Factors Impacting Performance

Tactics

PERFORMANCE CONSIDERATIONS

PERSONAL STRENGTHS / WEAKNESSES

Definition
Personal Strengths and Weaknesses are the mental, emotional, social and physical attributes of an individual that may be deemed as an area of strength or weakness within their performance.

Impact on Performance
It is important to devise a tactic or plan which maximises your own strengths and minimises your weaknesses. For example in tennis, a player who is tall and strong will often try to “serve and volley” whilst a quicker player with good ground strokes will try and play longer rallies from the baseline. Equally, it is important to consider your opponents strengths and weaknesses in order to minimise their strengths and exploit any weaknesses. For example, if you are a powerful badminton player and have an effective overhead clear / smash and your opponent does not then you would try to force your opponent to the back of their court using your overhead clear so that when they play a weak return you could respond with a smash.

ROLE DEMANDS

Definition
Your role is the part you play in an activity e.g. performer or playing role (e.g. attacker, defender, wing attack, scrum half) or a non-playing role (referee, time-keeper, coach). Demands are the qualities required to fulfil the role effectively.

Impact on Performance
Role Demands relate to your own personal strengths and weaknesses and whether these are suited to a certain playing or non-playing role. For example, in Hockey, both umpires and midfield players need speed endurance to continually keep up with the pace of the game. The team captain must also show personal qualities such as leadership. As a captain you are expected to encourage, motivate and communicate with your team mates. A captain can also pass on tactical information from the coach/manager to those on the pitch. If the captain fails to do this then the team may be confused about their own role/ position which could create gaps in the midfield or defence providing the other team with opportunities to attack.

TEAM STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES

Definition
Team Strengths and Weaknesses should be considered before choosing a tactic within an activity. It is important to consider your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses as well as your own strengths and weaknesses.

Impact on Performance
It is important to select a strategy that maximises your team strengths, minimises your team weaknesses, minimises your opponent’s strengths and exploits your opponent’s weaknesses. For example, the fast break is an attacking strategy that your team could your team had quick players who could cope with performing skills at a fast pace and were poor at breaking down defences. This would also be a good strategy against a team who had a strong zone defence but were slow to get back in their own half.

OPPOSITION

Definition
The Opposition / Opponent are any team or individual that you come up against when performing. They can be direct opposition (Football, Rugby) or indirect opposition (Swimming, Trampolining).

Impact on Performance
Being able to exploit / take advantage of your opponents weaknesses may have a positive impact on your performance. For example, if you know that your opponent in Badminton has a poor Overhead Clear then you would select to play Overhead Clears in order to keep your opponent at the back of the court. This should allow you to play an effective attacking Drop Shot or Smash in response to your opponents shot. Equally, it is important to minimise your opponent’s strengths. For example, if your opponent was effective at playing forehand shots in table tennis you would aim to the play the ball to their backhand side.

PREVIOUS HISTORY

Definition
Previous History relates to reflecting and using information gathered from past performances.

Impact on Performance
It is important to take past performances or results, positive or negative, into consideration. This could be data you have gathered on a specific skill or information on a specific team or individual. This may also relate to movements or skills that you have just performed. For example, reflecting on the last overhead clear you performed during a badminton match before performing the same shot again. If the clear was successful in reaching the back tramlines then you may try to repeat the action and weight of the shot. If it was unsuccessful then you may try to apply more or less power so that it reaches your intended target or opt to play a different shot due to a lack of confidence in executing another overhead clear.

ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS

Definition
Environmental conditions are the natural effects of weather, climate and ground conditions on performance. Conditions range from wind, rain, hills and temperature. Any variable in these conditions would result in the performer possibly having to change tactic to either compensate or take advantage of the condition.

Impact on Performance
It takes a lot of time to build up experience of different conditions. Pre-competition planning can therefore be an important factor in limiting the effect of changing environmental conditions. It is not just particular to outdoor sports either. Something as simple as a swimmer having to cope with a pool that has the sides the same level as the water versus a pool with a raised edge/lip makes a big difference to choppy water, especially in the outer lanes. In Golf, you may need to adapt your play when playing on a links course due to the wind. You may need to keep the ball low in windy conditions using longer irons and learn to play certain shots into the wind accepting that you would not reach the green positioning yourself for a good approach. Weather conditions may also affect your performance in cycling. For example, heavy rain could cause you to take up a position nearer the sides of the group as the spray might makes it difficult to react to changes in speed and riders moving in front of you.

