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Motor Learning : Social Psychology of Motor Behaviour

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University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario: 16mm.
"This film begins by discussing the role of the nervous system in learning skills, in particular sports skills. Much of the information given in the film is directed at coaches of young, non-professional teams. Practising a skill trains the nervous system to behave in a consistent manner. The brain is like a computer: it stores skills in exactly the same way they are entered. Performance is a function of previous learning combined with drive or incentive to perform a skill. Athletic skills are stored in the nervous system. This helps explain the specificity of practice. Players will produce only that which they have been taught consistently to produce. Whatever factors affect a competitive program, then, should be duplicated in practice sessions. Arousal levels affect an athlete's performance. There are optimum arousal levels for each sport and these are affected by an athlete's prior experience with the sport. State anxiety can increase arousal to inappropriate levels due to fear of failure. High trait anxious people have a greater tendency to suffer from this than low trait anxious people. Coaches must have a knowledge of individual differences in their athletes so that they can take necessary steps to see that they reach their optimum arousal level. It is not good to mirror certain professional training techniques in minor league sports. An athlete's performance will suffer if he is above or below the optimum arousal level. The means of arousal, and hence the means to motivate, changes over a period of time. Therefore, these factors must always be discerned for individual athletes at various times."