Objective This activity will be undertaken to introduce the motion of the layup. It will focus on the twostep component of the layup, more specifically, it is design to make learners comfortable with timing and spacing their two steps off of the dribble. The aim of increasing the complexity of the drill through introducing cones is to introduce tempo to the movement pattern, so that when the movement pattern is later used in performing a layup the learner will slow down to take an accurate shot. Finally introducing the chair, in the place of a defensive player, will allow the learners to practice attacking around the defence. This activity will be undertaken to improve learner’s ability to attack the basket. The aim is to make learners think about catching the ball and taking it to the basket as quickly and efficiently as possible. The aim of this drill and the subsequent variations is to improve the learner’s layup skills but also to highlight that they should be taking the ball to the basket for a layup wherever possible as it is the preferred method of attacking the basket. The aim of adding the lanes and the use of questioning is to make the learners think about what angle they should attack the basket at. This activity will be undertaken to develop the learners’ ability to read the defence resulting in the ability to beat the defence to the basket. It will also help the learner understand when it is appropriate to take the layup , when to pull up for a shot or when to pass off to other team members. Through the reinforcement of the importance of making a score in every attempt within this activity, it is an objective that when the players miss the score they will begin to think about what else they can to in offense to create an opportunity to score. The aim of introducing a passer as a variation of this activity is to give the players an opportunity to decide when they should pass off instead of trying to make a layup, drawing a foul or taking a jump shot. This progression will continue to develop the learners’ ability to beat their defensive player in a one-on-one situation. It will increase understanding of when to take the defensive player on, pass off to a team mate, pull up for a shot or draw a foul if needed. The aspect of creating a defensive balance will be introduced with the aim of the learners practicing drawing other defensive players through beating their own defensive player to the basket. The objective of using of 3 or more players is to develop the skills within a real game scenario. Teaching Sequence Rationale/Justification Players line up in two lines, one at each 3 point line facing each other. This activity can be performed with as many pairs of lines as necessary (see figure 1.1). The player with the ball dribbles and takes two steps then release the ball on a pass to the other line who repeats the same back. For the first variation of this task, students will be given the chance to explore the footwork of a layup in a non-complex environment. The main task constraint is only being able to perform two steps as that is a primary rule of the game of basketball; however, there is freedom on the amount of dribbles that can be taken and the amount space that is used for each component of the activity. Figure 1.1 For the second variation of this task, environmental constraints will be used through the addition of cones. (see figure 1.2). The yellow cones represent the point at which the two dribbles must be completed and the two steps must begin and the blue cone represents the point at which the ball must be released for the pass. This will bring the 2-step component of the layup in to a more confined area which is representative of space that would be typically used to perform the 2-step component of the layup in a basketball game. Increasing the complexity of the drill through these environmental constraints will require the players to specifically think about their footwork. As a result, the students will subconsciously slow down their pace; this introduces the aspect of tempo to their layups. Instead of attacking the basket as fast as possible consistently, through practicing the process of slowing down leading up to a pass will allow the students to adjust their speed when releasing their shots to increase control and accuracy. Figure 1.2 Figure 1.3 The environment constraints can be further manipulated to represent other situations in a game of basketball that an offensive player will be faced with. Instead of using cones to control the components of the two-step movement, a chair can be introduced in the place of a defensive player (see figure 1.3). The players are then instructed that they must begin their steps before the chair with the objective of getting around the chair which requires the development of the same movement patterns as getting around the defensive player in a game. No other task constraints will be added so players will be able to, and encouraged to, explore the use of both hands and attacking the chair on difference sides to find their own solution to the problem of getting around the chair. Players line up in two lines on the baseline, will be instructed to lead up both sides of the three-point line. The passer at the top of the three-point line will call for the ball from one of the two players. After passing the ball the first player will cut to the basket for the layup and player two will pass them the ball. The second player will then receive the ball from the passer and make a layup. (See figure 2.1—2.4). To begin with the layup will be able to be performed at any angle to allow students to explore the results of attacking the basket at any angle. After every player has had multiple attempts at the basket, they will be brought in for questioning. See figure 2.6 for questions that will be included. 