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Building the foundations : skill acquisition in children

Renshaw, Ian (2010) Building the foundations : skill acquisition in children. In Renshaw, Ian, Davids, Keith W., & Savelsbergh, Geert J.P. (Eds.) Motor Learning in Practice : A Constraints-Led Approach. Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group), London, United Kingdon, pp. 33-44.

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Abstract

Introduction: Why we need to base childrens’ sport and physical education on the principles of dynamical systems theory and ecological psychology As the childhood years are crucial for developing many physical skills as well as establishing the groundwork leading to lifelong participation in sport and physical activities, (Orlick & Botterill, 1977, p. 11) it is essential to examine current practice to make sure it is meeting the needs of children. In recent papers (e.g. Renshaw, Davids, Chow & Shuttleworth, in press; Renshaw, Davids, Chow & Hammond, in review; Chow et al., 2009) we have highlighted that a guiding theoretical framework is needed to provide a principled approach to teaching and coaching and that the approach must be evidence- based and focused on mechanism and not just on operational issues such as practice, competition and programme management (Lyle, 2002). There is a need to demonstrate how nonlinear pedagogy underpins teaching and coaching practice for children given that some of the current approaches underpinning children’s sport and P.E. may not be leading to optimal results. For example, little time is spent undertaking physical activities (Tinning, 2006) and much of this practice is not representative of the competition demands of the performance environment (Kirk & McPhail, 2002; Renshaw et al., 2008). Proponents of a non- linear pedagogy advocate the design of practice by applying key concepts such as the mutuality of the performer and environment, the tight coupling of perception and action, and the emergence of movement solutions due to self organisation under constraints (see Renshaw, et al., in press). As skills are shaped by the unique interacting individual, task and environmental constraints in these learning environments, small changes to individual structural (e.g. factors such as height or limb length) or functional constraints (e.g. factors such as motivation, perceptual skills, strength that can be acquired), task rules, equipment, or environmental constraints can lead to dramatic changes in movement patterns adopted by learners to solve performance problems. The aim of this chapter is to provide real life examples for teachers and coaches who wish to adopt the ideas of non- linear pedagogy in their practice. Specifically, I will provide examples related to specific issues related to individual constraints in children and in particular the unique challenges facing coaches when individual constraints are changing due to growth and development. Part two focuses on understanding how cultural environmental constraints impact on children’s sport. This is an area that has received very little attention but plays a very important part in the long- term development of sporting expertise. Finally, I will look at how coaches can manipulate task constraints to create effective learning environments for young children.

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ID Code: 43616
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: Motor Learning in Practice explores the fundamental processes of motor learning and skill acquisition in sport, and explains how a constraints-led approach can be used to design more effective learning environments for sports practice and performance. Drawing on ecological psychology, the book examines the interaction of personal, environmental and task-specific constraints in the development of motor skills, and then demonstrates how an understanding of those constraints can be applied in a wide range of specific sports and physical activities. The first section of the book contains two chapters that offer an overview of the key theoretical concepts that underpin the constraints-led approach. These chapters also examine the development of fundamental movement skills in children, and survey the most important instructional strategies that can be used to develop motor skills in sport. The second section of the book contains eighteen chapters that apply these principles to specific sports, including basketball, football, boxing, athletics field events and swimming. This is the first book to apply the theory of a constraints-led approach to training and learning techniques in sport. Including contributions from many of the world’s leading scholars in the field of motor learning and development, this book is essential reading for any advanced student, researcher or teacher with an interest in motor skills, sport psychology, sport pedagogy, coaching or physical education. Contents Part 1 1. The Constraints-based Approach to Motor Learning: Implications for a Non-linear Pedagogy in Sport and Physical Education 2. Instructions as Constraints in Motor Skill Acquisition 3. Building the Foundations: Skill Acquisition in Children Part 2 4. Perceptual Training for Basketball Shooting 5. Saving Penalties, Scoring Penalties 6. Stochastic Perturbations in Athletics Field Events Enhance Skill Acquisition 7. Interacting Constraints and Inter-limb Co-ordination in Swimming 8. The Changing Face of Practice for Developing Perception: Action Skill in Cricket 9. The "Nurdle to Leg" and Other Ways of Winning Cricket Matches 10. Manipulating Tasks Constraints to Improve Tactical Knowledge and Collective Decision-making in Rugby Union 11. The Ecological Dynamics of Decision-making in Sailing 12. Using Constraints to Enhance Decision-Making in Team Sports 13. Skill Development in Canoeing and Kayaking: An Individualised Approach 14. A Constraints-led Approach to Coaching Association Football: The Role of Perceptual Information and the Acquisition of Co-ordination 15. Identifying Constraints on Children with Movement Difficulties: Implications for Pedagogues and Clinicians 16. Augmenting Golf Practice Through the Manipulation of Physical and Informational Constraints 17. Skill Acquisition in Dynamic Ball Sports: Monitoring and Controlling Action-effects 18. A Constraints-based Training Intervention in Boxing 19. Researching Co-ordination Skill 20. Skill Acquisition in Tennis: Equipping Learners for Success
Keywords: Children, Skill Aquistion, Ecological Psychology, Dynamical System Theory, Constraints
ISBN: 9780 203888100
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > HUMAN MOVEMENT AND SPORTS SCIENCE (110600) > Motor Control (110603)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Copyright Owner: © 2010 selection and editorial material, Ian Renshaw, Keith Davids and Geert J.P. Savelsbergh; individual chapters, the contributors.
Copyright Statement: All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers.
Deposited On: 27 Jul 2011 00:56
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2012 10:12

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