Specificity vs. generalizability: emergence of especial skills in classical archery
Czyz, Stanislaw H.
Moss, Sarah J.
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There is evidence that the recall schema becomes more refined after constant practice. It is also believed that massive amounts of constant practice eventually leads to the emergence of especial skills, i.e., skills that have an advantage in performance over other actions from within the same class of actions. This advantage in performance was noticed when one-criterion practice, e.g., basketball free throws, was compared to non-practiced variations of the skill. However, there is no evidence whether multi-criterion massive amounts of practice would give an advantage to the trained variations of the skill over non-trained, i.e., whether such practice would eventually lead to the development of (multi)-especial skills. The purpose of this study was to determine whether massive amount of practice involving four criterion variations of the skill will give an advantage in performance to the criterions over the class of actions. In two experiments, we analyzed data from female (n = 8) and male classical archers (n = 10), who were required to shoot 30 shots from four accustomed distances, i.e., males at 30, 50, 70, and 90 m and females at 30, 50, 60, and 70 m. The shooting accuracy for the untrained distances (16 distances in men and 14 in women) was used to compile a regression line for distance over shooting accuracy. Regression determined (expected) values were then compared to the shooting accuracy of the trained distances. Data revealed no significant differences between real and expected results at trained distances, except for the 70 m shooting distance in men. The F-test for lack of fit showed that the regression computed for trained and non-trained shooting distances was linear. It can be concluded that especial skills emerge only after very specific practice, i.e., constant practice limited to only one variation of the skill
- Faculty of Health Sciences