The Learning Process
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Individual Differences -
in learning and performance

Athletes are formed by genetic environment differences
      Individual genetic differences can influence our potential to be successful in academic studies, fine arts, and sports. An assessment of a gross and fine motor abilities can parents and teacher understand each child's potential.

      The debate about nature verses nurture is on going without a decisive conclusion. Many factors contribute to mental and physical performance. Psychology and motor behavioral scientists work to modify individual differences and convert negatives into stable, enduring qualities that contribute to successful learning and performing.

Abilities verses Skills
      A Motor Skill is the capability of performing with maximum certainty, minimum energy, or minimum time. It is developed through practice.  Each individual's potential Motor skill abilities may be inherited along with height, body types, and other physical traits. There is no objective research that an individual's parents academic, musical, artistic, or sports abilities are a predictor of their children's abilities.

     Many specific skill abilities have been identified and grouped. Examples include: multi-limb coordination, control precision, aiming, explosive strength, dynamic flexibility, speed of limb movement, movement rate, and force control.

     Teacher can analyze a specific skill requirements by identifying the motor abilities necessary for musical, dancing, artistic, or acting performance. Using a skill task analysis can help in developing a training plan to enhance sport skills, aid in problem solving, and predict future performance.

The influence of Teaching on Academic Performance
      A recent educational study tracked 2.5 million students over a 25 year period. The data shows a correlation between high test scores, from as early as kindergarten, with success rates in early adulthood. 

      Tests that measures a students’ scholastic performance over the academic year, seems to be the best indicator for guiding a student from kindergarten through to graduation from college has been documented in two studies done conducted by two leading universities.

      Every learner has the right to receive a quality education that can assist them in achieving their full potential. Decisions concerning what is the most appropriate environment and educational program should be based on test data.

      There are two types of testing:
  • Norm-referenced testing and curriculum based assessments. The norm-referenced also called standardized testing compare the score of a student to a norm group of other students of his age and assigns a ranking depending on his results.
  • Standardized testing is meant to compare students to other students.  They serve to pinpoint general categories of strength or weaknesses and often are used to determine eligibility for services. However, they are not representative of students' experiences.
      Some students typically do poorly on standardized testing because the test format is not adapted to their specific testing needs. For instance, students who are not typically able to communicate well in writing may be more comfortable in an oral administration on the same materials.  are familiar with.

      Multi-faceted approaches to assessment are better suited to quantify how their deficits and strengths reflect acquire knowledge. Curriculum based assessments produce criterion referenced scores that allow each individual's performance to be compared against a objective performance standard.

      Evaluations should assess children in the following areas:        It is very important to have an objective observer in control of a training program. Under most circumstances this role is filled by the coach. Unfortunately some parents attempt to fill this role which almost always leads to considerable stress and conflict for the athlete. A training professional should be consulted to perform the following tasks:
  • Conduct tests of motor abilities inherent in specific sport skills and include them in team or partner try outs.
  • An initial practice session should never be used to prediction an individual's potential future in figure skating. Some skaters who do poorly on their first session may have traits that are not apparent until after they become familiar with the other skaters and the tempo of the session.

  • A short term training program may, because of the constraint of a limited time schedule, concentrate on enhancing a athlete's stronger abilities while compensate for weaker ones. This is not an effective long term strategy.
  • Grouping motor skill abilities should be an important criteria when designing sport training plan.  An effective plan matches conditioning and strengthening activities with the skill demands of the skating discipline.
  • An athlete with general motor skill abilities and a positive work ethic may quickly acquire basic skating skills.
  • An individualize sports training programs should take into considerations differences in motor abilities,  gender, personality attitudes, level of motivation, medical history, previous experience, and other factors that affect physical, mental, and emotional characteristics.
Recommended Reading:

Principles of Training Athletes:

Developing Course Materials:


Sport Psychology, Motivation and Performance  Activities, such as wrestling and gymnastics, Sport psychology has also examined the effects of sport participation on personality ... Individual sport... And most of the gender differences that are apparent in sport behavior are based on ...

Individual differences, perceived control  Individual differences, perceived control and competitive trait anxiety. Effects of sport context and birth order on state anxiety.

Individual differences, perceived control and competitive   Although the importance of individual differences within Jones' model, ... main effects) between individual differences and different stressors.

The Effect of Individual Differences as Moderator Variables on   The published research in the area of individual differences as ... It has long been accepted that anxiety impairs sport performance.

Exercise and Fatigue Is Neuroendocrinology Important  Due to these effects of caffeine on exercise performance,  It is intriguing to consider, however, that individual differences in exercise endurance. - information and education for coaches   Collins, D. (1999) In the Event: how does anxiety affect performance?

Relationships Between Life Stress And Performance In Sports:   Individual differences in such factors as self-confidence and self-efficacy expectations have also been shown to influence performance in sports.


The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

Principles of Sports Training:
Principles of Training Athletes
Developing Skills for Figure Skating
Acquiring Sports Skills
Amount of Time to Acquire Sports Skills
Biomechanics of Sports
Balanced Principles For Training
Sports Skills & Mechanical Techniques
Physical Fitness & Preparedness
Individual Differences
The Overload Principle in Training
Recovering From Training
Principle of Reversibility
Principle of Specificity
Transference of Knowledge & Skills
Training Variation
Psychomotor Domain
Objectives of Psychomotor Goals
All materials are copy protected. 
The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.

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