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Skill Acquisition

Many of you ask us "Is it too late to join?" The answer is always going to be: "No." Why? Because football is a skill-based sport and heavily relies on skill acquisition. What is skill acquisition? What are the stages of skill acquisition?

Skill Acquisition is an interdisciplinary science. It engages experts in neuroscience, physiology, psychology, biomechanics, and coaching to research how the neuromuscular system functions to activate and coordinate the muscles and limbs involved in the performance of a motor skill. It is defined as the learning or re-learning of a motor skill.

The 3 stages of skill acquisition are:

1. Cognitive Stage

2. Associative Stage

3. Autonomous Stage

Cognitive Stage: Beginners focus on what to do and how to do it. In this stage, the learner receives a lot of feedback from the coach. It is characterized as the stage with the most gains, least consistency, and multiple errors. This stage is also known as the verbal-motor stage.

Associative Stage: Basic fundamentals are established. Therefore, more consistency is noted and less errors occur. At this stage, the learner starts to see improvement in performance after an unspecified amount of practice - depending on the learner and their own pace. This stage is also known as the motor stage.

Autonomous Stage: The skill has become automatic. There is little to no conscious thought about the skill. The learner can now detect their own errors and make proper adjustments. Learners begin to multi-task at this stage.

Learning depends on the athlete and how well they respond to proper training. Acquiring a skill is not easy or difficult. It just takes TIME.

Reference: Sport for Science

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