Exploring the perceptual-motor workspace: New approaches to skill acquisition and training
Humans spend much of their lives learning and executing motor skills. Consequently, the study of motor learning (skill acquisition) has potential implications across numerous fields, such as professional practice, medicine, education, sports, etc. In this chapter we analyze skill acquisition under the umbrella of the constraints-led approach and consider some implications of this framework for movement practitioners (e.g., coaches, physical education specialists, teachers, physiotherapists, and sports scientists). While different practitioners may have distinct objectives, each shares the important goal of enabling individuals to (re) acquire coordination and skilled control of movement. Researchers are becoming increasingly aware about the processes that may underpin learning as they observe performers experiment, explore, and exploit alternative movement solutions within the perceptual-motor workspace. Drawing upon the theoretical perspectives of ecological psychology and dynamical systems theory, we intend to show how awareness of the perceptual-motor workspace can help build a better understanding of key pedagogical issues such as practice organisation, the use of instructions, feedback, and demonstrations.