Practicing field hockey skills along the contextual interference continuum: the effect on skill acquisition and learning

Jadeera Phaik Geok Cheong

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    461 Downloads (Pure)


    [Truncated abstract] The majority of contextual interference (CI) studies have focused on blocked and random practice conditions which are located at each end of the CI continuum. In laboratory settings, research comparing the effects of these two practice schedules on learning motor skills has supported the use of high interference (random) protocols. However, no consistent support for trend to date has shown that the CI effect is indeed applicable to applied settings using sports skills (Barreiros, Figueiredo, & Godinho, 2007). Therefore, the main purpose of this thesis was to further explore the effects of different practice schedules with varying combinations of high and low interference on the learning of sports skills within applied settings. Additionally, as the CI effect cannot be generalised to all situations, with certain conditions enhancing or diminishing the CI effect in field settings, a further contribution of this thesis was to investigate situations in which different practice schedules optimise skill acquisition. The sport of field hockey was chosen as the context to explore these issues. In the first empirical study, the effect of five practice schedules located along the CI continuum on the learning of the Indian dribble, push pass and hit was investigated. The results revealed a significant improvement for all groups in Indian dribble ball control, push pass and hit speed as well as for movement form for all skills during acquisition. Between-group differences were not detected. The CI effect was not supported and it appeared that either low, moderate or high interference practice schedules could be used effectively when conducting a multiple skill practice session for beginners in a field setting.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2011


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