Basketball is a game which requires a broad range of skills (See Appendix 1) in order to perform at a high standard (See Appendix 2 for characteristics of skilled performers) (Bach 2011). The game of basketball provides a singular opportunity to study the perception of skilled performance, since fans, coaches, athletes, and announcers all consider streaks to be a factual part of the game (Psychonomic Society 1995). A skilled performer demonstrates characteristics and abilities which allows them to perform consistently at a very high level.
A skilled performer is often stronger, more flexible, better coordinated, balanced and fitter than unskilled performers. They are able to perceive, decide and act in a manner that is efficient in terms of both energy and time (HSC 2011). A motor (or movement) skill is an activity that involves muscular movements, with the correct degree of muscular control, to complete a reasonably complex predetermined task. There are four main methods that are used in order to gauge the level of an athlete’s motor skill.
These methods include the three stages of learning, types of skills, types of practice and types of feedback (See Appendix 3). A layup is a one-handed shot made from near the basket. According to the motor skill method of classification of skill, a layup is serial, meaning in order to perform the skill accurately and effectively, there are several discrete tasks which need to be executed (See Appendix 4 for Subroutines of a basketball layup).
During the testing phase for each basketball skill, results (See Appendix 5) clearly indicated that I was at the cognitive stage of learning with regards to my performance in basketball layups. Therefore, in order to improve my motor learning as part of skill acquisition I have chosen basic drills to assist in developing the correct routine for basketball layup’s. In order to ensure success of developing my skill acquisition, I have chosen to focus on two types of practice; part and drill.
According to Saskatoon Public Schools (2009), this includes breaking the skill down into parts (subroutines) and learning through repetition, all of which are aimed to improve the performance of cognitive learners. The drills performed during the training session can be seen in Appendix 6. Feedback can come from sources within the athlete known as internal or intrinsic feedback, or, it can come from external sources, in which case it is termed external or extrinsic feedback (Oxford University Press 2011). There are four main types of feedback which are best suited to a cognitive eaner; positive, negative, knowledge of results (KR) and knowledge of performance (KP) (Oxford University Press 2011). These include looking at which components were correct or incorrect and indicating external feedback to the player with relation to the outcome of their performance and the performance of the movement pattern. The type of practice, being part and drill proved to be successful. The results subsequent to training (See Appendix 5) indicated an increase in the amount of times the basketball went into the hoop.
The drills chosen during the course of training proved to aid this improvement as it ensured the steps for the layups were in subroutine form and repetition of this particular drill ensured the correct performance of the layup during the period of practice. Success of the chosen type of feedback was as well reflected during the re-testing phase and the training period. It was recognised throughout the course of training that I relied heavily on internal feedback, rather than external feedback in order to improve, which subsequently may have affected my post-training results.
By not using feedback from those around me, I was unable to gain another perspective with my training and my performance. Therefore, in the future it is recommended to rely on a partner during training that will assist with feedback by giving corrective criticism when it is needed. I believe that by using the chosen types of feedback and practice my overall performance within basketball, and more specifically, my skill acquisition. I believe that the drills performed during training and the feedback has helped me to slowly progress from the cognitive stage to the associative stage of learning. ?