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Coaches Blog

Sam's Blog is a bi-weekly addition to the US Youth Soccer Blog. Sam Snow is the Coaching Director for US Youth Soccer.

 

Principles of Learning Motor Skills

Sam Snow

At the 2008 US Youth Soccer adidas Workshop & Coaches Convention the new DVD – Skills School, Developing Essential Soccer Techniques will be released.  Here then is an excerpt from the Technical Manual that will accompany the DVD.  I look forward to seeing you in Pittsburgh.
Principles of Learning Motor Skills
Principle of Interest
A player's attitude toward learning a skill determines for the most part the amount and kind of learning that takes place.
 
Principle of Practice
Practicing the motor skill correctly is essential for learning to take place.
 
Principle of Distributed Practice
In general short periods of intense practice will result in more learning than longer, massed practice sessions.
 
Principle of Skill Specificity
A player's ability to perform one motor skill effectively is independent of his/her skill ability to perform other skills.
 
Principle of Whole–Part Learning
The complexity of the skill to learn and the player's ability determines whether it is more efficient to teach the whole skill or break the skill into component parts.
 
Principle of Transfer
The more identical two tasks are the greater the possibility that positive transfer will occur.  Practice conditions should match the conditions in which the motor skill is going to be used.
 
Principle of Skill Improvement
The development of motor skills progresses along a continuum from least mature to most mature.  The rate of progression and the amount of progress within an individual depends upon the interaction of nature and nurture.
 
Principle of Feedback
Internal and external sources of information about motor performance are essential for learning to take place.
 
Principle of Variable Practice
Block practice aids performance while variable practice aids in learning.  Variable practice causes an increase in attention.