Thursday, September 28, 2006

1.1 What is the definition for a skilled performance?

Goal directed
Aesthetically pleasing

A skilled performance is a performers ability to choose and perform the right techniques at the right time, successfully, regularly and with a minimum of effort. In football the main charcteristics needed for a skilled performance such as a long range pass are:- Effiecient, goal direct, fluent, accurate .In tennis the main characteristics needed for a skilled performance such as a backhand return are: Fluent, Co-ordinated, Controlled, Goal-Direct, Efficient and accurate.

Co-ordination - An organised, working together of muscles and groups of muscles aimed at bringing about a purposeful movement such as a football performing an overhead kick. Or, in Tennis, a player having hand eye co-ordination to hit the ball.

Fluent - A smooth and natural in movement for example A Tennis player, serving the ball to the opponent. Also, fluency occurs quite a lot in football, as team mates have to work well together and create slick, intricate passing, with real accuracy and fluency.

Efficient - Where the performer is effective in the skill he/she is wanting to perform without wasting time or effort, or making mistakes. For example, in Football, if a team has been working on a set piece (free kick) it needs to be efficient to bring out the desired result. Or, in Tennis, a back handed shot needs to be efficient, otherwise they aren't going to be able to return the shot correctly.

Goal Directed - Where a performer has a purpose for achieving a set skill, they were out to achieve. For example, in football, when David Beckham is taking a free kick, he has one goal and that is to put the ball in the back of the net. Or another example could be in tennis where Roger Federer is serving to opponent he is wanting to get an 'ace'.

Control - Where the performer is in-control (in-charge) of his/her movements, for example in football, to complete a successful pace, you need to have control of your muscles and and be incontrol of youself and you actions, as just taking a wild swing at the ball will not bring out the performers desired outcome. Also, In Tennis, Roger Federer has to have great control over his shot if he is wanting to lob the ball over his opponent into the space behind him.

Consistent - Capable of being reproduced. Being able to perform the skill, week in week out, at the same, high level of ability. For example, Steven Gerrard is very consistent with his performance as he is playing at the same high ability more or less very week for his club and country. Or, for Tennis, Roger Federer is very consistent on grass, as he is unbeaten in around 20 matches.

Accurate - How well does the performer use their optimum movement pattern. for example, in football, a player shoots from a long distance, the outcome will determine on how accurate the shot is. Another example is, in Tennis, if a player is wanting to achieve an ‘ace’ on their serve to gain the upper hand, as long as power, the main characteristic is, how accurate the serve is.

Aesthetically Pleasing - Pleasing to the eye/enjoyable to watch. For example, Cristiano Ronaldo performing a sequence of skills. Or 2 Tennis players competing in a fierce on going rally.

There are many characteristics that make a skilled performance. The two sports I have decided to look at the aspects that make a skilled performance are, Football and Tennis.

There are 3 learning phases -

  • Cognitive phase - This is the first stage, identification and development of the component parts of the skill, - for example in, football, if a performer is wanting to learn how to pass a ball, they will need to know, how to hit the ball? and, where to hit the ball?
  • Associative phase - This is the second stage, linking the component parts into a smooth movement which involves practicing the skill, for example, you and 2 of your team mates get in a triangle and pass to each other, and once the performer feels comfortable with that, then by testing to see if he is comfortable with the skill, put a defender in the middle, which will make the performer think about which is the best pass to make, while under pressure, which will give him a little bit of experience when in an actual game, and use intrinsic and extrinsic feedback to perfect the skill.
  • Autonomous phase - This is the final stage of the learning phases, developing the learned skill so that it becomes automatic to the performer, this involves little or no conscious thought or attention whilst performing the skill, however not all performers will reach this stage, for example, in Tennis, a back hand return shot, it has got to be a natural movement because the performer will not have time to think about the skill he/she is performing, as they will not have enoug time to think.

Effects of transfer of learning

The effects of transfer can be:

This is where a skill developed in one sport has a bad effect on the performance of a skill in another sport.

Where a skill in one sport doesn't have any effect on the learning different skills of a new sport

Where a skill developed in one sport helps the performance of a skill in another sport, for example a skilled performer in Tennis would find it easier to pick up a slam shot in badminton than someone who isn't experienced in a racquet sport.

Where a skill can be taken directly from one sport to another.for example, a pass in basketball and a pass in netball, as they both require the same skill.

