Sports Psychology
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Learning Disorders -
how we process information

How is Information Communicated and Processed?
        Teaching gross and fine muscle skills generally involve a lot of physical demonstration, oral communications, and critiques that involve feedback to help the student to retain the information without the data becoming corrupted. 

        Sometimes children are born with conditions that affect how a person processes, recalls, and responds to new information. People with learning disorders may have problems:

  • Paying attention or focusing
  • Speech
  • Reading and writing
  • Doing math
Processing and Communication Problems
         Learning disorders occur in very young children. Unfortunately the problems are usually not recognized until the child reaches school age. About one-third of children who have learning disabilities also have Attention Deficit Hyper Activity Disorder ADHG which makes it hard to focus.

        A trained professional can administer tests to help identify if a learning disorder and if one exists and evaluate what is the precise problem and treatment. There are special education program designed to help  mitigate the child's needs that can benefit the from specific help. Sometimes reading, speech or language therapists can achieve very positive results. Learning disorders do not go away, but strategies to work around them can make them less of a problem.

        There is a negativity associated with the term "disability". Affected individuals are not "possessed" or suffering from a transmittable mental disease. Parents and children who have this type of informational processing problem can work to maximize the child's potential.

        Learning disability is when the brain's ability to receive, process, analyze, or store information is affected. These problems make it more difficult for a student to learn at the same pace as someone who isn't affected by a learning disability.

        Most affected students have more than one kind of learning disability that interferes with a person's ability to concentrate or focus. Other learning disabilities can make it difficult for a student to read, write, spell, or solve math problems.

        Our understanding of how the brain processes information is not fully understood,  What tasks a normal brain can easily perform may be blurred or infused with strange shapes and colors. The experience might be compared to walking through an amusement park attraction with mirrors that distort the size and shapes of our image.

        There are similar problems associated with the ability to vocalize and communicate with others, but the speech processing is distorted by static. Stop and think about all of the steps to successful communicate: recognize the words, interpret their meaning, and figure out their meaning prior to understanding the significance of the words, phrases, and completed sentences. The process becomes even more difficult when you consider that we expect this process to take place in "real" because a conversation or presentation can take several minutes to as long as an hour or more.

Performance Testing
        Performance testing of students in an academic setting is very much the same as a gymnast or figure skater performing a program in front of judges to achieve the highest possible number of points. A classroom teacher uses a carefully designed scoring rubric to evaluate student performance. The details of the scoring is shared with the class, and students are informed as to what skills they will be expected to demonstrate their mastery. The method of the mastery might be discussed and how much time they will have to prepare for the test.

        Most evaluations can be developed to fulfill either formative or summative assessment goal:
  • Formative assessment activities are used to provide feedback, evaluating learning progress in order to motivate students to higher levels.
  • Summative assessment activities are used to judge final products for completion, competency and/or demonstrated improvement.
        Assessment evaluations can be implemented at different stages of any individual or team learning exercise and can be conducted by either the coach, instructor, student, or as an exercise by an advanced student trainee.

        Performance testing in a classroom deals with problem solving, communication, and national standards. A well designed performance test will feature strong connections between different mathematical topics, and to real world applications of those skills. Sports rarely use this type of performance testing. Stop watches and tape measures are very objective.  Personal observation and judgment calls are very subjective, thus the introduction of video replays in professional football games.

        Unfortunately in figure skating there is no set syllabus, teaching curriculum, and systematic teaching principles. Athletes rarely engage in the higher order thinking and analysis that we know is essential to become a good coach. Coaches should take the time to get their athletes to understand how the laws of physics impacts skating and how body dynamics developed in the skating of school figures apply to all other forms of free skating, MITF, and dance.

Recommended Reading:

The four levels of communication includes INTRAPERSONAL; INTERPERSONAL; GROUP; PUBLIC. - information and education for coaches   Coaches are responsible for maximizing individual athlete's performance by ... mode - that is, how athletes take in and process information or learning style. .... their verbal communication with written words, diagrams, visuals, and videotapes.

The-Coach-Athlete-Relationship - Communication Communication is the art of successfully sharing meaningful information with the athlete(s). The athlete may jump to a conclusion instead of working through the process of understanding the concepts being expressed.

How Learning Problems Are Managed (American Academy of Pediatrics)

Children with Learning Disabilities (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry)

PDF  Learning Disabilities (LD) (National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities) 

Learning Disabilities: Signs, Symptoms and Strategies (Learning Disabilities Association of America)


Evaluation: What Does It Mean for Your Child? (Learning Disabilities Association of America)

Symptoms of Learning Disabilities (Learning Disabilities Association of America)

What Are the Signs of Dyslexia? (International Dyslexia Association)

Formative and Summative Assessment in the Classroom  When a comprehensive assessment program at the classroom level balances student achievement information derived from both summative and formative assessment.

Classroom Assessment | Basic Concepts   Formative vs. Summative Assessments. Classroom assessments can include a wide range of options -- from recording anecdotal notes while observing behaviors.

Formative vs Summative Assessment - Enhancing Education - ... The goal of summative assessment is to measure the level of success or proficiency that has been obtained at the end of an instructional unit,

Educational Psychology Interactive: The Information Processing ...  The major proposition is that learners utilize different levels of elaboration as they process information. This is done on a continuum from perception through processing.

A Primer: Diagnostic, Formative, & Summative Assessment  In particular, the distinctions between diagnostic, formative, and summative assessment methods will be discussed.

Mayer's SOI model Learning occurs when the new information is placed in long-term memory. Role of the learner: receive and process information;

Learning Disabilities  Most students affected by them have more than one kind. ... The way our brains process information is extremely complex.

PDF Using Students' Learning Styles to Provide Learning Style Inventory (LSI) looks at how learners perceive and process information while the Myers-Briggs Type. Indicator uses dichotomous scales ...

The number of students in the second category might in fact be enough to prevent ... How does the student prefer to process information:

Learning Styles - Michigan Community College Virtual Learning ...  Auditory learners tend to learn more effectively through listening, while visual learners process information by seeing it in print or other visual modes.

Information Processing Information Processing. When we deal with information, we do so in steps. ... useful insights into how to help learners acquire and retain information.

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:

Alcohol Abuse
Drug Abuse
Caffeine Use
Nicotine Use
Response to Stressors
Learning to be Helpless
Depression and Elation
Eating Disorders
Learning Disorders
Stress and Anxiety
Athlete Motivation
Flow/Peak Performance
Focus & Concentration
Goals and Objectives
Goal Setting
Personal Sabotage
Self Fulfilling Prophecy

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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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