Possibilities of Using OPTIMAL Theory in School Physical Education and Teaching of Sports Games Cover Image

Možnosti využití teorie OPTIMAL ve školní tělesné výchově a výuce sportovních her
Possibilities of Using OPTIMAL Theory in School Physical Education and Teaching of Sports Games

Author(s): Radka Peřinová
Subject(s): Sports Studies
Published by: Masarykova univerzita nakladatelství
Keywords: motor learning; autonomy; external focus ; self-efficacy

Summary/Abstract: The objectives of the prepared article are to give the readers a brief account of the main ideas and foundations stones of a relatively new theory of motor learning, OPTIMAL, formulated by Gabriele Wulf and Rebecca Lewthwait, and also to point out the possibility of its application in school physical education lessons, particularly in teaching sports games. The authors critically assess “traditional” teaching of new locomotor skills stressing the frequent neglect of the internal motivation of pupils and support for their autonomy. According to them, in traditional teaching practice, internal focus of attention is imposed on the pupils, i.e. concentration on the movements of the body or its parts. They claim that the result of such an approach is learning that is not sufficiently effective. On the contrary, they recommend that the teachers should consciously raise the pupils’ expectations, support the need for autonomy by their more active involvement in the teaching process and focus their attention externally, towards the goals of the task. It seems that the practical application of the OPTIMAL theory in school physical education lessons is feasible. It is, above, all the support for autonomy that follows the current trends. However, we expect high demands set on the organization of the teaching process and on the teachers themselves. Future testing in the school practice is necessary. The TGFU (Teaching Games for Understanding) didactic paradigm has been successfully used in teaching sports games for a number of years. Due to the similarity of some principles of the OPTIMAL theory and this paradigm, it is apparent that the new theory of motor learning could be successful, too, particularly in teaching the fundamentals of game skills in sports games. This assumption, however, should also become a subject of testing in the future.

  • Issue Year: 12/2018
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 166-171
  • Page Count: 6
  • Language: English, Czech