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Review the classifications of Skills

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  • Pages: 5
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  • Category: Skills

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A skill is “ability or abilities that have been used to develop a skill”(internet 1). An example of this in a team sport would be a penalty in either football, hockey or to the same extent a conversion in Rugby. The abilities required for this skill would be being able to keep a cool or calm head whilst under pressure without losing your head and also the main ability would be the ability to kick the ball. An example of this in a racket and individual game would be a forehand smash in either table tennis or lawn tennis both require the abilities of good hand to eye co-ordination and also to be able to keep good balance.

The difference between an ability and a skill is abilities are something that you are born with which can be developed and moulded into a skill that is specific to a certain sport or area of a sport.

Skills can be classified along continuums. A continuum is a “continuous succession of which no part can be distinguished from neighbouring parts” (Internet 2). This can be simplified to a line at which both ends are two extremes that are opposite in all ways possible i.e. open / closed.

Skills can also be classified into groups i.e. individual, coactive and interactive this is not a continuum because there are no set points in between each of the group’s skill classification and also a skill is either one or the other it cannot be somewhere in the middle whilst continuums can.

Skills can be classified in a variety of continuums. A few of these continuums are fine to gross, open to closed, continuous to discrete to serial and internally paced to externally paced.

A fine skill is a skill that requires little movement but extreme accuracy, however on the other end of the continuum a gross skill is a skill that requires a lot of bodily movement. An example of a fine skill would be a leg glance in cricket, as it requires little movement of the body in fact only requires a small flick of the wrist and the use of few muscles. An example of a gross skill would be a rugby tackle, this skill requires much bodily movement and requires the use of many of the body’s muscles.

Another continuum is open skills to closed skills. “Open skill are those which are directly influenced by the environment” and “closed skills are skills that have no outside influences acting upon them.”(Galligan, 2000). An open skill would be a conversion attempt in Rugby as the direction in which the kicker decides to kick the ball is affected by the direction of the wind. An example of a closed skill would be a handstand as it is performed in the same way each time.

A further continuum that skills can be classified upon would be continuous to serial to discrete. “Continuous skills are skills which have no obvious beginning or end”(Davis 1997). “Serial skills have several discrete elements which art put together to form an integrated movement or sequence of movements”(Honeybourne 2000). “Discrete skills have a well defined beginning and end usually brief in nature as a single specific skill”(Wesson 2000). An example of a continuous skill would be a 100m race in athletics; the running motion has no set beginning middle or end. An example of a serial skill would be the triple jump which has three set stages which are integrated together to form a specific skill these stages are hop, step and jump. An example of a discrete skill would be diving contests, which has a very noticeable beginning and end.

The last continuum, which I am going to explain, is the continuum of externally paced to internally paced. Externally paced is when “where the timing of performance is not controlled by the performer” whilst a internally paced skill is a skill which is “where the performer decides the timing of the skill”

These are but the continuums of which skills can be classified upon. Skills can also be classified into groups. A few of these groups are co-active skills, interactive skill and individual skills.

Co-active skills are skills, which are “performed at the same time as others without direct confrontation”. An example of this would be 50m freestyle race in swimming, “we perform alongside others but cannot physically influence them”(Galligan 2000)

Interactive skills “are those where other performers are directly involved. There is a direct influence on skilful performance in the form of active opposition” (Galligan 2000), like a penalty in football the skill of trying to score meets the goalkeepers skill of trying to save the ball.

Individual skills are “performed in isolation. These are skills where we are the only performer at a particular time.”(Galligan 2000). An example of this would be the high jump in field athletics. “Where we perform alone and are then followed by another performer.”(Galligan 2000).

It is important to classify skills so that performers can look at the skills they have and see what other skill they may be good at with the abilities which they already have.

It is beneficial for a coach to be able to classify skills in order to create a warm-up or training session in which they can work the muscles or improve the skills to make the performer better at his or her sport. A coach can also see what area of skills his players are doing badly this way he can produce a exercise that improves those sort of skills.

It is also beneficial for a performer to be able to classify skills so he or she can work out sport specific training. It would also help a performer who is coming back form injury as the could work out a work out that would keep the muscles required for there sport in shape without any actual direct play or direct opponent.

A good example of this would be the manager of Crewe Alexandra F.C who realised that his team kept getting wrestled off the ball whilst in the box for a corner or also in direct play. After realising this he decided to take his team for some wrestling training in order to teach them the skill of being able to get away from players whilst up for a corner or dribbling with the ball.

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