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Tip 6 - Smart practice

Smart practice

It is well accepted that practice is important in developing sporting skills. But the quality and type of practice is more important than quantity alone. Executing and refining the same complement of sporting skills is vital.

 A good example of this is limiting the use of ball machines when developing the batting skills of young cricketers. A ball machine does not offer the important visual cues for anticipating the line and length of an incoming delivery from a bowler in a game context. Expertise in cricket batting relies on a combination of anticipatory (i.e. reading the body cues of a bowler), decision making and technical skills. The best way to develop young batsmen and women is to get them to face a variety of bowlers with differing spin, swing and pace and a mix of left and right handed.

This concept applies equally to other interceptive sports such as tennis, hockey and water polo.

Pin icon TIP: Practice, practice, practice but make it fun and relevant

  • Encourage your children with the support of their coach to practice their sporting skills in an ecological manner, for example, practice the full complement of skills within a context similar to that in competition.
  • Encourage your children to embrace practicing under varying constraints (differing environmental conditions, under time pressure etc). This enhances skill progression and robustness, adaptability and coping skills and it can also be fun and challenging.

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Did you know?

Gold Coast 2018 is the 5th Commonwealth Games to be hosted by Australia.

Quick numbers

11.6 million Australian adults participate in sport or physical activity three or more times per week.
3.2 million Australian children participate in organised sport or physical activity outside of school.
$10 billion is spent annually by Australians on fees for participation in sport or physical activity.
17 million Australian adults participate in a sport or physical activity every year.
650 thousand Australians either coach, teach or instruct sport.