There are three stages of skill acquisition that sit along a continuum of skill learning. The cognitive stage is characterised by frequent errors and is the stage when the learner has to think a lot about the skill and how to execute it. They also require lots of frequent feedback.
The associative stage is the largest and longest stage. It is characterised by lots of practice. As the athlete progresses towards the next stage errors become less frequent and smaller.
The final stage is the autonomous stage. This stage is characterised by few if any errors that are minor. An athlete at this stage of skill acquisition can think about other aspects of competition and not think at all about the skill itself.
In order to examine the stages of skill acquisition you will need to experience it. The syllabus recommends that you learn to juggle or throw with you non-dominant arm. The throwing activity will really help you to understand the cognitive stage of skill acquisition as you think heavily about how to coordinate your muscular contractions. The juggling activity will help you to better understand the associative stage, as you will require lots of practice in order to improve your juggling. Finally, think about walking. It is a skill you now do at the autonomous level.
Students learn about:
Students learn to:
- Examine the stages of skill acquisition by participating in the learning of a new skill, eg juggling, throwing with the non-dominant arm