Approaches to developing skills

In this area the Principles of Effective Practice are used to make sure work carried out actually helps improve performance. These make sure the approach used is:

  • specific to the area of performance being developed, the performers level of ability and to the type of skill being developed
  • progressive to allow the performer to gradually improve
  • based on the criteria from a model performance so that correct techniques is developed
  • challenging and suits the stage of learning of the performer and maintains their interest and focus
  • achievable, varied and not be carried out for too long
  • recorded and measured in order to see improvements

Principles of effective practice - Specific, progressive, recorded, challenging, criteria, achievable

Repetition drills

Repeat the specific skills required for the performance in game situation. For example, playing a ball or shuttle to the same place, time after time, until accuracy and muscle memory has been created, will encourage consistent and effective skills. Feedback is essential in this approach so that performers can correct and improve the technique they are using.

This can be progressed by increasing the demand of training to force the skill to keep improving. An example would be in badminton working for longer on repetition drills or introducing a second skill into the drill, eg an overhead clear then drop shot over and over again.

Conditioned games

Alter the rules or set up, so that practice can still take part in a game situation but focusing on a particular skill. For example, a game could be set up where players have to make five accurate passes to achieve a goal. The game will break down if an inaccurate pass is given and performers would be given feedback about what had caused the game to stop.

To increase the demand of the game, ie in football a 4 vs 4 possession game using three touches only, could be progresses to two touches and later one touch.


How do conditioned games improve accuracy?

  • The performer uses the skills that require improvement within this game.
  • Focussing on where to pass encourages greater accuracy
  • There is less pressure from any approaching defender and so less distraction from concentrating on accuracy