How long do athletes retain the sports skills they learn: 5 years, 10 years, forever? If they do lose something, what is it? How easy is it to transfer from one sport to another? What factors determine whether or not transfer will be successful? This episode explores the topic of retention and transfer of sports skills.
What Grinds My Gears: My academic tribute to the Monty Python Four Yorkshiremen sketch
• There is very little research that has directly examined the long term retention of sports skill
• Variable practice involves learning one particular skill (e.g., basketball shooting) under different conditions (e.g., different distances from the hoop).
• Constant involves practicing one skill always under the same conditions
• Variable practice leads to better retention and transfer of skills than constant practice, what is called the Variability of Practice Effect
• Evidence suggests that during the time away from practice (the retention period) not only might we not lose the ability to perform the skill, we might improve during this period
• Research comparing experts and novices of at different age levels (e.g., college athletes vs master’s athletes) has shown that the expertise difference is retained.
• There is some evidence to suggest that truly elite performers may have poorer retention of skills as they get older as compared to lesser skilled..i.e., the higher you climb the further you fall
• When studying transfer we need to consider two things: direction and magnitude. Magnitude refers to whether the transfer effect is strong or weak. In terms of direction, transfer can be either positive (resulting in better performance in the new task) or negative (resulting in worse performance).
• The similarity between the sports seems to be a strong determinate of how successful transfer will be
• There is a growing body of research showing positive transfer of training for sports simulations
• Broken record time: WE NEED MORE GOOD TRANSFER STUDIES!
- Long-term effects of type of practice on the learning and transfer of a complex motor skill
- Retention of Quiet Eye in Older Skilled Basketball Players
- Do pattern recognition skills transfer across sports? A preliminary analysis
- The cycling physiology of Miguel Indurain 14 years after retirement
- Transfer of motor and perceptual skills from basketball to darts
- Virtual realities as optimal learning environments in sport – A transfer study of virtual and real dart throwing
The Flamin’ Groovies – Shake Some Action
The Split Squad – Feel the Same
Still the Same – Talley LambertAllister Thompson – Somewhere New
Soultravelers – Brand New Life
Reigning Sound – Straight Shooter
via freemusicarchive.org and jamendo.com