1. Acquiring Movement Skills
Classification of Motor Skills
2. Learning Objectives
• Classify movement skills by placing them on a
• We all have skills that we use everyday
• In PE, you must focus on motor skills that are essential in
• To have a balanced, active and healthy lifestyle by taking
part in physical activity, we must learn and master these
• You will examine;
– The classification of skills (to enable us to analyse and
understand the best way to learn and teach each skill)
– Different ways that skills can be learned and the best
types of practice for different skills.
4. What is Skill?
• With a partner, make a list of the following:
– Five skills that you use daily
– Five skills commonly used in many sports
– Five skills required fro a specific sport
5. What is Skill?
• The word skill can be used in two different
• Referring to an act or a task e.g??
• A rugby player converting a penalty
• But also used as an indicator of quality e.g??
• Comparing two hockey players, one player is
skilful, and the other is not.
• Skill has been defined as:
‘ The learned ability to bring about predetermined results
with maximum certainty, often with the minimum outlay
of time or energy or both.
• a skill is something you learn, you can (eventually) do
consistently and you can perform efficienctly.
• Learned Ability – It is something you learn, you are
not born with it
• Pre-determined result – You have an aim that you are
trying to achieve e.g. Serving into the service box
• Maximum certainty – You are very likely to succeed.
You can do the skill over and over successfully.
• Maximum efficiency – Perform the movement
smoothly, not wasting energy.
8. Skill: An Act or Task
• Denotes to an act or task, which has a specific
aim or goal;
A Gymnast performing a vault
9. Skill: An Act or Task
10. Skill: An Act or Task
• Players achieving a high percentage of
success, would be considered a skilled
• Skill is the movement, action or task the
person is doing and so can be seen as a goal
11. Skill: Indicator of Quality
• This is more ambiguous...
• Normally the word ‘well’ is added to
describe a judgment made on someone.
• E.G. ‘That was a well performed hockey
pass (skill), it was much better than her’s’
• What you need to know is what makes it a
WELL PERFROMED SKILL.
12. CLASSICATION OF SKILLS
• Analysis of movement skills enables us to understand their requirements and decide on the
best ways to teach, practise and improve them.
• To analyse movement skills psychologists have identified a range of characteristics.
• It is difficult to be precise about classification as skills may have elements of all the
characteristics or may change depending on the situation in which the skill is performed.
• The use of continua allows us to show that skills have characteristics to a greater or lesser
extent depending on the situation.
• A continuum is an imaginary scale between two extremes and is usually represented in linear
• Freezing Cold Warm Hot Boiling
13. Classification of Motor Skill
14. Classification of Motor Skills
• It is difficult to be exact when classifying
• Continua (plural or continuum) are used
• You need to be able to use the continua, but
also explain how you arrived at your
• In the exam – you should be able to apply a
practical activity to each theory.
15. Classification of Motor Skills
• You need to know the following classification
– Muscular involvement (Gross – Fine)
– Environmental influence (Open – Closed)
– Continuity (Discrete – Serial – Continuous)
– Pacing (Externally paced – Self paced)
– Difficulty (Simple – Complex)
– Organisation (Low – High)
16. Muscular Involvement
• This entails the precision of the movement:
• Gross Skills:
• Large muscles movements
• Little regard for precision... E.G.??
• Running, Swimming, Hammer throw
• Fine Skills:
• More intricate movements, small muscle groups
• Involve accuracy and emphasise co-ordination... E.G.??
• Finger action of a spin bowler, Snooker shots
Gross motor Fine motor
17. Gross – Fine Motor Skills
18. Environmental Influence
• This classification involves the influence of the
• Team mates, opponents, surface, weather...
• Affected by the environment
• Normally involve decision making, adapted to suit
the situation... E.G.??
• Pass in football, rugby, netball...
19. Environmental Influence
• Not affected by the environment
• The skill is the same in all situations
• Self paced and habitual... E.G.
• Swimming stroke, tennis serve, Golf tee shot...
21. Open Skill
Spatial & Temporal
22. Closed to Open Skills
• How clearly defined is the beginning and end of the
• Clear beginning and end. If it is to repeated, it must start
• Catching a rounders ball, penalty in football, high serve in
• Number of discrete elements, put together in an order...
• Gymnastic sequence, triple jump
• Have no defined beginning or end
• End of one cycle is the start of the next
• Usually has to be repeated several times for it to be
• Running, cycling, swimming
Discrete Serial Continuous
25. Discrete – Serial - Continuous
• Level of control has over the movement
• Can relate to when the movement is started
or the rate at which its performed.
• Self (internally) paced
• Performer determines when and how fast
• Normally closed skills... E.G.??
• High jump, tennis serve
• Externally paced
• Not determined by the performer
• Environment determines pace... This can eb
• Normally open skills... E.G.??
• Receiving a pass in hockey or football,
receiving a tennis serve
28. Self (Internal) - External
• How complex the movement is, determined by:
– Perceptual load + degree of decision making
– Time available
– Quantity of sub-routines + their speed and timing
– Speed/power needed
– Use of feedback
What is perceptual load?
The amount of info the performer has to process.
What is a sub-routine?
Movements usually have a number of parts – breast stroke: body
position, arm action, leg action ect…
• Low levels of the aspects identified
• Little info to process/few decision to make
• Movement skills are simple, but difficult to
learn + perform E.G.??
• Swimming, Sprinting
• High levels of the identified aspects
• High perceptual load, so many decisions E.G.??
• Somersault, Tennis serve
• How closely linked the sub-routines are
• Low organisational
• Sub routines are easily separated and
practised by themselves... E.G.??
• Swimming strokes, trampolining, gym
• High organisational
• Sub routines are closely linked
• They cannot be easily separated and so are
practiced as a whole. E.G.??
• Golf swing, Cartwheel
34. Low – High Organisational
35. Analysing Movement Skills
• Why analyse movement?
– Appreciate the requirements of the skill
– Adopt the best approaches for;
• Placing the skill on the continua and justifying it
will help decide on how it can be practiced and
• Explain what continua are.
• What is the gross/fine continuum?
• What is a gross skill?
• If discrete is at one end, what should be at the other end?
• What is meant by an externally paced skill?
• How can a skill be a closed skill in an open situation?
• Why would a teacher split a skill into sub-routines?
• How could knowledge of skill classification help a coach
of a disable athlete.
• Select 3 skills from practical activities and put these
on the six continua.
• Identify the situation in which each skill is being
performed and explain the reasons for the position.