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Practice Schedules Chapter 9. True or False? – Long term retention of a skill is best achieved by practicing a motor skill repeatedly before moving to.

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Presentation on theme: "Practice Schedules Chapter 9. True or False? – Long term retention of a skill is best achieved by practicing a motor skill repeatedly before moving to."— Presentation transcript:

1 Practice Schedules Chapter 9

2 True or False? – Long term retention of a skill is best achieved by practicing a motor skill repeatedly before moving to a different version of the task or a different task altogether. The effectiveness of a training program shouldn’t be measured by the speed of acquisition or the level of performance reached at the end of practice opportunities, but by the learner’s performance in real- world settings that are the reason for the training.

3 How should practice be structured? Determining the type of practice structure that promotes development of the individual’s capacity to produce a variety of actions from the same movement class is a key issue for movement practitioners – Ie. Throwing Throwing a ball at different speeds to different locations Throwing different types of objects into a trash can Throwing darts to different areas of a target

4 Constant vs. Variable Practice Constant practice – Practice schedule where a single variation of a given task is practiced repeatedly (in the same context) Throw the same object the same distance to the same target Variable practice – Practice schedule where multiple variations of a given task are practiced (changes in the context) Throw different objects from different distances to different targets

5 Benefits of Practice Variability Learners develop competence in altering the parameters for different dimensions of an action – To throw 20 feet, 40 feet or 60 feet, the GMP would be the same BUT, the parameters for overall force would be different If the performer uses the wrong parameters for force the throw would be too long or too short Skilled performers select the correct parameter use to meet the demands of the task

6 Benefits of Practice Variability Learners are better able to perform novel versions of a movement – Learners not only learn to perform specific versions of a movement practiced, but also develop a general capability of producing many different variations of a class of movements Practice throwing different balls to different types of targets from different distances – When a new distance and target not practiced is presented, the learner can successfully perform the novel task

7 Guidelines to Vary Practice Closed Skills – Constant regulatory conditions, variable non- regulatory conditions Open skills and closed skills with inter-trial variability – Variable regulatory and non-regulatory conditions

8 When to Implement Variable Practice Use constant practice during initial stage of learning – Facilitates the learner’s development of a basic movement pattern Once learner has acquired the basic movement pattern, variable practice should be introduced. – Superior for learning – Enhances the adaptability of movement production New versions of a task are performed more effectively

9 What do you think? A young person is thinking about applying for a job as a postal employee. The job requires workers to lift packages from a moving conveyor belt and toss them into bins situated in various locations around the conveyor. How might the person practice this task to improve his chances of getting the job?

10 Organizing Variable Practice One way to solve this practice schedule problem is to understand the concept of contextual interference Contextual interference results from practicing various skills within the same session of practice

11 Contextual Interference Interference results from switching from one skill to another or changing the context in which a task is practiced from trial to trial – Intertask variations: dribbling, free throws, passing – intratask variations: helping a person use a fork to eat peas, lettuce, spaghetti, chicken High contextual interference leads to poorer performance during acquisition BUT enhances learning

12 Continuum of Contextual Interference Effect Low Contextual Interference High Contextual Interference Schedule that organizes the practice of each task in blocks, or units, of time Repeated Block Schedule that organizes the practice of tasks in set order Schedule that organizes the practice of the tasks in random order

13 Blocked Practice One variation of a skill is practiced repeatedly before practice attempts are given on another variation – Creates low contextual interference – Should be used initially until learner gets the idea of the movement

14 Random Practice Multiple task variations are performed in a random order – Creates high contextual interference – Use once learners have acquired some degree of proficiency

15 Repeated Blocked Practice E.g. 5 successive shots at each of the 4 positions repeating the rotation twice – Creates moderate levels of contextual interference – Combines the advantages of both blocked and random practice

16 Blocked vs. Repeated Blocked vs. Random

17 Why Does The Contextual Interference Effect Occur? Idea #1: Elaboration hypothesis – Random practice engages one in more cognitive strategies – Performer retains all the skill variations in working memory – Performer develops a memory representation of a skill that can be accessed during a test

18 Why Does The Contextual Interference Effect Occur? Idea #2: Action plan reconstruction hypothesis – Random practice requires performer to reconstruct an action plan for each practice trial – Performer engages in more problem-solving – Better retention performance

19 What Are The Limits Of The Contextual Interference Effect? Learning characteristics may limit the effect – Age High amounts of contextual interference in children do not enhance learning (blocked may be better) – Skill level Students with low skills may have better retention in low amount of contextual interference (blocked may be better)

20 Limits Skills with different motor programs require more cognitive involvement= greater interference & enhanced learning However, in applied situations, intratask variations have been shown to elicit contextual interference

21 Practical Application For a skill of your choice, establish a variable practice schedule for closed skills and open skills. For a skill of your choice, establish contextual interference for a novice learner; for a skilled learner.

22 Time across practice sessions Random, repeated block, and block practice deals with time within a practice session How about the duration and frequency of practice sessions across days, weeks, months?

23 Massed vs. Distributed Practice Massed practice – Amount of time allocated to rest between sessions or practice attempts is comparatively less than the time that the learner is engaged in practice Distributed practice – Rest component between sessions or practice attempts is equal to or greater than the practice component

24 Question? A team practices for 3 hours, has an hour off, then practices for 2 hours. Is this an example of massed or distributed practice? A patient receives therapy for 1 hour every day during a hospital stay. Is this an example of massed or distributed practice?

25 Practical Implications Use distributed practice for: – Skills that are novel or complex – Continuous tasks – Tasks with high-energy requirements – Tasks that involve some degree of risk – Learners who lack physical conditioning

26 Practical Implications Cont. Use massed practice for: – Discrete skills – Learners who have acquired basic skills – Learners who are highly motivated – Learners who are in good physical condition – Learners who have longer attention spans

27 Benefits Distributed practice seems to benefit learning. Why? – More frequent repetition – Less fatigue Less incorrect movement Lower potential of injury Massed practice may improve physical conditioning for more advanced learners

28 Maximizing Time on Task Rest Intervals : change muscle groups, use C.I. Equipment substitutions : gather equipment for all, make equipment appropriate for developmental level of user Drill design : active participation by all; avoid elimination; random practice enhances learning – Small groups

29 Practical Application Using a sport or rehab activity of your choice, generate a list of possible alternatives that could be used when an insufficient amount of equipment is available.


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