Practice - How To

– Considered the single most important factor in the control of learning


– OPTIMAL = well defined task; of appropriate difficulty for athlete; with information

feedback; and sufficient opportunities for repetition and correction of errors

– Such practice has been termed DELIBERATE PRACTICE

– Such practice must be undertaken with the intent to improve, not merely a case of

“going through the motions” physically

– Most sports require a variety of skills to be learned, often many skills must be taught

per session. How to manage? Using either BLOCKED or RANDOM PRACTICE

– In BLOCKED practice, all repetitions of given task are completed before moving on.

It is said to produce better acquisition performance; poorer long-term learning as

measured by delayed retention and transfer

– In RANDOM practice no two trials practice the same task. There is a CONTEXTUAL

INTERFERENCE effect and better learning although acquisition is depressed

More elaborate processes have to be used when working memory has several tasks

– REPEATED BLOCKED PRACTICE requires several strokes of one type repeated a few times,

followed by other strokes, in rotation

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