Communicating Concepts

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Sports Training Stages

All Sports Share a Commonality in training Stages
        There are several training models coaches use. The number of learning stages and their description vary; however, the point at which an athlete transitions from one phase to the next is difficult to measure as they can be a considerable variation it their development level for different activities.

Cognitive Stage occurs when the beginning athlete is attempting to understand what the basic task involves. Beginners rarely are aware of what they are doing that is incorrect, nor do they know how to correct errors. This phase requires simple, basic, and specific instruction and immediate feedback.

Understanding the Fundamentals At this stage the athlete has a good grasp of the skills fundamentals and is starting to refine the skill. They should be experiencing fewer forced errors and are starting to be able to detect some of them on their own. Performances are more consistent.  The learner is beginning to know precisely what the coach expects.

Autonomous Stage At this stage the skill is being performs automatically without having to think about or focus on its execution. There are fewer errors and the athlete can detect and correct them.

       As athletes transition from learning the goal of the skill to perfecting it, coaches can begin to increase the complexity of the instruction and add strength, speed/power, and endurance to practice conditions.

       Some practice sessions are highly structured with all athletes essentially working on similar goals. Other practices can be structured to match the conditions of competition. Practices for open skills generally have restrictions by skill development groups of athletes. The practice conditions require the skills being practices are not in conflict with the other athletes.

The Learning Curve
      There are distinctive emotional and intellectual growth stages that affect an individual's ability to acquire and refine gross and fine motor/nerve skills. It is also possible to track, monitor, and assess psychomotor skills. There are three stages through which skills develop to the point of mastery:

  • Observation and imitation. Someone with the knowledge and expertise demonstrates the skill in action, followed by communicating "chucks" of information which breaks the skills down into small sections. This should be accompanied by a detailed list of the steps, in the order of performance, to accomplish the task.
  • Practice, sessions must focus on improving co-ordination, timing, and getting it right. Quality feedback is essential: "practice makes perfect" is desired; however, "Practice makes permanent" can actually set bad habits in stone.
  • Habit - automatic or subconscious muscle/nerve response.

      There are a number of different types of skills we use consciously or subconsciously on a daily basis:
  • Cognitive - the intellectual thought processes/skills

  • Perceptual - interpretation of presented information

  • Gross and Fine Motor - movement and muscle control; coordination
  • Perceptual motor - involves thought, interpretation, and movement skills

      Successful efforts to communicate concepts associated with performing a new skill utilizes various methods:
  • Verbal instructions/directions, explanations

  • Text based instructions/directions, explanations

  • Physical Demonstrations - live action

  • Video recordings of lectures and demonstrations

  • Photos, Diagrams, Illustrations

  • Participation - Hands on supervised practice sessions

Visual Feedback
      Observation over a period of time, allows a coach or trainer to acquire visual feedback of an athlete's movements. The contrast been visual references is most apparent to someone who does not observe the subject on a daily basis.

      Digital video technology allows a collection of observations to be made on a side-by-side screen comparison to be made to a model illustrating the ideal technical movement. Slow motion video capture is frequently used to achieve a completely objective analysis of all physical skills, especially those that may be be so apparent when performed in real time. The use of video also allows athletes to be able to perform an self evaluation of their own performance.

      Schmidt's Schema theory  proposes that every time a movement is performed, the individual to store information in memory of the following four occurrences:
  • Initial conditions - starting state of the muscles and the environmental conditions prior to movement.

  • Response specifications - also called parameters or variant features - the motor/nerve patterns, including  force, speed, and spatial characteristics.

  • Sensory consequences - the sensory feedback from the movement.

  • Response outcome - success or failure;  Success of the response in relation to the intended outcome. 

      Adam's Closed Loop Theory is a cognitive theory of skill acquisition which emphasizes the role played by feedback, both during and afterwards, of an attempt to perform or modify the movement.

      The theory, first advanced in 1971, has two key neural components:
  • Memory trace - the selection and initiation of an appropriate response.

  • Perceptual trace - which serves as a record of the movement, made over many practices sessions.

      The feedback acts as a memory conscious reference of error adjustments made throughout a series of attempts to improve the movement. This information enables the performer to compare his/her movements with the perceptual trace. The key feature of this feedback includes:
  • Analysis of actions of reference model - the result of those actions, and of the desired goals.

  • Refinement of the reference model - to achieve the required actions that produces the desired goals.

Transfer of Information
      The subject matter expert attempts to communicate/transfer his/her knowledge and expertise through the following ways:
  • Skill to skill - A previously developed skill influences how this same or similar skill is acquired for use in another area. The influence on developing a new skill is said to be proactive.  An influence that is on a previously learned skill is said to be retroactive.
  • Theory to practice - Transference of theoretical skills into practical use.
  • Training to competition - Transfer of skills developed in training into a competition situation.
Results of Transference of Information or Skills
      The effects of transfer can vary depending on relevance of the information and the individuals ability to assimilate and apply the concepts in a different situation:
  • Zero - A  skill in one sport has no impact on the learning of a new activity.

