An Interactive Model to Teach Motor Skills
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There has been a tremendous increase in our knowledge of hum motor performance over the last few decades. Our theoretical understanding of how an individual learns to move is sophisticated and complex. It is difficult however to relate much of this information in practical terms to physical educators, coaches, and therapists concerned with the learning of motor skills (Shumway-Cook & Woolcott, 1995). Much of our knowledge stems from lab testing which often appears to bear little relation to real-life situations. This lack of ecological validity has slowed the flow of information from the theorists and researchers to the practitioners. This paper is concerned with taking some small aspects of motor learning theory, unifying them, and presenting them in a usable fashion. The intention is not to present a recipe for teaching motor skills, but to present a framework from which solutions can be found. If motor performance research has taught us anything, it is that every individual and situation presents unique challenges. By increasing our ability to conceptualize the learning situation we should be able to develop more flexible and adaptive responses to the challege of teaching motor skills. The model presented here allows a teacher, coach, or therapist to use readily available observations and known characteristics about a motor task and to conceptualize them in a manner which allows them to make appropriate teaching/learning decisions.