Gross •This continuum is often used in conjunction

& Fine Motor Skills

gross-fine skills continuum concentrates on the precision of movement.

Motor skills involve large muscle movements therefore, these skills are not
very precise and they include many of the fundamental movement patterns, like
walking and jumping. Examples of skills which are predominantly gross are the
shot-put, swimming and running, etc.

Motor Skills involve more intricate movements using muscle groups. These skills
tend to be precise in nature and generally involve a high degree of hand-eye
coordination. An example of a fine motor skill is a snooker shot or the bowling
action in cricket where the sporting action is focused on smaller muscles like
the wrist extensors and wrist flexors creating the flexion movement at the

& closed Skills

open-closed skills continuum is concerned with the effects of the environment
on skills.

skills are affected by the environment and are, therefore, predominantly
perceptual. The movements have to be adapted to the environment and the skill
is mostly externally paced – for example, a pass in football or dribbling past
your opponent in a match.

skills are not affected by the environment ad are predominantly habitual.
Movements follow a set pattern and have a definite beginning and end. So, these
skills tend to be self-paced. An example of a closed skill is a free throw in
basketball or completing lay up drills in training facing no competition or

continuum is often used in conjunction with the open-closed continuum and
refers to the timing of movements.

skills occur when the performer controls the rate at which the skill is
executed. Self-pacing involves proaction by the performer. Self-paced skills
are usually closed skills – an example is a javelin throw or a discus throw as
you don’t change how you perform whether it be in training or a competition.

skills are to do with the environment, which may include your opponent, that
controls the rate of performing the skill. This type of skill involves a
reaction and is usually an open skill, such as receiving a serve in badminton
or a striker taking a shot against a goalkeeper in a match trying to score.

is concerned with how well defined the beginning and the end of the skill are.

skills have a clear beginning and end a clear end, therefore the skill can be
repeated but the performer must start again from the beginning. A discrete
skill is single and specific. For instance, a penalty flick in hockey is an
example of such a skill.

skills have several discrete elements which are put together to make an
integrated movement or sequence of movements – for example, the sequence of
skills in a triple jump.

continuous skills have no obvious beginning or end – the end of one cycle of
movement is the beginning of the next. The skill is repeated as a set pattern –
for example, cycling.

this continuum skills can be classified according to the types of judgements
and decisions that you have to make to perform the skill.

there are a lot of decisions to make, then the skill is known as a complex
skill and therefore may have to be learned in stages to make it easier for the

if the skill is a straightforward with hardly any judgements and decisions to
make then it is known as a simple skill and can be taught as a whole and in a
fairly repetitive way.

example for a complex skill could be a slip catch in cricket, or a pass by a
midfield player in hockey who has to make many decisions to be accurate before
she passes.

simple skill could be a sprint start in swimming, for example, where there are
very few decisions that have to be made to be precise.

means the type of skill and the way in which it is organised can also be
classified so that effective teaching and learning can take place. If a skill
has elements or sub-routines that Are very difficult to separate, then it is
known as a highly organised skill, such as dribbling in basketball or trying to
dribble past an opponent in football.

if a skill is split up into sub-routines that are easily identified as separate
movements then it has low organisation, such as a tennis serve.