chapter  10
26 Pages

Practice Schedules

ByCheryl A. Coker

The fact that practice is a critical component of learning or re-learning a motor skill is not surprising. To make the most of one's time, practice attempts should be not only maximized but optimized. If Mr. Green's physical therapist has developed a thorough understanding of how practice context and distribution influence learning, his dream of dancing with his granddaughter at her wedding could become reality. S. Douvis examined the effect of variable practice on the forehand drive in tennis by children and late adolescents. The variability-of-practice hypothesis was supported, as practicing with four or five targets resulted in greater performance consistency regardless of age group. For the open skill, practice should present variations in both the regulatory conditions and non-regulatory conditions that might occur in the applied setting. Having determined that practice variability is desirable, the practitioner must next decide how to organize the practice session.