PRINCIPLES OF PLAY

WIDTH

Definition
This is having a spread of players across the playing area and relates to the space between players across the pitch or court.

Impact on performance
When players create width in attack: they have more space and time in which to work and execute skills; it puts pressure on the defence by stretching them and creates holes in the defence called space; space provides more time and possibly more one v one situations and gaps for players to run through. This means that defenders will have to work much harder, as they have to cover more space. Width in defence is important to ensure that there is a spread across the playing area to cover attacks through the middle or the wide areas.

DEPTH

Definition
Depth involves having a player further back than the others and can be utilised in either defence or attack.

Impact on Performance
Depth in defence, often referred to as lines of defence, has a player covering behind the defender so that if the 1st defender is beaten there is still another to get by before being through on goal/basket. For example, some football teams operate with a sweeper behind the back 3 or 4 to provide a second line of defence. A scrum half in rugby may also sweep behind the defensive line after a line out to make a tackle on any opposing player who breaks through. Depth in attack is usually when a player drops further back from the goal/basket often to provide a passing option to retain possession. For example, having a player at the top of the 3 point line in basketball is useful if there is no space to penetrate and drive into the basket. This enables the team to keep possession of the ball and reorganise the attack from a different direction. In rugby, a player may also come from deep to receive the ball, giving them time to pick a running line and making it difficult for the defence to organise who is going to make the tackle.

MOBILITY

Definition
This is to do with the movement of a performer/player a group/unit within a team or the team as a whole.

Impact on Performance
In basketball, good mobility is required when moving on and off the ball in attack. It is the ability to change direction at pace and move into space. An attack that is static is easy to defend, therefore players on and off the ball need to constantly be moving and changing direction to get free from the defenders, create space, offer support options and penetrate spaces in the defence. In dance, mobility of the individual or group is how they move and interact in relation to the area and/or each other. This is dictated by the choreography, rhythm, tempo and style of dance.

DELAY

Definition
Delay involves slowing down the opposition when defending or holding up an attack.

Impact on Performance
Delay in defence: The first priority when losing possession is usually to slow down or delay the attack so that the rest of the defence can get organised and sort back into position. This can be achieved by hustling and jockeying your opponent without over committing yourself. You can also reduce the time and space an opponent has by channelling them away from the danger area and into an area that is well defended or is difficult to attack from. Delay in attack:This is where the attacking player/ team deliberately slow down the pace of the attack to vary the tempo of the game or to hold up the ball. For example, slowing an attack down to maintain possession could be advantageous in order run down the clock when holding a lead. Delay in attack could also be used if your lone striker is outnumbered by the opposing defence. Holding up the ball will allow for supporting players to move up field and provide passing options.

PENETRATION

Definition
This is the ability to move into space, break through and/or get in behind a defence.

Impact on Performance
This can be achieved by players moving into space or driving at defenders in 1v1 or overload situations.
In football, the penetration pass is one of the first methods learned. Whether it be the simple "kick and chase" of the youth leagues, or the exquisite through-balls by today's world class stars. Penetration by pass is the quickest method of getting the ball towards the opposition’s goal. When done well, it can yield a large amount of success. Penetration in attack also requires other players in attack to make appropriate runs into space to receive the ball, while staying onside.
Forwards in Rugby can use penetration through employing a pick and drive tactic. This involves the forwards repeatedly driving the ball from a series of rucks. This leads to the forwards repeatedly breaking the gain line and penetrating through the defensive line resulting in the defence being on the back foot. This could also lead to the defence becoming more concentrated round the rucks and so when the ball is released along the backline we had much more space to break through and penetrate the defensive line. This would provide better attacking opportunities and allow our team to gain significant territory on the pitch. In hockey, attacking midfielders and strikers often use penetration when making a run in behind the defence to receive through passes from team-mates.


In all sports a team who lacks penetration in attack is unlikely to be successful as they will not be able to get past a well organised defence are and unlikely to create any scoring opportunities. Many teams have had a large share of possession but lack the ‘cutting edge’ to have good penetration in attack.

SUPPORT

Definition
Support can be similar to depth as it is mainly about providing options to teammates in attack and providing cover in defence. Support can also come from team-mates in front or in wide positions.

