Motor Learning - a relatively __permanent__ change in the performance
levels of a motor task as the result of __practice___.
Ability vs. Skill
Ability- a general, enduring trait affected by both learning and heredity [e.g
Skill – specific to a given task and gained through experience [e.g.
performing balance beam in gymnastics, a skill that requires the ability to
I. MOTOR SKILLS
Motor Skill - denotes an act or task that has a goal to achieve and that
requires __voluntary___ body or limb movement to be properly performed.
The acquisition of a motor skill is a process in which the learner develops a
set of __motor__ responses into an __integrated___ and __organized___
movement pattern. Skill, unlike talent, is a consequence of
Many separate components called motor abilities contribute to the way in
which skill learning occurs.
That list incudes :
Muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiobascular endurance, speed,
agility, balance, eye/hand-eye/foot coordination, control precision, multi-
limb coordination, reaction time, manual dexterity, power.
A. Characteristics of Skillful Motor Performance
1. Production of a __fast___ output of __high__ quality.
2. An appearance of __ease___ and smoothness of ___movement_____.
3. An anticipation of ___variations__ in the stimulus situation before they
4. Reduction in time to make a choice of ___responses___ once the signal is
B. Types of Variables That Affect The Learning of a Motor Skill
1. Input variables - involve the __capacity__ of a performer to understand
directions, to judge velocities of objects in a complex space field, as well
as his ability to perceive his own __movements___.
2. State of the performer - ___maturation___, tension and arousal, motives,
3. Nature of the practice ___afforded___ - whether practice is massed or
distributed, whether a skill is practiced as a whole or in parts, or whether
the skill is a component in a series.
C. Motor Skill Classification Systems
Determine which components of a skill are common or similar to components of
For each classification system, consider each of the two categories as extreme ends
of a continuum.
Gross vs. Fine, Discrete vs. Continuous, Closed vs. Open
#1. Based on ___precision____ of movement:
This classification system is most commonly used in special education, adapted
physical education, and rehabilitation.
__Gross__ motor skills - involve __large__ musculature as the primary basis of
movement - walking, throwing, jumping, most sport skills .
While __precision___ of movement is not an important component, the smooth
coordination of movement is essential to the skilled performance of these tasks.
__Fine__ motor skills - skills that require the ability to control __small__ muscles
of the body in order to achieve the successful execution of the skill. Generally,
these skills involve __hand___-__eye__ coordination and require a high degree of
precision of movement - writing, drawing, piano playing, watch making
__Physical__ therapists usually work with gross motor skills while
__occupational___ therapists work on fine motor skills. 3
#2. Based on ___distinctiveness____ of beginning and end points of the
This classification system is most commonly used by motor learning researchers
and in human engineering and human factors.
__Discrete__ motor skill - clearly __defined__ beginning and end points -
throwing a ball, pushing in the clutch in a car, hitting a key on a computer
Discrete skills can be put together in a __series__ - serial motor skills - starting a
standard transmission automobile, a dance routine, shooting an arrow in archery.
Each skill consists of a specific series of movements that must be performed in a
specific order for proper execution of the skill.
__Continuous____ motor skill - has __arbitrary__ beginning and end points. The
performer or some external force determines the beginning or end point of the skill
rather than the skill itself - steering a car, tracking tasks such as using a pursuit
rotor, swimming, running, etc.
#3. Based on _stability_ of the environment in which the skill is performed:
This classification system is most commonly used in __physical___ education.
Closed skills - the performance environment is __stable_ and ___predictable___ -
golf, bowling, archery, weightlifting, swimming, etc. These skills are __self-
The stimulus waits to be acted on by the performer.
Require similar responses each time a response is required
Open skills - the performance environment is ____constantly changing______ and
is therefore much less ___predictable___ - hitting a tennis ball, racquetball,
baseball, etc., team sports
The performer is required to make rapid modifications in her plan of action to
match the demands of the situation. The performer must act according to the
action of the object or the characteristics of the environment.
__Externally__ paced task 4
D. Stages of Skill Acquisition
Although the transition from an unskilled to a skilled performer may be regarded
as a continuous process, it has been suggested that a number of clear __stages___
can be identified:
1. Cognitive Stage:
Performer needs to ___understand___ what has to be done - coach gives repeated
visual demonstrations and verbal explanations
Performer is concerned with organization of __which___ movements to make
rather than __how__ to make them
Performer is attempting to form a __mental__ plan of the performance that will
govern his actions
Errors are made ___frequently__ and tend to be large
Performance is __highly___ variable
In the attempts made to improve the skill, the responses are changed
Coach gives diagnostic knowledge of results (KR)
2. Associative Stage:
Performer moves to this stage when he is able to __reproduce___ a reasonable
approximation of the __desired__ movement
In this stage, the task of the performer is to __refine___ the necessary movements
required for the execution of the task
Errors are no longer _large_
Performers are now able to recognize __errors__ without always having their
attention directed to them by the coach
Concerned with __how t