The Differences Between Skill, Ability and Technique in Fitness

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The Differences Between Skill, Ability and Technique in Fitness

In the sporting world, the question, “what is the difference between skill, ability and technique?” is often asked. This essay investigates what defines these three terms and also how they can be improved over time by practice using sporting examples. Therefore this essay will include:

· A definition of skill, ability and technique and how they are different.

· Defining different types of skill.

· The relationship between the three.

· Which is the best way to improve them?

· What effects learning.

· How individuals at each stage should be taught.

· A conclusion rounding up the points made.

“The behaviour
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Fitts and Posner, who came up with the idea that everybody develops at a different rate, put this theory forward. Cognitive is the first stage of learning. It is when the skill has just been learned and you must use your intellectual understanding to carry the task out. Associative skills are when movements begin to be more controlled without thinking about the process as much. It is at this time that the performer senses and interprets the right way of carrying out the skill. Autonomous skills are those in which movement become automatic. Sporting skills have a wide diversity of classifications: Open/Closed, Gross/Fine, Discrete/Continuous, Self-paced/ Externally-paced. Each of these elements can be thought of as a continuum (Barbara Knapp), meaning that there are two ends and there is a gradual change from one end to another. As an example, open skills are those in which the action is constantly being varied according to what is happening around the performer (football pass – spin, speed), whereas closed skills are movements which can be followed with little or no affect from the environment (throwing darts).

Abilities support and contribute to skills. Since most are a combination of perceptual and motor abilities, they are referred to as psychomotor abilities. Stalling (1982) identified the
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