions 100

Information Processing Theory and interceptive actions 100

Action Systems Theory and interceptive actions 102

Perceptual anticipation 104

Information Processing Theory and perceptual anticipation 104

Ecological psychology and perceptual anticipation 105

Research paradigms in perceptual anticipation 105

Conclusion 110

Key points 110

Test your knowledge 113

Part one 113

Part two 115

Additional reading 116

6 Memory 117

Learning Objectives 117

Introduction 118

Information Processing Theory and memory 118

Sensory information store 118

Short-term memory 119

Short-term motor memory 122

Long-term memory 124

Ecological psychology and attunement to affordances 126

Key points 127

Test your knowledge 130

Part one 130

Part two 132

Additional reading 133

7 Motor Control 135

Learning Objectives 135

Introduction 136

Information Processing Theory and motor control 137

CNS–PNS interaction 137

Efferent organization 143

Ecological psychology and motor control 148

Visual guidance of movement 150

Discussion 152

Key points 155

Test your knowledge 158

Part one 158

Part two 161

Additional reading 162

8 Learning 163

Learning Objectives 163

Introduction 164

Measuring learning 164

Information Processing Theory and learning 169

Instruction 171

Cognitivist theories of learning 174

Dynamical Systems Theory and learning 180

Developmental factors affecting learning 182

Cognitive development 183

Motor development 186

Optimal periods of learning 188

Practical implications 189

Key points 191

Test your knowledge 196

Part one 196

Part two 197

Part three 199

Part four 201

Additional reading 202

9 Practice 203

Learning Objectives 203

Introduction 204

Information Processing Theory and practice 204

Types of practice 204

Transfer of training 211

Feedback 216

Timing and precision of feedback 218

Dynamical Systems Theory and practice 221

Practical implications 224

Key points 228

Test your knowledge 232

Part one 232

Part two 237

Part three 238

Additional reading 239

10 Arousal and Performance 241

Learning Objectives 241

Introduction 242

Inverted-U theories 243

Yerkes–Dodson Theory 243

Easterbook’s cue utilization theory 245

Drive Theory 246

Allocateable Resources Theories 248

Practical implications 249

Warm-up decrement 249

Warm-up 250

Key points 251

Test your knowledge 253

Part one 253

Part two 255

Additional reading 256

11 Conclusion 257

Introduction 257

State of the art 257

Skill 258

Abilities 258

Perception 259

Decision making 259

Reaction time 259

Anticipation 260

Motor control 260

Memory 260

Learning 260

Practice 261

Information Processing Theory versus ecological psychology theories 261

Appendix 1 Writing an Academic Paper 265

Appendix 2 Glossary of Terms Used by Ecological Psychologists 269

Appendix 3 Test Your Knowledge Answers 271

References 287

Index 293

"...invaluable for students of sport...second title in a new series, Wiley SportTexts..." (Chichester Observer, 22 April 2004)
  • Looks at skill acquisition firmly within the context of sports performance.
  • Takes students’ practical experience as a starting point then clearly explains the underlying theories.
  • Presents both ‘cognitive’ and ‘ecological’ approaches to the subject to give students a balanced view.
  • Provides problem-solving tasks and practical experiments at the end of each chapter.
  • Part of the new Wiley Series: SportTexts.