1. Where were you aiming to receive the ball when leading up the 3-point-line for the lay-up? (Answer: high, low, middle) 2. Figure 2.6 What worked better? i.e. where did you make more shots from or feel more comfortable taking a shot from ? (Answer: high, low, middle) 3. Where on the court would you want to receive the ball then? (Answer: where it was more accurate i.e. high, low, Following this questioning, environmental constraints will introduced to control angle of the layup. Cones will be placed creating a laneway and players must perform the layup inside the laneway. This will reinforce performing the layup at the correct angle by utilising an external focus of attention (the cones and the nominated starting position on the court rather than the angle of their body). (See figure 2.5) Figure 2.1 Figure 3.1 Figure 2.2 Figure 2.3 Figure 2.4 Figure 2.5 Players will start in two lines on the baseline, on the same side of the court at the three point line (see figure 3.1). The inside line (blue) is the defensive player and the outside line (white) is the offensive player. The red dot represents a ‘passer’ who is preferably in the coaching staff. The passer stands holding both hands out but the right one is holding the ball. Both players must run out to the coach simultaneously; the offensive players grabs the ball while the defensive player hi-fives the empty left hand. Then it is one-on-one to the basket with the aim to score. An environmental constraint that will be adjusted for each player due to their individualised level of skill is the position of the ball in relation to the empty hand. To challenge a faster or more skilled player the ball can be held out behind the passer and their empty hand held forward., giving the defensive player the advantage. The opposite can be done for a less skilled or confident player to induce an offensive advantage. Figure 3.2 A task constraint can then be changed to emulate different conditions in the game of basketball; learners can now choose whether to back cut as they have been doing, or curl cut behind the passer depending on defence’s position. The curl cut emulates coming off a screen in offense. (See figure 3.2). After every learner has had a few attempts at the layup, it is likely they will be missing shots, be getting stopped by the defensive player and forced in to taking a long shot, or they will be getting their shots blocked by the defensive player. They will then be brought in for questioning using the questions in figure 3.3. After questioning, an environmental constraint will be introduced, a receiver will be added to practice what was discussed in the questioning (see figure 3.4). The activity will still start the same but if the learners will be instructed that they can pass off to their receiver. It will be stressed that the offense should score on every attempt on goal due to their two-on-one imbalance. Further into the activity if the learners are struggling with making the layup and are continuously passing off every time. Emphasis can be placed on the offensive player drawing the foul on the layup to prepare them for a ‘one-on-one fast break’ in a game. To teach the learners this skill, a technical cue will be utilised such as, ‘ on the second step put your closest foot to the defence into the defenders path so that they make contact with your hip and will foul you instead of blocking the shot’. Figure 3.4 1. How are you getting most of your scores? (Answer: from layups) 2. What is the best way to get a score then? (Answer: make a layup) 3. What is stopping you from getting a score? (Answer: defensive player) 4. f you haven’t beaten the defensive player to the basket, what are other things you can do to get a chance to score? (Answer: pass/pull up for a shot/ draw a foul) 5. When do you think you should pass the ball? (Answer: when your teammate is in a better position/when your defensive player is between you and the basket) 6. How could you adjust your layup to draw a foul? (Answer: move into the defence etc.) Figure 3.3 This progression will start with an initial task constraint, in the same way as the previous activity did, with the two players playing one-on-one to the basket after receiving the ball from the passer. However; more players will be added to the drill. Two more offensive players (red) with defensive players (orange) will be added to the activity (see figure 4.1) Now if the offensive player passes the ball off in the lay-up, the other players attack the basket too, resulting in a three-on-three scenario The original task constraint is maintained to emphasis the layup as the preferred method of scoring a goal; however, if this can not be made then the three-on-three aspect of this activity allows the players to practice attacking the basket in a game like situation. The offensive players will be encouraged to beat their player to the basket which will draw the other defensive players to them, creating a temporary defensive imbalance. This activity can be further progressed from three-on-three, to four-on-four or five-on-five to increase the complexity of the drill. The task constraints can also be changed to give the offenFigure 4.1 sive team an advantage e.g. five-on-four or the defensive team an advantage e.g. three-on-four. This replicates situations that may occur in a game of basketball and can improve the learners’ ability in attacking the basket in the many different situations they would experience in a game of basketball. Between progressions, learners can be brought in for questioning to emphasise and remind them of the goals of the drill. See figure 4.2 for questions that can be used in this process. 