Skill acquisition

Skill acquisition principles can help coaches develop their athletes to become skillful performers. Decision making and anticipation skills and implicit and explicit learning are important parts of skill acquisition covered in this video. This video explores the way that these principles can be incorporated into coaching.

Athletes need to be able to make decisions to execute their technical skills at the right time and place. Decision making can be incorporated into training programs to make athletes better performers.

Players with better decision making skills are able to predict ahead what the best decision is likely to be based on their capacity to read the play. This skill is known as anticipation. A coach could develop this skill by using a series of video clips where the player is required to predict what the player with the ball should do at critical time points.

Implicit learning: the athlete learns how to perform a skill but can’t necessarily verbalise what they did. Implicit learning is beneficial because skills learnt in this manner are more resistant to competition and more likely to be retained permanently.

Explicit learning: is the traditional coaching method and it is where the coach tells the athlete how to perform the skill highlighting key coaching points.