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Danielle Adams, Kelly J. Ashford and Robin C. Jackson

The effect of priming on the speed and accuracy of skilled performance and on a probe-reaction time task designed to measure residual attentional capacity, was assessed. Twenty-four skilled soccer players completed a dribbling task under three prime conditions (fluency, skill-focus, and neutral) and a control condition. Results revealed changes in trial completion time and secondary task performance in line with successfully priming autonomous and skill-focused attention. Retention test data for task completion time and probe-reaction time indicated a linear decrease in the priming effect such that the effect was nonsignificant after 30 min. Results provide further support for the efficacy of priming and provide the first evidence of concurrent changes in attentional demands, consistent with promoting or disrupting automatic skill execution.

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Pilar Mahedero, Antonio Calderón, José Luis Arias-Estero, Peter A. Hastie and Anthony J. Guarino

The purpose of the paper was to examine the effects of student skill level on knowledge, decision making, skill execution and game performance in a minivolleyball Sport Education season. Forty-eight secondary school students from two classes participated in a 12 lesson season. Knowledge, decision-making and skill execution (components of game play) were evaluated prior to and on completion of the season. Paired t test analysis showed that the game performance components of decision making and game play achieved significant gains. Further, results of the regression analyses detected that the sigmoidal model was indeed superior to the linear model for (a) skill execution, (b) game play, and (c) knowledge, by explaining 4.0, 2.8, and 3.25 times more of the variance respectively. That is, improvements of the highest and lowest skilled students were less significant than those of more moderate levels. This outcome, accompanied by a lack of general improvement in skill execution, suggests that future research should examine in more detail the progressive development of the tasks and learning experiences incorporated during seasons of Sport Education.

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Kelly J. Ashford and Robin C. Jackson

The present study examined the effectiveness of a priming paradigm in alleviating skill failure under stress. The priming intervention took the form of a scrambled sentence task. Experiment 1: Thirty-four skilled field-hockey players performed a dribbling task in low- and high-pressure situations under single task, skill-focused, and priming conditions. Results revealed a significant increase in performance time from low to high pressure. In addition, performance in the priming condition was significantly better than in the control and skill-focused conditions. Experiment 2: Thirty skilled field-hockey players completed the same dribbling task as in Experiment 1; however, in addition to the control and skill-focused conditions, participants were allocated to either a positive, neutral, or negative priming condition. Results revealed significant improvements in performance time from the skill focus to the control to the priming condition for the positive and neutral groups. For the negative group, times were significantly slower in the priming condition. Results are discussed in terms of utilizing priming in a sporting context.

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Rob Gray, Anders Orn and Tim Woodman

( Masters, 1992 ) propose that an experienced performer influenced by pressure will fail because his or her skill execution will have the characteristics of a novice. Conversely, the theory of ironic processes ( Wegner, Erber, & Zanakos, 1993 ) proposes that pressure will cause a skilled performer to

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Kerry S. Courneya and Packianatian Cheiadurai

The study was concerned with empirically confirming the proposed classification of the performance measures in baseball into tertiary, secondary, and primary measures based on their proximity to skill execution and task performance and with the extent to which these measures were contaminated by external factors. The data consisted of various performance measures derived from the box scores of games played by 10 teams from the National Collegiate Athletic Association during the 1988 season (N=381 games). For confirmatory purposes» the total sample was subdivided into home and away samples (N=762 observations). The results of correlational and regression analyses supported the proposition that the secondary measures would be more closely related to the tertiary measures than would the primary measures. Further» ran differential was the superior tertiary measure relative to win/loss and ratio of final score in reflecting skill execution and task performance. Practical applications of the model and directions for future research are then discussed.

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Andrew Miller

The purpose of this systematic review was to investigate the weight of scientific evidence regarding student outcomes (physical, cognitive and affective) of a Game Centered Approach (GCA) when the quality of a study was taken into account in the interpretation of collective findings. A systematic search of five electronic databases (Sports Discuss, ERIC, A+ Education, PsychInfo and PROQUEST Education) was conducted from their year of inception to 30 January 2014. Included studies were longitudinal or experimental/quasi-experimental studies involving children or adolescents that quantitatively assessed (using repeat measures and/or comparison with a control group) the effects upon student outcomes when an intervention involved the use of a GCA. The search identified 15 articles examining the effects of GCA on student outcomes that met the criteria for inclusion. The weight of evidence provided by the included studies identified an association between a GCA and the outcomes of declarative knowledge, support during game play and affective outcomes of perceived competence, interest/enjoyment and effort/importance. Development of technical skill, procedural knowledge and game play skills of decision making and skill execution are not supported by the level of evidence currently provided. Intervention volume appears to have a large effect on the development of game based decision making and skill execution, with a positive association between these outcomes and use of GCA interventions greater than eight hours in volume. More longitudinal and intervention research examining the use of a GCA and potential psychological, physiological and behavioral outcomes in children and adolescents is recommended.