  • Negative - A skill developed in one sport impedes or  hinders efforts in another activity.

  • Positive -  A skill developed in one sport helps the performance of a skill in another activity.

  • Direct - When a skill can be taken directly from activity to another and applied directly to another activity.

  • Bilateral - Transfer of a skill from side of the body to the other - use left and right.

  • Unequal - Transfer of a skill developed in one sport helps another activity more than the reverse    

Consequences of training and the lack of training
      Every child begins at birth to expand their awareness of their environment. Each individual who comes into contact with a new born and developing infant contribute to the child's perception of their environment, including positive and/or negative interactions.
     
     How does the lack of ability, or low motivation factor into list of possible of low, poor, or under performance causes?  How is the problem dealt with?  It is natural to tend to want a quick fix to resolve the problem. Would a training course help? Or should the individual be encourage to change directions by seeking other opportunities to devote his/her energies and ambitions?

     Performance is a function of two factors:
  • Ability - is an assessment of a person's aptitude that is augmented by training and the available resources,
  • Motivation - Motivation is the product of desire and commitment
Performance = Ability x Motivation
      Minor performance deficiencies/difficulties can be reversed through appropriate training. However, major performance deficiencies/difficulties require considerable time and financial resources to "reinvent" the individual to the degree that they could have achieved if the correct technical and performance training had been in place earlier in development of their basis skills.

      Unfortunately when an individual has been promoted to another grade, skill level, or position - the demands can be too demanding for them to be successful. When transitioning from one position or level to another, the new opportunity may lack the technical, intellectual, or emotional support to allow them to meet the higher expected performance requirements.

Improving Motivation
        Poor performance can be related to "luck", negative energy, illness, or depression caused by death or illness. However, in most cases a poor performance is related to the lack of training an/or low or poor motivation. It is possible to create a positive motivating environment. There are three key interventions that may improve motivation:
  • Establishing realistic performance goals - Goal setting is a well-recognized aspect of performance improvement. Employees must understand what's expected of them and agree on what they need to do to improve.
  • Availability of performance enhancement assistance requires:
    • Regularly Assessment of progress with action taken immediately if it's deficient.
    • Providing Appropriate Training designed to target the specific problems.
    • Insuring the Necessary Resources are available.
    • A Support Team to adopt a plan designed to encourage and provide assistance.
  • Facilitating and monitoring of performance feedback - Everyone benefits from positive and objective observations about their efforts. They need to know where they stand in terms of current performance and long-term expectations. The following components are extremely important:
    • Timeliness Feedback must be linked to the behavior. For this to occur, the evaluation must quickly follow, as soon as possible, to the occurrence of the behavior.
    • Openness and Honesty Make sure the feedback is accurate. Avoid mixed messages or talking about the person rather than the performance. That said, provide both positive and negative feedback so that employees can begin to truly understand their strengths and weaknesses.
    • Personalized Rewards A large part of feedback involves rewards and recognition. Make sure that your company has a system that acknowledges the successes of employees.
Designing A Performance Improvement Plan.
       The first step to create a
Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) is to first need to identify and evaluate the performance issue(s) that the individual is experiencing:    
  • Discuss the issues with the person to discover what he or she feels are the sources of the problem.
  • Evaluate the individual's motivation system! What more can be done to recognize and reward his/her contributions?
  • Sometimes we rewarding the things that do not have a positive response of the specific areas that need changing!
  • Is there a regular procedure to establish/set, review, and assess if achievement of goals have been met?
  • How do you help the trainers to keep their skills current?
Any actions needed to close ability gaps require a high level of motivation on
the part of participants to be successful. The lack of ability and low motivation
are the basic causes that
are inextricably intertwined in causing poor perform-
ance. Goal setting, feedback, and a positive supportive environment are require-
ments/conditions for improving both root causes.

 
The Effects of Training on Users' Performance  The Effects of Training Methods on Users' Performance: A comparison of users capabilities using these methods.

PDF The Impact of Facilities on Training Effectiveness  How do facilities impact the effectiveness of training programs? Implement of new procedures affected by a lack of a quality. modern, permanent training facility, and an elite coaching/training staff.

Methods of developing people - training, coaching, mentoring, training, and learning design.
      There is ample evidence that exposure at an early age to physical skill development activities as fun or sports activities encourages the child to continue to participate in these areas as part of the aging process.