Transfer of a skill from the right side of the body to the left, for example, a pass in football, passing the ball with your right foot and ur left.

A skill developed in one sport that helps another sport more than the reverse, in other words, it has more of a positive effect rather than a negative one.

Another factor is feeback that a performer receives, the types of this are -

  • Intrinsic feedback -information received by the athlete as a direct result of producing a movement through feelings from muscles, joints and balance.
  • Extrinsic feedback - information received by other people for example, your coach, not inherent in the movement itself but will however improve intrinsic feedback.
  • Positive feedback - Used to inform the athlete as to what was correct about the movement. Athletes need to know if a movement is correct, and not only that, but they need feedback straight away as they may forget by the end of the match, as this provides the reference point for future execution of the movement. Positive feedback is essential in motivating athletes as alot of the top athletes in the modern day game, rely on confidence.
  • Negative feedback - Used to inform the athlete as to what was unsuccessful about the movement. Negative feedback can be used to prepare for future performances, however, when giving negative feedback, you have to be careful that you do not knock the player's confidence, the feedback must be constructive criticism.

1.2 Contrasting Sports - Foootball vs Tennis

Although Football and Tennis are 2 completely different sports, there are many similarities, as the performers from each sport both need to be consistent every time they play. However I feel there is more pressure on a Tennis player to perform more consistantly as football is a team game and they will have players around them to make up for their mistakes, but with Tennis, if the performer makes a mistake their is no-one there to cover for him/her.

Another similarity between the two contrasting sports is that a key characteristic is Goal Direct, as in both sports, they have a dead ball situation, where it is upto the individual to produce the outcome that he/she desires, for instance in football, the dead ball situation could be a free kick from 25 yards and there is only one thought in the kickers mind, and that would be to put the ball in the back of the net, and in Tennis an example of this is when the player is about to serve to the opponent, and there should only be one goal in the performers mind and that is to make sure that the ball is not returned-'to get an ace'. Therefore for these performers to achieve their desired outcome they would need to block out the environmental factors of the spectators shouting abuse to try and put you off and also the opposition try to do the same.

Another key characteristic similarity between the two sports, is that in both sports you need a great deal of accuracy in some of the certain skills they perform, for example, in football if a player is executing a 40 yard pass he/she will need alot of accuracy to be able to get the ball to the player's feet. In comparison, a forehand shot in tennis would need to be performed with a certain degree of accuracy because if the shot is hit well enough into the place where the performer intended, it is going to make it very hard for the opponent to return the shot.

However, although there is many similarities there is also some contrasting key characteristics, for example, in football, co-ordination in football is vitally necessary if you you are wanting to be the best, as without co-ordination the team wouldn't be able to gel, as they wouldn't have the skill to work well together - 'teamwork'. Wheras in Tennis, yes some people would argue that co-ordination is needed as you need hand - eye co-ordination, but footballers also need to co-ordinate with there body, but also they need to work well with their team mates.

Another example of these two sports contrasting is that in Tennis aesthetically pleasing, I feel isn't a key characteristic although they sometimes have fluent rally's, you don't really get chance to do any fancy skills, however in football, which I feel is the popularist sport in the world at the moment, is due to it being aesthetically pleasing, as it has the enjoy-ability and like-ability factor. For example, Arsenal's slick passing ability, or the individual finesse of Cristiano Ronaldo and Ronaldihno.

1.5 Identify the types of skill

In football the effect of environmental factors is massive, as it is a sport where mainly all aspects of the game consist of skills that are predominantly perceptual open skills, as the opposition changes every week, some weeks the opponents are harder than the last, which would make it hard for the performer to perform the skill in the same way as the last week, an example of this could be a pass in football because although you are wanting to achieve the goal of getting the ball to your team mate, there are many environment factors that have changed -

  • Spectators
  • Opposistion
  • Officials
  • Weather
  • Team mates
  • Stadium - pitch surface

Also in football the skills that are performed are mainly externally paced skills as things are always changin like the environment, which may include opponents, which controls the rate of performing the skill. The performer has to pay attention to external events in order to control his/her rate of movement.

Footballers have to perform many discrete, serial and continuous skills throughout a game.

Discrete - A well defined, single skill action that has a clear beginning and an end for example, a penalty kick in football.

Serial - A serial skill is, a group of discrete skills put together to make a more complexed skill, for example, in football, an in-direct free kick is a serial skill because, a player has got to pass the ball before the other player can shoot, and once he has shot it will either go in or miss.

