Ch. 5

Motor Learning
acquisition of motor skills as a result of practice and experience.
Motor Control
neurophysiological and behavioral processes affecting the control of skilled movements.
Motor Development
origins of and changes in movement behavior throughout the lifespan.
Relatively permanent change in behavior or performance as a result of instruction, experiences, study, and/or practice. Inferred from changes in performance.
Motor behavior
is concerned with the learning or acquisition of skills across the lifespan. Motor learning, Motor control, and Motor development.
Early Period (1880-1940)
Research focused on how the mind worked, not the production of skills.
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Thorndike: Law of Effect
When responses were rewarded, the behavior was strengthened.
Middle Period (1940-1970)
Craik focused research on how the brain processes and uses information to determine the motor response.
Henry – “Memory drum theory”
role of cognitive activity in motor learning.
Present Period (1970-present)
Emergence of motor learning and motor control within physical education programs.
Closed Loop theory
Schema theory
Dynamical Systems theory
Motor Learning and Motor Control Sample Research Questions
How does the type and frequency of feedback impact skill acquisition?
How does the structure of practice influence the retention of skills?
What can be done to facilitate the transfer of previous learning to the learning of new skills?
How does the aging process affect motor control?
How do differences in individuals’ learning styles influence their ability to learn motor skills?
Information-Processing Model
Input to Decision to Making to Output to Feedback and loop again.
Dynamical-System Theory
Individual: Heredity, Past Experience, Individual Characteristics, Etc. Task: Demands, Rules, Difficulty, Equipment, Etc. Environment: Teacher Skills & Behavior, Sociocultural Characteristics, Weather, Etc. Human Movement is between all three categories.
Cognitive Stage
Understanding of the nature and goal of the activity
Initial attempts at the skill – gross errors
Associative Stage
Practice on mastering the timing of the skill
Fewer and more consistent errors
Autonomous Stage
Well coordinated and appears effortless
Few errors
“Automatic” performance allows attention to be directed to other aspects of skill performance
Stages of Learning
Cognitive, Associative, and Autonomous Stage.
Closed Skills
Stable, predictable; self-paced.
Diving 2 ½ somersault
Driving golf ball off a tee
Open Skills
Variable, unpredictable; externally-paced.
Hitting tennis forehand in a match
Defending a player during a soccer game
Offensive play during rugby game
Physiological and psychological factors influencing an individual’s ability and willingness to learn.
A condition within an individual that initiates activity directed toward a goal. Concern with initiation, maintenance, and intensity of behavior.
Using events, actions, and behaviors to increase the likelihood of a certain response recurring. May be positive or negative.
Individual differences
Backgrounds, abilities, intelligence, learning styles, and personalities of learners.
Factors Influencing Learning
Readiness, Motivation, Reinforcement, and Individual differences.
Motor Learning Concepts
Structure practice sessions to promote optimal conditions for learning.
Help learners understand the skill or task.
Design practice according to the skill or task to be learned.
Whether to teach by the whole or the part method depends on the skill and the learner.
Whether speed or accuracy is emphasized in teaching a skill depends on the requirements of the skill.
Transfer of learning can facilitate the acquisition of motor skills.
Feedback is essential for learning.
-Knowledge of results (KR)
-Knowledge of performance (KP)
Learners may experience plateaus in learning.
Develop self-analysis.
Leadership influences the amount of learning.
Motor Development
Study of the origins and changes in movement behavior throughout the lifespan.
Biological and environmental influences on motor behavior from infancy to old age.
Influence of psychological, sociological, cognitive, biological, and mechanical factors on motor behavior.
Rate and sequence of development.
Maturational Period (1928-1946)
Research on the underlying biological processes guiding maturation.
Focus on rate and sequences of motor development from infancy in terms of acquisition of rudimentary and mature movements.
Normative/Descriptive Period (1946-1970s)
Description of the motor performances of children.
Research on how growth and maturation affect performance and the impact of perceptual-motor development.
Process-Oriented Period (1980s-present)
Research on how cognitive factors influence motor skill acquisition and motor development based on dynamical systems theory.
Motor Development Sample Research Questions
How does socioeconomic status affect the development of motor skills?
How does early sensory stimulation affect the development of motor skills?
What are the changes in motor skill development experienced across the lifespan?
What are the developmental stages individuals go through as they acquire fundamental skills?
What are the heredity and environmental factors most significantly associated with obesity?
At what age can children safely engage in resistance training?
Early reflexive & rudimentary movement phases
Hereditary is the primary factor for development. Sequential progression of development but individuals’ rates of development will differ.
Fundamental movement phase
Skill acquisition based on encouragement, instruction, and opportunities for practice.
Specialized movement phase
Skill refinement.
Phases of Development
Early reflexive & rudimentary movement phases
Fundamental movement phase
Specialized movement phase
Hereditary and environmental factors influence the rate of the aging process.
Fundamental Motor Skills
are the foundation for development of more complex and specialized motor skills used in games, sports, dance, and fitness activities.
Fundamental Motor Skills Classification
Examples: walking, running, jumping, hopping, leaping, sliding, skipping, galloping, dodging
Examples: bending, stretching, pushing, pulling, twisting, turning, swinging
Examples: throwing, catching, striking, kicking, dribbling, volleying
Fundamental Motor Skills
Rate of progress in developing these skills varies with each individual.
Several fundamental motor skills can be combined to create a specialized movement necessary in an activity.
Lack of development of fundamental skills may hinder future participation in activities.
Initial Stage (~ age 2)
Poor spatial and temporal integration of skill movements.
Improper sequencing of the parts of the skill
Poor rhythm, difficulties in coordination
Elementary Stage (~ age 3 & 4)
Greater control and rhythmical coordination
Temporal and spatial elements are better synchronized.
Movements are still restricted, exaggerated, or inconsistent.
Mature Stage (~age 5 or 6)
Increased efficiency, enhanced coordination, and improved control of movements.
Greater force production
Acquisition of Fundamental Skills
Initial Stage, Elementary Stage, and Mature Stage.