It's not the type of practice that matters, it's the attitude: The impact of playful practice on motor skill learning
Keywords:Deliberate play, Deliberate practice, Goalless learning, Mindfulness, Play
The traditional approach to practice has focused on the physical structure of practice, manipulating parameters like duration, spacing, task variations, practice order, and whether tasks are practiced in parts or as a whole and physically or mentally. The emergence of the deliberate practice framework shifted the focus to the learner’s attitude or mindset toward practice. It argues that the most effective practice involves a consciously effortful, workman-like approach to remedying weaknesses in performance. In the current paper, we build on the notion of deliberate play that arose in response to the deliberate practice framework. Rather than view deliberate play as a forerunner to deliberate practice, we argue that a playful approach to practice can benefit the learning process at any stage of learning or skill development. We draw on contemporary research in motor learning and development, in developmental and evolutionary psychology, and in education to highlight the benefits of a playful approach to practice on motor skill learning. We end with practical suggestions for encouraging a playful approach to practice and learning.
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Copyright (c) 2022 David I. Anderson, Kylie A. Steel
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