Successful Transfer of a Motor Learning Strategy to a Novel Sport

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Abstract

This study investigated whether secondary school students who were taught a motor learning strategy could transfer their knowledge of the strategy to learning a novel task. Twenty adolescents were randomly allocated to a strategy or control group. The strategy group was taught Singer’s five-step learning strategy, while the control group received information on the evolution and biomechanics of the basketball free throw. Both groups received three 1-hour practice sessions on a modified basketball shooting task. After one month, participants were introduced to the transfer task, golf putting. Performance accuracy was recorded for all tasks, and participants completed questionnaires regarding strategy use during practice. Participants taught the five-step learning strategy successfully recalled and applied it after a 1-month interval, and they demonstrated superior performance on both acquisition and transfer tasks, relative to the control group. Physical education teachers and coaches should consider using this learning strategy to enhance the learning of closed motor skills.

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