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Motor Programme Theory

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1 Motor Programme Theory
A motor programme is a set of movements stored in the long-term memory which specify the components of a skill They are developed through well guided and well- informed practice over along period of time Motor programmes can be simple or complex

2 Formation of a motor programme
Formed by practice As its practiced images are built up in the long term memory and the effective actions are stored while the ineffective actions are eliminated With repetition only the effective actions are stored as a plan of action together with the stimuli that precede it. Image can be called upon for future use and has many advantages for the experienced performers

3 advantages One stimulus can trigger the whole programme
Reaction times are very quick Skills are habitual The performer can concentrate on peripheral detail There is less information to process because irrelevance is discarded automatically

4 Highly skilled performers are able to perform motor programmes while attending to lots of other peripheral stimuli Complex skills are broken down into sub routines Well learned sub routines are organised and sored as executive motor programmes (EMP) EMPs are recalled when needed, modified after execution and stored for future reference If skill is well learned the recall process is very short (quick reaction time) Each EMP has organised sub routines that must be completed in the correct order and adapted to the changing environment

5 The hierarchy of control
When a motor programme is stored, it consists of two parts: An executive or main task- this is the skill as a whole, such as the tennis serve Sub routines are mainly coaching points of the skill and are the parts of the task that can be focused on in practice, such as grip, stance etc, One stimulus can trigger this whole programme

6 The problem with a motor programme is that it is of no use when learning new skills and it cannot be used when the performer has to adapt. A rugby player waiting to catch a high ball may have a motor programme for the catch but would be unable to implement the programme if a sudden gust of wind altered the flight of the ball

7 Motor programmes and movement control
A motor programme controls movements automatically by open-loop control Info is picked up from the display by the receptor systems and filtered by selective attention. It is then processed in the perceptual mechanisms where the motor programme is recalled from the long-term memory Movements are controlled using images for the motor programme. There is no feedback Motor programmes are suitable when the environment is constant or the skill is closed or when the action is so fast that the performer has no time to act on any feedback

8 Basic motor programmes are similar to foundation skills and are formed during early experiences; for example, jumping, running, catching and kicking Executive from basic motor programme can become sub-routines for more complex tasks by continued and more specific practice and enhanced experience A hierarchy of control is developing which consists of a number of basic motor programmes for simpler skills and a smaller number of more complex skills which are sport-specific

9 Developing motor programmes
To build a motor programme that is more specific and complex the performer should continue to practise and make that practice specific and detailed Mental rehearsal, the process of going over the performance in the mind, will help to develop a motor programme. Concentration on the stimulus will help. If the performer is motivated, skill development will be quicker The coach should use appropriate teaching strategies and have technical knowledge Each element of skill can be broken down, to promote understanding. Feedback should be used continually to refine skills

10 Closed-loop control Closed-loop control is useful for performers who are at a lower level of performance than the experienced players who have developed motor programmes

11 How closed-loop control operates
Information is picked up from the display using the receptor systems and then the information processing mechanisms help the performer to make a decision on the appropriate response A message is sent from the brain to the muscles using the effector mechanism This message is used to tell the muscles to produce the contractions for the required movement, but as the performer is working the message may need to be modified if errors begin to occur or in response to the actions of opponents

12 A gymnast on the beam would need to check her balance as she advances towards the end of her routine. A footballer may amend the angle of his run as a defender tracks him The internal sense of kinesthesis is used to correct and amend the performance. In addition to internal feedback, the performer could receive extrinsic advice from the coach or other players as skills are practised, which would help in correction errors.

13 Closed loop control is a continuous self-checking mechanism
Once a decision is made to amend the performance using available feedback, a new message might be sent along the effector mechanism that may then be subject to further internal feedback checks, and so the process becomes continuous

14 Motor control and the phases of learning

15 The stages, or phases, of learning are described as follows
Motor programmes are developed as performers continue to learn their skills Fitts and Posner suggested in 1967 that there are three stages a performer passes through in developing from the beginner stage into the expert performer who has learned to control movements using a motor programme The stages, or phases, of learning are described as follows

16 Stage 1: The cognitive phase
The first phase is characterised by trial-and-error learning when all the attention at the performer’s disposal is given to mastering the task Movements may lack fine control and appear uncoordinated. The performer tries to understand the requirements of the task and work out the sub-routines that are needed to perform the skill The performer may have to think and concentrate hard on the task to work out the necessary movements An example of a performer in the cognitive phase of learningis a beginner watching a demonstration of a pass and notinh the required elements of that skill

17 Stage 2: the associative phase
In this phase, the performer compares, or associates, her current level of performance with the expert demonstrations she has seen from her coach or other players. The process of comparing current with expected performance is called ‘modelling’. Lots of practice is needed to make up the deficiencies between current performance and that of the expert. The performer may use more trial and error to overcome such deficiencies The associative phase is a long phase during which lengthy periods of practice may help to lay the foundations of future motor programmes. The performance is more smooth and flowing An example of a performer in the associative phase of learning is a game player practising passing techniques in training with improved confidence and efficiency

18 Stage 3: the autonomous phase
The final phase of learning occurs when the performer has reached an expert level of competence due to lengthy practice, and the motor programme is used to control movements. The performance is therefore smooth and efficient and can be triggered by one stimulus, leaving lots of attention for use on the finer elements of the skill. The performer can concentrate on detail but to maintain such high levels of performance, continued practice is needed. an example of a performer in the autonomous stage of learning is a professional games player executing a pass with skill and efficiency

19 Open-loop control 1. Display 2. Sense organs 3. Perceptual mechanisms 4. Effector 5. Muscles 6. Response

20 Closed-loop control Display 2. Sense organs 3. Perceptual mechanisms
4. Effector 5. Muscles 6. Response (back to 2 following feedback)

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