Impact on Performance
Support is an important principle of play in team activities. For example, support play in Rugby involves helping the ball carrier advance the position of the ball. Options and support are vital to keeping the opponents guessing about what you will do and to help your team break through the opposition defence. Good support reduces the need to kick the ball and ultimately give up possession of the ball. Support in football is also extremely important. When the ball is played into the strikers it is vital that wide players and midfielders get up the pitch as quickly as possible in order to support the attacker and perhaps create an overload. If there is little support or it does not arrive quickly enough then striker(s) can become isolated leading to poor ball retention.

COMMUNICATION

Definition
Communication is the ability to convey information to team mates/coach through the exchange of verbal speech, signals or actions.

Impact on Performance
Communication is vital for successful performance in many different physical activities both in practice and in competitive situations. Communication is used when receiving feedback or advice by a coach or team mate during practice and it must be clear, concise and accurate. Communication is also used before a competitive match to discuss tactics/strategies and to finalise roles and decisions for the team. During a match, players must be able to convey instructions, call set plays, offer advice and support other members of the team. For example, in a netball match, the Centre may call a code name or give a hand signal before a centre pass, this will allow the other players to know the set play. A Prop in a line out at rugby will give instructions to his team, unknown to the opposition, on who is receiving the ball. This will inform his team on what is happening and give his team a better chance of winning the lineout.

TEMPO

Definition
Tempo is the speed or pace at which a team or individual plays/performs.

Impact on Performance
In all activities the tempo at which the participants play/perform is important. Too fast and a performance can break down because nobody has time to react and make adjustments. Too slow and opponents can easily read what is going to happen and deny you the space/time to execute effective actions. In a volleyball match you could use different tempos of attack to try and create space/time to attack effectively against your opponents. For example, attacks can be quick to deny the opposition time to establish a block or slower to allow time to recover from bad passing or to feed out to the best hitter in the team.

FITNESS

ASPECTS OF PHYSICAL FITNESS

CARDIO RESPIRATYORY ENDURANCE

Definition
Cardio Respiratory Endurance is the ability of the heart and lungs to provide the working muscles with oxygenated blood for a prolonged period of time.

Impact on Performance
Poor CRE will result in the performer becoming breathless more quickly and unable to keep up with play or maintain a high skill level. Decision making may also be affected and longer rest periods will be needed to aid recovery. For example, Cardio Respiratory Endurance (CRE) is required in order to last the full 90 minutes of the game in football. During the game you will do a lot of work both on and off the ball. You will make repeated runs to support attacks, get into space to receive the ball, make runs with the ball, and chase back to defend etc. The energy required to do this is supplied aerobically, which requires your heart, lungs and blood system to supply oxygen to the working muscles throughout the game. Therefore a high level of CRE delays the onset of fatigue. This means that your work rate stays high so you can fulfil your role in the team and maintain a high skill level (as fatigue can also affect your control, touch, concentration and decision making).

MUSCULAR ENDURANCE

Definition
Muscular Endurance is the ability of a muscle or group of muscles to perform repeated contractions for extended periods of time without tiring.

Impact on Performance
If the muscles tire, due to poor Muscular Endurance, then the performer will be unable to make effective use of the muscles. For example, Muscular Endurance in the upper body is required when swimming for an extended period of time as you must be able to consistently use your arms to pull through the water for the duration of the race. In the role of centre net hitter in Volleyball, you would require a high level of Muscular Endurance in the quadriceps as you are constantly running and jumping in the front court when attacking and defending at the net.

SPEED (AND SPEED ENDURANCE)

Definition
Speed is the body’s ability to perform an action in a short time. Speed can be split into two categories – Whole body speed – where your whole body performs an action quickly and Limb speed – when a particular part of your body performs an action quickly. Speed Endurance is the ability to continually make fast runs over a long period time.

Impact on Performance
Speed is required in football when trying to beat an opponent to a 50/50 ball, to lose a defender, to get into space, to support an attack, to dribble round an opponent or to chase back and close down an attack. If you lack speed then you will be unable to maintain possession of the ball, win it back, or take on your opposite player effectively. This happens continually throughout the game as you repeatedly sprint over varied distances. Therefore speed endurance is also important because if it is poor you will be unable to maintain sprinting throughout the duration of the game. The energy required to do this is supplied anaerobicallyas the aerobic system is too slow to meet the energy demands. Repeated sprints results in lactic acid build up and it is this, which leads to muscle fatigue. Therefore with improved speed endurance (anaerobic endurance) the body can delay the production of lactic acid and tolerate higher concentrations of it thus delaying fatigue.

