Exploring Open and Closed Skills in Sports: A Continuum Analysis

In this assignment I am going to investigate the practice of open and closed skill in a range of sports. These sports will include team sports e. g. Football, racquet sports e. g. Badminton and individual sports e. g. Gymnastics. I am going to investigate the difference between the open and closed skills showing the continuum and what it means. In 1977 Barbara Knapp recognised two basic types of skill. She recognised these two skills as open and closed skills, she also suggested that these two skills could be placed onto a continuum an example of one of these continuums is shown below.

Open skills Open skills are skills that are being constantly influenced by the environment in which the individual is performing them e. g. wind, rain, temperature, opponent position, teammates position own position and the speed on a ball. Because of all the different influences affecting an open skill they are never performed the same way twice. Therefore we need to use our perceptual and anticipatory skills along with all of our knowledge and experience before performing the required skill.

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Closed skills

Closed skills are skills that are pre-learned and performed exactly the same every time without any reference to the surrounding environment. After closed skills are learnt they will be performed the same every time an example of this would be a serve in badminton where the technique is the same every time. When first viewed these two skills seem to be fairly straightforward and easy to distinguish from one an over, but as soon as you try to recognise whether a sport is an open or closed skill sport, complexities arise.

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For example you might identify football as an open skill sport but it contains a lot of skills that are closed for example a penalty or a throw in we call these scenarios closed skills in open situations. Therefore sports like this are placed nearer one end of the continuum than the other there is an example below. A full continuum will look like the one below containing several sports 0.

Fully closed skill no change to routine whatever the environment there are several examples of these most of all these examples are athletic throwing events e. g.javelin, hammer throw and shot putt. 1. Nearly fully closed with a single open skill needed e. g. pole vaulting (where the only change is the height of the bar) 2. Mostly closed skills with only minor open skills my example is diving (where the only environment change is how the diver may be affected by gravity). 3. Mostly closed skills but a lot of open skills will be needed. I cannot think of an example of this but I am sure there is one.

4. A lot of practiced closed skills are needed but the sport may be affected by the environmental changes e.g. golf (where the swing is always the same but the environment is always changing). 5. Half and half with equal amounts of open and closed situations e. g. cricket (where the bowler is self paced and unaffected by the environment but the batsman is affected by the pitch, positions of fielders and ball speed). 6. Closed skill needed but more open skill situations e. g. football (where the closed skills are penalties, throw ins, corners and free kicks).

7. More open than closed but a lot of closed scenarios e.g. rugby (where the closed skills are conversions, throw ins, scrums and tackles) 8. Little amounts of closed skill needed e. g. 100-metre sprint where the only closed skills are the start and finish). 9. Very little closed skill needed e. g. table tennis (where the only closed skill is the serve). 10. Fully open with no closed skills e. g. ice hockey Different types of practice There are four main types of practice VARIABLE PRACTICE, FIXED PRACTICE, MASSED PRACTICE and DISTRIBUTED PRACTICE. Variable practice.

Variable practice is practiced doing a variety of activities in a varied environment. This allows the development of the skill and the ability to adapt the skill to a range of situations within the sport. Variable practice is often used to teach the performer open skills. Fixed practice Fixed practice is when a certain task is practised over and over again with breaks. This is done to ensure it can be repeated the same way during a competitive sporting situation. Fixed practice is only used for learning closed skills so that they become second nature to the performer. Massed practice.

Massed practice is the performing of a simple task over and over with no breaks until the task is performed perfectly. Massed practice is often used by more experienced sportsmen/women who have a high level of fitness and are more suited to perform certain skills. Massed practice is very similar to fixed practice and is usually used to learn closed skills. Distributed practice Distributed practice is a practice session divide into sections and each section is designated to a certain task for example the first session might be passing in basketball and the second session shooting.

Distributed practice is mostly used by less experienced sportsmen/women with lower levels of fitness. This type of practice can teach open and closed skills during the same session. To learn open skills very different practice types are needed opposed to closed skills. The best practice to learn open skills is VARIABLE practice as the skills are practiced in all different environments making each shot or pass different to the one prior to it.

This way of practice is better for open skills as all different environments can be practised for even if one of the environments never happens during a sporting situation but if it does appear then the performer has been trained to respond and adapt to his/her environment. Conclusion During this assignment I have discovered that there are several different methods to practice open and closed skills. I have found that there are some better methods of practice for certain skills than others.

I have discovered that variable practice is the best method of practice to learn open skills as all environments are catered for during the practice sessions. I have also found that there are many alike open and closed skills, which are not as alike as I first thought. Reference list Advanced PE for Edexcel Physical Education and the study of Sport Third edition. Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Social Work section.

Updated: Nov 30, 2023
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Exploring Open and Closed Skills in Sports: A Continuum Analysis. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/open-closed-skills-9972-new-essay

Exploring Open and Closed Skills in Sports: A Continuum Analysis essay
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