1. How do you know you have played a good offence? (Answer: scored a goal) 2. What is the best way to get a score ? (Answer: make a layup) 3. What is stopping you when you don’t get a score? (Answer: defensive player) 4. If your defensive player if stopping you, what are other things you can do to get a chance to score? (Answer: pass/pull up for a shot/draw a foul) 5. What do you think is the best option if the defensive player is stopping you? (Answer: pass to a player in a better position) 6. When do you think you should pass the ball? (Answer: when your teammate is in a better position/when your defensive player is between you and the basket) Figure 4.2 Movement Variability The variability of a movement from person to person or attempt to attempt is influenced by both internal and external factors, therefore it is extremely difficult to replicate a movement precisely (Bernstein, 1976). The existence of physiological differences between people effects the technique used to perform actions with the same desired outcome (Button, Macleod, Sanders, & Coleman, 2003). The acknowledgment of these differences, which result in movement variability, challenges the ‘optimal technique’ model of traditional teaching pedagogies (Magias, 2016b). Even in a closed movement such as the basketball free-throw, Button et al. (2003) found that movement variability, represented by the angle of release on the shot, had no effect on the outcome of the movement. This existence of movement variability in the execution of tasks in elite sport having no effect on results, consequently infers the apparent necessity of movement variability in generating skilled behaviour (Bartlett, Wheat, & Robins, 2007) and consistent performance outcomes (Heiderscheit, Hamill, & van Emmerik, 2002). Implicit teaching approach An explicit approach to teaching does not allow learners to explore movement solutions (Magias, 2016b) which has been previously cited as vital in creating skilled behaviour or consistent task outcomes (e.g. scoring a goal) (Bartlett et al., 2007; Heiderscheit et al., 2002). Therefore, it can be inferred that an implicit teaching approach is superior in creating skilled and consistent performance due to the allowance of movement variability. When utilising an implicit teaching approach, learners are not given strict verbal instructions involving their technique or internal focuses of attention, such as their body angle. Instead of prescriptive instruction, learners are given the opportunity to explore movement solutions which enables movement variability (Magias, 2016b). An example of an implicit instruction frequently given in our teaching sequence is ‘attack the basket with a layup’. Bernstein (1967) associates tone, synergies and space with implicit learning; tone involves using major muscle groups to perform a movement, synergies is gaining motor patterns of major movements between muscle groups and space is coordinating the movement of muscle groups within the environment. Following Bernstein’s levels of movement control theory (1967), in the first stage of implicit learning, degrees of freedom within the body are constrained to ensure control. Theses degrees of freedom are then released to promote efficient movements, and are finally manipulated in respect to the environment. However, explicit learning, which utilises a prescriptive compartmentalised approach to instruction, can result in a ‘re-freezing’ of the degrees of freedom. This, therefore, delays the progression of the movement outcome and negatively effects performance (Hossner & Ehrlenspiel, 2010, p.3). External focus of attention Throughout the teaching sequence, external focuses of attention have been used. Referring to the player in relation to their opponent instead of describing the exact angle or body position they should maintain gives them less to think about when performing the skill. The term ‘paralysis by analysis’ was originally used by Schmidt (1982, p. 281) to describe this phenomenon in which instruction that promotes focusing on the performance of an action effects the performance outcome (Hossner & Ehrlenspiel, 2010). Instead of using an internal focus such as ‘pivot so that you can dribble at a 45 degree angle after receiving the ball’, an external focus is used throughout this teaching sequence, such as ‘catch the ball and square up to the basket', to optimise performance. It has been repeatedly shown that when learners focus on the movement itself, which is the goal of explicit teaching, it has a negative effect on performance; consequently, the use of an external focus of attention has been positioned as superior (Wulf and Prinz, 2001; Wulf & Weigelt, 1997; Zachry, Wulf, Mercer & Bezodis, 2005). Part-task practice or Progress-part pedagogy The main implication drawn from traditional skill teaching pedagogy is the use of part-task practice (Magias, 2016b). The part-task practice approach influenced the first activity as the objective was to focus on a single part of the skill (the two-step action of the layup). The desired outcome was a low level of complexity that is appropriate for novice players. However, part-task practice typically utilises ‘demonstration for replication’ which promotes an optimal technique and views movement variability as interference within the learning process (Magias, 2016a, p.4) which was not the case in this activity. Although it was deemed appropriate to break down the skill of the layup and remove the aspects of spacing in regards to the basket and shooting technique, the aspect was not practiced alone (e.g. the two steps in isolation), but in conjunction with