      Socialization is a process that is bi-directional. For example - children's interactions with parents or parents interactions with children establish perceptions each have of the other. The actions elicits immediate and specific types of behavioral responses. If repeated over a period of time, the behavior becomes expected. This cycle can be positive or negative depending on your point of view.

      Infants and young child display a wide emotional range and distinct preferences to associating with specific people. Even infants can:
  • Recognize and Express several clearly differentiated emotions - pain, hunger, satisfaction, uncomfortable, etc.
  • Recognize and Express several clearly differentiated emotions - pain, hunger, satisfaction, uncomfortable, etc.
  • Distinguish specific individual - mothers, fathers, siblings, daycare providers, etc. from strangers.
  • Respond with distinctive body movements and sounds that signal pleasure, disappointment, discomfort, hunger, thirst, etc.
       Children gradually become more aware of themselves and their ability to make things happen. They express a wider range of emotions and are more likely to initiate interaction with other people.  They observe and imitate the actions of others. They also begin to make verbal attempts to communicate their likes, dislikes, hunger, and personal discomfort. Even before they start walking, they begin to form a strong sense of self-awareness as displayed through assertiveness and get others to satisfy their needs.

      Learning to walk, becoming potty trained, feeding, and begin to assist in dressing and undressing themselves are major childhood milestones. Gradually their dexterity and self-help skills improve as they become more independent. As children start to become more aware of themselves as individuals they will start exploring interests in relationships with other children. This is a very important socialization phase of their development necessary to enter preschool and/or kindergarten.

Supporting Peer Interactions
      A parent is the first to have to assist their child in solving conflicts they are unable to resolve themselves. This may involve helping them to interpret another child or siblings actions in order to keep peace and order in the family. As they grow older they interact with unrelated children who do not welcome them into their group.
 
    
Sometimes a child has not learned how to share and/or fails to understand the "unstated rules" of playing fair and respecting the rights of other children. This is a crucial stage of development that must be acquired prior to entering school. This is sometimes refereed to as acquiring social skills. Teachers may attempt to assist children in how to enter play activities by the use of scaffolding, modeling, giving children desirable props, suggesting roles, or entering into the play activities with the children.

Play Partners
      A mother raising her first child, as a necessity, will spend time with her child as a play partner during the early formative years. In some cases this responsibility will be shifted to a day care provider. It is important to follow the child’s lead while engaging in a positive give and take environment that helps develop communication skills. It may sound cute, but baby talk doesn't provide a good role model for developing language skills. Children should begin school with their speaking vocabulary of 1,000 plus words. They may recognize, but not understand the meaning of a much larger vocabulary.

      Always demonstrate a sincere interest in what the child is doing by documenting and displaying examples of their artistic activities. Make a real effort to not engage in negative statements, but rather make a couscous effort to encourage the child’s effort by providing comments that are supportive of the child’s efforts. Such encouragement can boost a child’s self-confidence and reward their persistence;

      Don't put them in front of a TV to provide some respite from the constant attention they require. Spend quality time by reading to them and later to have them read to you. In families with two languages, encourage both English and the second language.

Techniques involved in the learning process
      To understand the process of learning in children requires parents and teachers to use various techniques such as:
  • Observing - Observation is critical in determining a child's interests, development potential, dispositions/personality, and how they tend to respond to suggestions/instructions. Close observation will assist you in determining how to go about building relationships with the child, as well as choosing relevant materials and planning activities. By observing a child at play, it is possible strategize how to develop a personalized set of goals for the child.
  • Scaffolding Learning - Includes modeling, asking open-ended questions, introducing new words into their working language skills, presenting additional information as necessary, providing additional related instructional materials, and through the use of role playing. Try to avoid inadvertently interrupting or redirecting their play activities unless they stray from the objective of learning component.
  • Supporting Peer Interactions - Some children find it difficult to become a part of a play group or sustaining their participation in the group. Assign children to specific groups. Do not pick team captains and allow them to self the rest of their teams. It can be very helpful if parents or teachers meet with team leaders to discuss the activity for the play period. Ideally attempt to offer the team leaders with a choice of activities that have high appeal so its actually is a play period with each child having fun through their participation. The play environment should not overwhelm any of the children.
  • Acknowledging the children as learners - demonstrate that the child's ideas and efforts are taken seriously helps enhance a child's self image.
  • Assist them in following the rules - Reminding children of rules helps them understand what is expected and how poor behavior will be dealt with. You will often need to remind them of interaction rules.
  • Providing a safe learning environment - Always have an adult present to proactive in intervening if it seems likely that children may hurting each other physically or emotionally. You must also make sure that children are not engaging in behaviors like bullying.
  • Document learning milestones - anecdotal records that include brief, focused descriptions of a situation, candid photos, recordings of interviews/conversations using cell phone video/audio recordings, samples of their work, etc.
Reading Resources:

PDF Teachers of young children (3-5 years old) and their interaction with pupils: approaching positive classroom management by Frini Paraskevopoulou.

