Skill and technique are vital for sports participation safety. High level skill and good technique help prevent injury and enhance the well-being of the athlete.
If you have done Factors Affecting Performance already, then you will know the three stages of skill acquisition: cognitive, associative, and autonomous. At the beginning stages of skill acquisition, the athlete is focused on the skill at hand. This could be dribbling a soccer ball, hitting a cricket ball, or even just jogging. Regardless of the skill, if the athlete has lower skill levels then they will focus on the skill. This can result in greater injury.
For example, an unskilled football player, may be dribbling a soccer ball looking down the whole time and collide with a defender, or even his own player resulting in an injury. Or he may be distracted and step on the ball spraining his ankle.
A more skilled autonomous athlete, however, can focus on her surroundings and still perform the skill well. She can dodge players and see what is coming in front of her. If she is hitting a cricket ball, she can respond quickly to the particular ball, adjust her action and perform the skill safely without being injured.
Technique is one of the greatest indicators for sports injury. Poor technique leads to higher injury rates, especially overuse injuries. Good technique, on the other hand, protects against injury and produces a better performance. Someone with good technique is biomechanically efficient. This means they can produce more power, and greater accuracy with less effort. This protects against injury.
For example, a tennis player with good technique for their serve is more consistent with their first serves, but also suffers less injury because they are putting less strain on their body. This prevents injury to the back or shoulder.
A player with poor technique generates unnatural forces that pull the body or its joints in directs they are not designed for. This is non-efficient movement, requiring greater effort from the athlete and causing more injuries. A cricket bowler with poor technique is more likely to injure their neck, back or shoulder.