Skill Acquisition in Sport: Research, Theory and Practice, 3rd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Skill Acquisition in Sport

Research, Theory and Practice, 3rd Edition

Edited by Nicola J. Hodges, A. Mark Williams


400 pages

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Paperback: 9780815392842
pub: 2019-09-13
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Hardback: 9780815392835
pub: 2019-09-13
Available for pre-order

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Skill Acquisition in Sport gives academics, students, coaches and practitioners the broadest and most scientifically rigorous grounding in the principles and practice of the discipline. Fully revised, updated and restructured, the third edition integrates theory and practice, and provides more material on practical application than ever before.

Divided into four sections—providing instruction and feedback, organizing effective practice, training high-level skills, and the theories and mechanisms underpinning skill acquisition practice—the book covers a full range of key topics, including:

  • the role of errors and rewards in motor learning
  • instructions and demonstrations, feedback and biofeedback
  • imagery in motor learning
  • constraints-based learning, self-directed learning, and learning from teaching
  • technique change, creativity training, and visual gaze training
  • practicing under pressure
  • the neurophysiology of learning

Based on the latest research, including chapters on emerging topics, and written by a global cast of world-leading experts, Skill Acquisition in Sport is an essential textbook for any kinesiology or sport science student taking skill acquisition, expertise development or motor learning classes.

Table of Contents

Preface: The Science Behind Sport Skill Acquisition: What’s New, What Stood the Test of Time and What Are the Future Challenges?

Nicola J. Hodges and A. Mark Williams

Section 1: Providing Instruction and Feedback

1. Enhancing Motor Skill Acquisition with Augmented Feedback

David I. Anderson, Richard A. Magill, Anthony M. Mayo, and Kylie A. Steel

2. Changing Automatized Movement Patterns

Laura Sperl and Rouwen Cañal-Bruland

3. Errors, rewards, and reinforcement in motor skill learning

Keith Lohse, Matthew Miller, Mariane Bacelar, and Olav Krigolson

4. Motor Imagery Practice and Skilled Performance in Sport: From Efficacy to Mechanisms

Aidan Moran and Helen O’Shea

5. Further advances in implicit motor learning

Rich SW Masters, Tina van Duijn, and Liis Uiga

Section 2: Organizing Effective Practice

6. Contextual Interference: New Findings, Insights, and Implications for Skill Acquisition

David L. Wright and Taewon Kim

7. Self-controlled Learning: Current Findings, Theoretical Perspectives, and Future Directions

Diane M. Ste-Marie, Michael J. Carter, and Zachary D. Yantha

8. Learning together: Observation and other mechanisms which mediate shared practice contexts

April D Karlinsky, Timothy Welsh, and Nicola J Hodges

9. Constraints-Led Learning in Practice: Designing effective learning environments

Ian Renshaw, Jonathan Headrick, Michael Maloney, Brendan Moy, and Ross Pinder

10. Operationalizing deliberate practice for performance improvement in sport

Paul R. Ford and Edward K. Coughlan


Section 3: High-level Skill Training

11. Sports training technologies: Achieving and assessing transfer

Rob Gray

12. Models of game intelligence and creativity in sport: Implications for skill acquisition

Daniel Memmert and Stefan König

13. Perceptual-Cognitive Expertise and Simulation-Based Training in Sport Andrew Mark Williams

14. Mental toughness training

Stuart Beattie, Lew Hardy, Andrew Cooke, and Daniel Gucciardi

15. Staying cool under pressure: Developing and maintaining emotional expertise in sport

Bradley Fawver, Garrett F. Beatty, Derek T.Y. Mann, and Christopher M. Janelle

Section 4: Mechanisms and Models of Skill Acquisition

16. Motor Skill learning and its Neurophysiology

Cameron S. Mang, Michael R. Borich, Katie P. Wadden, Lara A. Boyd, and Catherine F. Siengsukon

17. Appropriate Failure to Create Effective Learning: Optimizing Challenge Veronica X. Yan, Mark A. Guadagnoli, and Neil Haycocks

18. Ecological Dynamics and Transfer from practice to performance in sport Jia Yi Chow, Richard Shuttleworth, Keith Davids, and Duarte Araújo

19. The Development of skill and Interest in Sport

Jennifer Turnnidge, Veronica Allan, and Jean Côté

About the Editors

Nicola J. Hodges is a Professor at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, Canada in the School of Kinesiology. Originally from the UK she developed a passion for sport (namely soccer) and experimental psychology and has continued to live out these passions through the study of motor behaviour in Canada over the last 25 years. It is at UBC that Dr Hodges runs the Motor Skills Laboratory (, where she studies the mechanisms of motor skill learning. Her particular research focus is on processes involved in watching and learning from others (action-observation) and how practice should be best structured to bring about long-term enhancement of motor skills. Her research has been funded by the three tri-council agencies in Canada, she has been involved in sport-consulting and she has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles and chapters.

A. Mark Williams is Chair of Health, Kinesiology, and Recreation at the University of Utah, USA. His research interests focus on the neural and psychological mechanisms underpinning the acquisition and development of expertise. He has published more than 200 journal articles in peer-reviewed outlets, written more than 80 book chapters and co-authored/edited 15 books. His research work has been supported by various funding agencies in the UK, USA, and Australia. He is a Fellow of the European College of Sports Science, the British Associate of Sport and Exercise Science, the National Academy of Kinesiolgy, and the British Psychological Society. He is Editor-in-Chief of several academic journals.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SPORTS & RECREATION / Sports Psychology
SPORTS & RECREATION / Coaching / General