By Leaps and Bounds: Physical Development - PBS  Throughout the early years, a child's physical skills are developing at an astonishing rate. Preschoolers need many opportunities to practice their new skills.

Understanding Physical Development in Young Children   Muscles and Motor Skills. The growth of a young child's physical abilities is truly amazing. Think of all the physical abilities a child must develop to adjust to their environment.

Skill Development   Cognitive phase - Identification and development of the component parts of the skill. The learning of physical skills requires the relevant movements to be objectively assessed.

How A Child Develops - Develop Skills   What is child development and what skills do children develop at different ages. These include speech pathologists, occupational and physical therapists.

Developing physical skills: doing, playing and coordination  Alongside intellectual and emotional growth, your child will develop physical skills: doing, playing and coordination. Part three in a series on the theories of educationalist Benjamin Bloom.

Participation in Play activities

       Failure to learn how to throw a baseball or football will discourage an individual from participating in these sports. The same applies to hitting a tennis ball or swimming - the inability to perform basis skills discourages an individual's interest in participating in these sports. This is especially true as the basic skill gap widens as we age. No one wants to stand out in a crowd, especially if they are experiencing negative attitudes from others.

      Children who do not develop the appropriate physical skills get left out of unsupervised play activities on the school grounds or in their neighborhood with their friends. This is considered the start of a trend of avoiding physical activities were an individual's performance can result in embarrassing "gaffs". Eventually this can result in a person being physically inactive throughout their lifetime.


Children, who do not learn how to throw, catch, jump, and kick as youngsters, will not
possess the skills
required as an adult to participate in physical activities. Unfortunately
this will cause most to not get the appropriate amounts of physical activity to be fit



Types of Evaluation
     Evaluation is the essential part of every training program. This is the test to evaluate if the training was successful or if not, where and how it missed the mark. Evaluation is classified as:
  • Formative evaluation - involves the collection of relevant and useful data in real time as the training program is being conducted. This information can identify the drawbacks and unintended outcomes and is helpful in revising the plan and structure of training programs to suit the needs of the situation.
  • Summative evaluation -  is done at the end of the program and requires determining an overall assessment of the effectiveness of the training in relation to achieving the objectives and goals.
Individual potential
       The abilities of every individual are the result of a combination of multiple factors that influence the physical, mental, and emotional development from the cradle to the grave:

Genetic - Dominate and Recessive traits
Environmental -
  • Parents and siblings
  • School
  • Work
  • Community
Resources -
  • Facilities
  • Economic support
  • Emotional support
Training -
  • General preparation -
  • Specific perpetration -   
   

Recommended Reading:

Facilitation - Communication Skills Training from MindTools.com  What does that mean exactly? By the end of the design and planning stage, you should have a solid agenda, which focuses on outcomes.

Erik Erikson | Psychosocial Stages Erik Erikson does not talk about Psychosexual Stages, he discusses ... on three levels simultaneously: Biological, Social and Psychological (representing the ... not criticize the child for failures and accidents (particularly when toilet training).

Planning  You may choose to review the detail in stages in a similar manner to the way any project manager would review a comprehensive report . However, do not confuse the level of detail you need for project definition and status as necessarily being on point. The project might appear successful because training materials were professionally prepared. They often represent important review points or interdependencies in the plan.

Project Management Articles    One of the many skills required of a project manager is the ability to ask searching questions and persevere until a clear answer is obtained. Many of the pitfalls in projects could be avoided if questions were articulated fully and if the answers were given clearly and in detail. A project manager's prime task is managing a project from inception through to success. To accomplish this, the rank and file of the company must adhere to the sprit and intention of new ideas. Sometimes this involves making change in the organization or its ways of working so the changes must be implemented.

References:

Effects of Training on Teacher's Stages of Concern
Title: Effects of Training on Teacher's Stages of Concern Regarding Inclusion.

PDF Effect of information at different stages of users Users training at an early than at a later stage or vice versa. This study was conducted to examine effects of absorbing computer training starting at different ages.

Training and development  People's learning styles greatly affect what type of training they will find most satisfying. Training people in progressive stages, accomplish one skill prior to tackling the next.

Stages of Learning Sport Skills - Sports Training Adviser The stages of learning are phases that athletes experience as they progress through skills. Coaching instructions and training activities can be designed to meet the needs of the individual athlete.

Resources:

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:

Learning Considerations
PDF  Attentional Focus
PDF  Spatial Disorientation
PDF  Effects of Mood on Performance
PDF  Confidence through Motivation
PDF  Transfer of Learning Issues

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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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