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María Trinidad Morales-Belando and José L. Arias-Estero

Purpose:

To determine whether a TGfU intervention improved participants’ decision-making, skill execution, game performance, game involvement, game knowledge, enjoyment, perceived competence, and intention to continue practicing sailing.

Method:

Participants were 19 sailors (age: M = 8.44, SD = 1.24 years old). This study followed a mixed-methods approach. The children participated in 12 TGfU intervention sessions and 2 prepost assessment sessions. We designed and validated the sessions, and the coach was trained in TGfU. Data were collected using GPAI during an Olympic triangle race, an ad hoc knowledge questionnaire, two psychological scales, and interviews of children and coach.

Results:

Statistically significant improvements were found in decision-making, Δ = 3.97, skill execution, Δ = .43, game performance, Δ = 5.34, and game involvement, Δ = 7.89.

Discussion/Conclusion:

The results support TGfU may serve to sail training in youth sport. Sailing coaches now have a teaching-learning framework that determines “what” and “how” the tasks must be, the feedback, and participant and coach behavior.

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Cláudio Filipe Farias, Isabel Ribeiro Mesquita and Peter A. Hastie

The impact of a hybrid Sport Education-Invasion Games Competence Model (IGCM) unit of instruction on students’ game performance and game understanding in soccer was examined in this study. Pre- and posttest measures were collected from one fifth grade class of students (n = 24, mean age 10.3) residing in Portugal during a 17-lesson unit of instruction (season). Students’ game performance during multiple 10-min long matches was assessed using the coding instrument of Blomqvist, Vänttinen, and Luhtanen (2005). An author developed game understanding test was used to assess knowledge on decision making and skill execution. Performance differences between males and females were examined using the Mann-Whitney test and student improvement pre- to poststudy was examined using the Wilcoxon test. The combined application of Sport Education (authentic learning environment) and the IGCM (with learning tasks focused on the specific tactical-content and skills of soccer) promoted improvements in students’ game performance and understanding, and increments on the correlations between both constructs.

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Judith L. Oslin, Stephen A. Mitchell and Linda L. Griffin

The purpose of this article is to report on the development and validation of the Game Performance Assessment Instrument (GPAI). The GPAI is a multidimensional system designed to measure game performance behaviors that demonstrate tactical understanding, as well as the player’s ability to solve tactical problems by selecting and applying appropriate skills. The GPAI provides analyses of individual game performance components (e.g., decisions made, skill execution, and support) and/or overall performance (e.g., game involvement and game performance). The individual game performance components were developed and evaluated by experts to determine validity and reliability. The GPAI protocol was field tested across three categories of games: invasion (soccer and basketball), net/wall (volleyball), and field/run/score (softball). Validity and reliability were examined through three separate studies using middle school physical education specialists and their sixth-grade classes. Findings suggest that the GPAI provides a valid and reliable method for assessing game performance.

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Molly K. Hare and Kim C. Graber

Although classroom researchers have made considerable progress in better understanding how students acquire knowledge, researchers in physical education have yet to discover the potential of this inquiry. One of the least investigated areas includes understanding how students misconceive knowledge. The purpose of this study was to describe misconceptions that were revealed during the course of participation by students in an elementary physical education class. Secondary purposes were to test alternative methods for recording and classifying the types of misconceptions that emerged. Data collection included observations and videotape recordings, formal and informal interviews. Think aloud interviews, and document analysis. Misconceptions that emerged were classified into categories representing (a) motor skill execution, (b) confusion with regard to terminology, (c) confusion with regard to strategy, and (d) misconceptions concerning the instructional tasks of the lesson. Instruction was a major factor in either reducing misconceptions or creating a climate ripe for their development.