FLEXIBILITY

Definition
Flexibility (also known as suppleness) is the range of movement across a joint. There are two types of flexibility: static and dynamic flexibility. Static flexibility is necessary when you are holding a part of the body still. Dynamic flexibility uses the full range of movement across a joint for a short time within your overall performance.

Impact on Performance
Static Flexibility is required in activities like gymnastics where you have to hold your body still during various balances. For example, a good range of movement is needed across the hips to be able to perform the splits well. Dynamic flexibility in the hips is also very important to a goal kicker in Rugby. A big range of movement across the hips means the kicker will have a bigger follow-through allowing them to kick the ball further. Poor flexibility may also result in injuries if muscles are overstretched.

STRENGTH

Definition
Strength is the maximum force a muscle or group of muscles can exert at any one time. Strength can be further divided into Static Strength (muscles contract and hold one position), Dynamic Strength (muscles repeatedly apply force over a short period of time) and Explosive Strength or Power (muscles exert force in a short, fast burst).

Impact on Performance
Performing a scrum in Rugby would be an example of where Static Strength is required. Rugby Players are required to use Static Strength to stop the opposition from pushing the scrum and gaining an advantage. Dynamic Strength would be required when swimming short distances. Swimmers would require strong chest, arm and shoulder muscles when performing strokes like the freestyle, backstroke and breast stroke in order gain propulsion. Explosive Strength would be required for activities such as throwing a Javelin. Explosive Strength is used in single actions when maximum energy is needed.

POWER

Definition
Power is a combination of speed and strength.

Impact on Performance
Lots of sports require power, for example shooting in football requires power, as does driving in golf and smashing in badminton and tennis.Power is also one of the main physical aspects of fitness that is required for an effective long jump take-off. To gain maximum power the athlete must reach an optimum maximum speed in their approach. By gaining maximum speed you will gain greater power at take-off. Maximum speed will initiate maximum momentum and will in turn give you more height and a resulting greater flight time. Having longer in the air (flight) will result in more time to adjust to a long flight shape, and enable a greater leg shoot. Overall this will result in a greater distance. As well as speed, power requires strength. At the point of take off an explosive downward force (explosive strength) is required on the take-off board. The greater the maximum force that you apply downwards, with your flat take-off foot, will result in a greater force pushing you upwards. This upward force combined with the fast run up approach will create the optimum take-off propulsion. This upward force is applied downwards via the hips, knee and ankle and hence these joints and related muscles must be strong. When performing the long jump, your free leg must quickly drive up and out with a powerful force to help create an up and outwards forward motion.

ASPECTS OF SKILL-RELATED FITNESS

CO-ORDINATION

Definition
Coordination is the ability to control your body movements smoothly and fluently. It is the ability to link a series of movements or subroutines together by moving your body parts in the correct order. It often involves moving 2 or more body parts together at the same time to perform a particular action/skill/movement effectively.

Impact on Performance
Coordination is particularly important when performing a complex skill or when performing a skill/action at speed. Performing the correct technique for the hurdles requires lots of coordination. You must first have the correct stride length and number of strides between the hurdles. Then drive/extend the lead leg over the hurdle, whilst leaning forward at the waist and bringing the opposite arm forward. As you bend your trail leg to the side and over the hurdle you must simultaneously begin to snap down your lead leg, and the same time as keeping as low as possible over the hurdle. All this needs to be performed smoothly and at speed in order to clear the hurdles as quickly as possible. Poor coordination could result in a wrong foot taking off over the hurdle; hesitation at a hurdle; knocking over (hitting) a hurdle / poor technique and therefore a slower speed over the hurdle.

AGILITY

Definition
Agility is the ability to change the position of the body quickly, precisely and with control. This uses a combination of speed and flexibility.

Impact on Performance
Agility helps when competing in activities that require you to change direction quickly whilst keeping balanced and in control. It is helpful when participating in racket sports such as squash, tennis and badminton, and also in team games like rugby, basketball, volleyball, hockey and football. For example, Agility is important in football as it enables a player to turn quickly and evade challenges. A player who is agile can also respond quicker to an opposing player, close down or jockey an opponent and he or she is also able to explosively stop, change direction and increase speed again. In Badminton, Agility helps a player move around the court reasonably smoothly reaching shuttles at the back and front of the court. A lack of Agility would make it difficult for a player to reach shuttles played to different areas of the court causing them to be under pressure or lose the point.