other actions that are involved in the coordination pattern (catching, dribbling and releasing the ball). While the part-task practice aspect of traditional skill acquisition was drawn upon for this aspect of the teaching sequence, it was adapted to move more toward pedagogy influenced by the dynamic systems theory by utilising other actions used in the coordination pattern of the skill as well as the one aspect in focus. Information-movement coupling Throughout this teaching sequence the movements used in attacking the basket (e.g. making a layup) are undertaken in a game like scenario to allow for information-movement coupling. In other words, the offensive player in the drill can use the position of the defensive player (the information in the environment) to then decide which way is the best way to attack the basket in that situation (the movement). Gibson (1979) put forward the theory behind information-movement coupling, which states that our movements produce information that we can use to create more movement. This highlights the importance of practicing skills within a game environment so that players can use the information within that environment to generate their movements. This is one of the overarching theories of the game sense approach. Although performing drills within a game environment does increase the complexity of the task, Pill (2013) deems this as appropriate if students have knowledge of the basic movement skills of the sport; in this case, passing, catching, running and dribbling. Furthermore, breaking down movement patterns into smaller components, as demonstrated in traditional linear teaching pedagogy, has been shown to have a negative effect on performance. Beilock et al., (2002) propose that the process of compartmentalising actions allows for more opportunities for error than are present in the ‘chunked’ action. Non– linear pedagogy Linear pedagogy, such as that influenced by Snoddy (1926) which suggests a linear relationship between time and practice known as the power law of practice, does not acknowledge the array of factors that influence performance. Therefore, the use of linear pedagogy fails to provide an allowance for the effects of feedback on performance; instead, using theoretically informed non-linear pedagogy, acknowledges the spikes in performance as well as the possible declines or plateaus and can account for the effect of feedback on performance. As learning is dynamic, sport is dynamic, and learners are complex systems, non-linear pedagogy is appropriate to teach skill acquisition in sport, and therefore is what has been used throughout this teaching sequence. Questioning Questioning is a ‘principal pedagogical device’ in creating a learning process which encourages players to think and problem solve (Pill, 2016, p.143). Questioning is used as a part of discovery learning or guided discovery (Light, 2014; Pill, 2012). Using questions that begin general in nature, moving in to more specific question, the teacher or coach guides the player to discover the answer to the problem themselves. This results in the development of players who are more tactically aware and can make appropriate decisions within the game. (Pill, 2016). Questioning is present throughout this teaching sequence to encourage players to think about the movements they are making in a tactical manner. Through emphasising this in the teaching sequence, the objective is to generate players who have the ability to make decisions about which move to make within a game by using the information afforded to them in the environment, such as the position of the defensive player or their offensive team mate. References Bartlett, R., Wheat, J., & Robins, M. (2007). Is movement variability important for sports biomechanists? Sports biomechanics, 6(2), 224-243. Bernstein, N.A. (1967) The co-ordination and regulation of movements. Oxford: Pergamon Press Button, C., Macleod, M., Sanders, R., & Coleman, S. (2003). Examining movement variability in the basketball free-throw action at different skill levels. Research quarterly for exercise and sport, 74(3), 257-269. Gibson, J. J. (2014). The ecological approach to visual perception: classic edition. Psychology Press. Haudum, A., Birklbauer, J., Kröll, J., & Müller, E. (2012). Constraint-led changes in internal variability in running. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 11, 8-15. Heiderscheit, B. C. (2002). Variability of Stride Characteristics and joint Coordination Among Individuals. Journal of Applied Biomechanics, 18, 110-121. Hossner, E. J., & Ehrlenspiel, F. (2010). Time-referenced effects of an internal vs. external focus of attention on muscular activity and compensatory variability. Frontiers in Psychology, 1, 230 Light, R. (2014). 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North (Eds.) 2015 Game Sense for Teachers and Coaches Conference: Proceedings (pp. 143-155), Christchurch, November 19-20, 2015 Pill, S. (2012). Teaching game sense in soccer. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 83(3), 42-52. Snoddy, G. S. (1926). Learning and stability: a psychophysiological analysis of a case of motor learning with clinical applications. Journal of Applied Psychology, 10(1), 1. Wulf, G., & Prinz, W. (2001). Directing attention to movement effects enhances learning: A review. Psychonomic bulletin & review, 8(4), 648-660. Wulf, G., and Weigelt, C. (1997). Instructions in learning a complex motor skill: to tell or not to tell. Res. Q. Exerc. Sport 68, 362–367. Zachry, T., Wulf, G., Mercer, J., and Bezodis, N. (2005). Increased movement accuracy and reduced EMG activity as the result of adopting an external focus of attention. Brain Res. Bull. 67, 304–309.