Utilising a range of motor learning methods in the development of physical skills

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Ian Jeffreys

The Strength and Conditioning Coach is responsible for the physical preparation of athletes. This preparation involves the development of a wide range of physical variables, with the relative importance of each depending upon the specific sport involved, and the capabilities of the athlete. It must always be remembered that the aim of the athlete is to enhance their levels of sports performance, and this requires the application of these physical capacities directly into the performance of their sport. Additionally, this has to be performed under the pressure of competition. In this way, an important part of the S&C coach’s role requires the development of stable physical skills that are able to transfer directly to competition and withstand the pressures of the high performance environment. Given this requirement for skill development, it is useful for the S&C coach to have a basic knowledge of approaches to skill development. This article will outline three common approaches to skill development and suggest advantages and disadvantages of each approach.

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