There are four primary motor skill components. These components are accuracy, speed, economy of effort, and flexibility (Lee, 1988, pp. 201-215). Initially, accuracy is attained only at the expense of the other motor skill components. Flexibility is the last of the motor skill components typically acquired. Flexibility is acquired through the alteration of a newly acquired function with others already well established, and through the integration of features learned in previous stages (Christina & Bjork, 1991, pp. 23-56). Each of the four components of motor skill are essential to the automatization of a performance pattern. The automatization of a performance pattern is the production of the pattern without conscious attention.
It has been found that motor skills can be learned or improved at any point during the life of an individual (Bjork, 1993, pp. 396-401). The older a person is, however, the more difficult it is typically for a person to transfer motor skills into use. Thus, motor skills should be developed early in life. Previously learned motor skills provide the person with contexts that facilitate the production of new skill features (Adams, 1987, pp. 41-74). The, the process of motor skills development by a person is characterized by incremental and relative growth. Motor movement skills acquisition involves concepts of learning, and the effectiveness of the learning of motor movement skills is affected by the concept of knowledge of results (Schmidt, 1989, pp. 395-410). Skills learning and knowledge of results effects are considered in the two discussions that follow this introduction.
Learning theory, concepts, and styles affect the acquisition of motor movement skills (Wulf & Schmidt, 1989, pp. 748-757). Learning theory applicable to motor movement skills acquisition is a composite of behavioristic and cognitive concepts.
Behavioristic human development involves the concept of conditioning. The c...