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Constant or variable practice: Recreating the especial skill effect

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Breslin, Gavin, Hodges, Nicola, Steenson, Andrew and Williams, A. Mark (2012) Constant or variable practice: Recreating the especial skill effect. Acta Psychologica, 140 . pp. 154-157. [Journal article]

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DOI: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2012.04.002

Abstract

An especial skill occurswhen performance of a single action fromwithin a class of actions produces an advantage in performance. This advantage in a single action over others in the class is presumed to result from large amounts of practice performing the specific action (Keetch, Schmidt, Lee, & Young, 2005). In an experiment involving the learning of a basketball set shot, practice was manipulated to identify whether an especial skill effect emerges at the free-throw line as a result of constant practice conditions in novice performers. After a pretest, which involved set shots across five distances, participants were randomly assigned to one of two intervention groups. A constant practice group (n=10) performed 300 trials of the set shot at the 15 ft free throw line only, whereas a variable practice group (n=10) performed 300 trials across five distances. Shot accuracyincreased for both groups as a result of practice at the 15′ distance. However, on the posttest, a significant difference was reported between actual and expected scores for the constant practice group only. This finding provided evidence that an effect similar to that seen for especial skills emerges as a result of constant practice. Although an especial skill effect could result frommassive amounts of practice, we show it can emerge as a resultof short term repetitive practice, indicating that the type, rather than amount, of practice is important

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > Ulster Sports Academy
Research Institutes and Groups:Sport and Exercise Sciences Research Institute
Sport and Exercise Sciences Research Institute > Centre for Sports Science and Sports Medicine
ID Code:22421
Deposited By:Dr Gavin Breslin
Deposited On:05 Jun 2012 12:21
Last Modified:05 Jun 2012 12:21

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