Skill Learning Theories

In: People

Submitted By emmz972
Words 2397
Pages 10
Theorists, for centuries, have developed their own conclusions regarding the ways in which people learn. B. F. Skinner was one of these people who endeavored to discover the psychology behind human behavior. Skinner formed the Operant Conditioning theory, which is defined as the modification of a player’s behaviour through punishment and reinforcement to achieve greater learning and development (Case & Bereiter, 1984). These punishments and reinforcements are either positive or negative as they result in an increase or decrease of a specific behaviour (Porter, 2007). Reinforcement is either the receiving of something pleasant (e.g. a chocolate bar) or the removal of something unpleasant (e.g. no longer having to run laps of the field). Conversely punishment is the receiving of something unpleasant (e.g. giving a player press-ups) or the removal of something pleasant (e.g. less free time at the end of the session). As all players’ values are different, the reinforcements and punishments need to suit the individual accordingly. A smile, for example, may not fulfil the emotional needs of a player, whereas a monetary reward may (Cassidy, Jones, & Potrac, 2009).
The direct method used by many coaches is described as dictatorial. Characteristics of the direct method involve the coach in providing the information, demonstration and direction to the players. The coach gives little acknowledgment to the varying needs of the athletes (Cassidy, Jones, & Potrac, 2009). “There is little negotiation between coach and athlete” as the coach controls the flow of information (Dick, 2007, p. 158). This method is predominantly used when coaching beginners.
The theory of operant conditioning informs the method of direct, as the positive and negative consequences for the player are a result of the instructions and directions given by the coach. Since the coach “controls the flow of…...

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