These points come Harjiv Singh who works in performance and development at the Orlando Magic in the NBA, but also does a lot of things in the motor learning space and that’s what he focuses on.

  • A skill can be practiced continuously (en masse) or with rest breaks/interpolated skill learning (distributed practice) where distributed practice has a more positive influence on performance.
  • Practice alone is not enough to improve and without the knowledge of the results, the interest/attention, the meaning of the task for the student, the understanding of the objectives, the intention to learn, the willingness to learn and even certain point, the representation of the game, this practice can be wasted.
  • Overlearning, or practicing beyond the criteria, results in better retention of what is being learned.
  • Better learned skills are less likely to be disrupted by manipulated environmental conditions and experiences in varied instructional/stressful conditions will contribute to high skill levels
  • Reinforcement increases the probability that the desired act will occur, but random reinforcement is a more effective continuous form of motivation than constant reinforcement.
  • Very high motivation impedes progress on complex tasks where individuals with intermediate motivation/drive perform best, and as tasks increase in complexity, individuals with moderate motivation do better, showing that there is a optimal level of motivation for each task.
  • Reasonably difficult, specific, and achievable goals produce better performance than easy goals or a general goal of simply doing your best.

The main points that you can use in your next training session include:

  • Instead of doing activity #1 x 15 minutes, rest, activity #2 x 15 minutes, rest, activity #3 x 15 minutes, and done, try activity #1 x 7 minutes , rest, activity #2 x 7 minutes, rest, activity #3 x 7 minutes, rest x 2 full rounds
  • Either before or during each activity, ask/tell your players when/why that activity will be required in a game and if you want to get a little tech-savvy, record something on your phone/iPad for an AFL game that shows exactly what what can you do It seems
  • Know how to optimally stretch each activity for your players, where you can divide the whole group into high/average/low skills, which will make this easier and allow support from ALL players, not just a fraction of them .

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