Continuous - The definition of a continuous skill is, a skill that doesn't have a clear beginning or an end to change it from a basic movement to a more complexed one, for example, a group of skills performed by Ronaldihno, where he takes on a numorus amount of players, however the skill could be stopped at anytime e.g got tackled.

There are many different types of skill involved in football -

  • Cognitive - These are types of skills that require thought processes such as learning.
  • Perceptual - Interpretation of presented information for example, John Terry is a top class player, and one of the reasons is that he is very good at reading the game well as he is experienced, and can interpret where the ball will land.
  • Motor - movement and muscle control performed with consistency is regarded as a learned motor skill, for example, consistently scoring penalties without missing.
  • Perceptual motor - involve the thought, interpretation and movement skill, for example John Terry may not be the quickest player, although he can read the game alot quicker than other players which gives him that head start to get to the ball first.

The environmental factors effecting tennis isn't massive as skills take place in a stable, predictable environment, as the weather doesn't change and the performer knows exactly what to do and when to do it. Therefore, skills are not affected by the environment and tend to be internal skills as it tends to be self-paced and controlled, also the movements and actions follow set patterns and have a clear beginning and end, for example a serve in Tennis.

In Tennis, you have to perform many discrete, serial and continuous skills throughout a match, an example of each one of these are -

  • Discrete - A performer serving the ball to the opponent, and achieving an 'ace'.
  • Serial - Where both players have a rally, however it will still have a beginning and an end because the beginning is the service and the ending is when one player is unable to return a shot.
  • Continuous - In Tennis, a continuous skill could be argued that a rally is one due to the fact that you don't know who is going to win the rally.

There are many different types of skill involved in Tennis, some of which are:-

  • Cognitive - This is a type of skill that requires mental thought process such as learning
  • Perceptual - Roger Federer is a great example for this as he is very good at anticipating and reading where the opponent is going to hit the ball
  • Motor - In Tennis, this is where the performer can consistently serve good serves without getting any faults frequently.
  • Perceptual motor - In Tennis this is why Roger Federer is so successful so he is so good at reading the play, and makes it easy for himself to return a shot, and puts the opponent on the backhand.

1.6 Similarities and differences in types of skill

Having identified the aspects of types of skill for each sport, i am now going to compare and contrast, the differences and similarities, of the types of skill, each sport requires.

In football, performing the right skills to the best of their ability is, in my opinion, hard than Tennis as there is alot more environmental factors to consider, because in football, are alot louder and critical of the players during a game, an example of this is, since Cristiano Ronaldo helped get Rooney sent off in the world cup, fans this season boo him everytime he's on the ball, so it must be very hard on him psychologically, this is due to the fact that football fans are passionate, in contrast to the Tennis spectators, which are very respectful and quiet towards the perfomers.

Another constrasting factor of the two sports is, the stadiums that they play in as top professional footballers play in stadiums upto 102,000 fans wheras compared to the biggest Tennis stadium its only 23,000, so the footballers could face the psychological factor of being intimidated by the supports, especially if their away, as their could be around 95,000 fans shoutin abuse at them, which could effect their decision making.

The 3rd contrasting factor between the two sports is the weather, because if it rains in tennis or anything that may change the surface of the pitch, the match is called off, wheras in football unless the game is unplayable the game will go ahead which will affect the ability of how a player plays, as they have to adjust to the playing surface. For example, if it rains, the ball will move alot quicker and skid along the floor, as it is a wet surface.

Although there are many contrasting factors, both these sports have things in common, for example, both sports have to deal with the pressure of success by their fans, although the capacitys are different, both performers from each sport are put under pressure which they have to over come. Also the performers from each sport need to successfully perform discrete skills, such as, in tennis, serving an ace and in football, scoring a free kick, serial skills for example, winning a rally against his/her opponent and continuous aspects of their game, like, keeping concentration during a rally and not having a laps of concentration in Tennis and in Football performing a variety of skills taking players on and keeping possesion.

Another similarity in the sports is, that the top performers are very good at using the perceptual skill, as, to be the best, you need to be able to visualise and read the game, to know where the ball is going to land, which leads onto the next skill of perceptual motor, where once the performer has read the game, then the performer needs to anticipate and move for the ball, which helps them to be in comfortable control of the situation.