The ecological dynamics of decision-making in sailing

Araujo, Duarte, Rocha, Luís, & Davids, Keith W. (2010) The ecological dynamics of decision-making in sailing. 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 Kingdom, pp. 131-143.

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Competitive sailing is characterised by continuous interdependencies of decisions and actions. All actions imply a permanent monitoring of the environmental conditions, such as intensity and direction of the wind, sea characteristics, and the behaviour of the opponent sailors. These constraints on sailors’ behavior are in constant change implying continuous adjustments in sailors’ actions and decisions. Among the different parts of a regatta, tactics and strategy at the start are particularly relevant. Among coaches there is an adage that says that “the start is 50% of a regatta” (Houghton, 1984; Saltonstall, 1983/1986). Olympic sailing regattas are performed with boats of the same class, by one, two or three sailors, depending on the boat class. Normally before the start, sailors visit the racing venue and analyse wind and sea characteristics, in order to fine- tune their boats accordingly. Then, five minutes before the start, sailors initiate starting procedures in order to be in a favourable position at the starting line (at the “second zero”). This position is selected during the start period according to wind shifts tendencies and the actions of other boats (Figure 11.1). Only after the start signal can the boats cross the imaginary starting line between the race committee signal boat “A” and the pin end boat. The start takes place against the wind (upwind), and the boats start racing in the direction of mark 1. Based on the evaluation of the sea and wind characteristics (e.g. if the wind is stronger at a particular place on the course), sailors re- adjust their strategy for the regatta. This strategy may change during the regatta, according to wind changes and adversary actions. More to the point, strategic decisions constrain and are constrained by on- line decisions during the regatta.

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ID Code: 43640
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.

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: Perception, Decision-Making, Action, Ecological Dynamics
ISBN: 978–0- 203–88810–0
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: 26 Jul 2011 23:53
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2015 07:33

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