REACTION TIME

Definition
Reaction time is the interval of time it takes for a performer to choose a response to a stimulus and then perform the selected movements. The stimulus is received through the performers sight, hearing or kinaesthetic sense. Reaction time can be quicker if a performer pays attention to relevant cues and also through controlling anxiety. A performer’s reaction time is also shorter if there is only one possible response but longer if there is more than one possible response.

Impact on Performance
A skilled performer has a quick reaction time by reacting to a stimulus, selecting response and moving sharply. This quick reaction time can be decisive between winning or losing in an activity. An example of simple reaction time is at the start of the 100m when the starting pistol goes off. Having good reaction time will allow you to start the 100m as quickly as possible without false starting. This will give you an instant advantage over other sprinters as it is such a short race/distance. Every millisecond can make the difference between winning and losing the race. A tennis player has a matter of seconds to respond to their oppositions serve. The tennis player must have good reaction time to select movements, respond to the speed, direction and spin of the tennis ball in order to return the serve successfully. In football, when a GK makes a penalty save or the ball rebounds of the woodwork the striker is usually the first player to react and convert the rebound. If the defending team do not react quickly enough they will concede a goal. An example of choice reaction time is dribbling a basketball down court during a game with passing options wide, forward or having the option to drive for the basket. Under the pressure of time and space you must be able to react to the changing environment as quickly as possible.

Balance

Definition
Balance is the ability to retain the centre of gravity above the base of support when stationary (static balance) or moving (dynamic balance).

Impact on Performance
Static balance is the ability to maintain control of position whilst remaining stationary – for example, balancing on one leg or holding a headstand in gymnastics. Dynamic balance is the ability to maintain balance and control of the body whist moving. In football, dynamic balance is very important. Players need this because they are moving and adjusting body position constantly when looking for scoring opportunities in the penalty box or trying to mark an opponent closely. Good balance will help you to keep your shots on target, and to reach and play difficult volley strikes with accuracy - it will also help to maintain possession when a defender tries to push you of the ball.

CORE STABILITY

Definition
Core Stability describes the ability to control the position and movement of the central portion of the body. This is being able to control the muscles deep within the abdomen which connect to the spine, pelvis and shoulders. The muscles of the torso need to assist in the maintenance of good posture, balance, etc., especially during movement:

Impact on Performance
Good Core Stability will help you to maintain good posture and provide the foundation for all arm and leg movements. Power is derived from the trunk region of the body and so good core stability helps to control that power allowing for smoother, more efficient and better co-ordinated movement of your limbs. Core Stability is therefore required for performing in sports that require good balance. For example, you will need to use core stability in order to maintain your balance when being tackled in Rugby.

A strong core gives you: Better posture, more control, more powerful performance, injury prevention and rehabilitation, increased protection and "bracing" for your back, a more stable centre of gravity, a more stable platform for sports movements.
When you have good core stability, the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen work in harmony. They provide support to your spine and help transmit increased power and performance for just about any activity. As power is required in a high number of activities good core stability is needed. Activities where it will be especially prevalent are gymnastics and swimming.

A weak core makes you susceptible to lower back pain, poor posture and a whole host of muscle injuries. Strong core muscles provide the brace of support needed to help prevent such pain and injury -- and this is why core training has become so popular among elite athletes.

Skills and Techniques

TECHNICIAL QUALITIES

TIMING

Definition
Timing is the ability to execute a skill/movement at exactly the right time and with the right degree of emphasis.

Impact on Performance
Timing of executing a skill / movement is often dictated by external influences. For example, in dance the timing of movements should be in time with the beat/tempo of the music. In football, you may need to time when to play a pass depending on when your team-mate makes their run. When serving in tennis, you need to time when to swing the racket at the ball and transfer your weight to ensure that you make good contact and increase the power behind the ball.

RHYTHM

Definition
Rhythm is the expression of timing during the performance of a skill/movement.

Impact on Performance
Rhythm is related to how we coordinate our body during the performance of a skill/movement. For example, in athletics when completing a hurdling distance, the athlete must maintain a rhythmic speed to ensure they can coordinate the correct take off foot, number of steps between hurdles and stride length to complete it in the fastest time. In dance, variation in rhythm can put emphasis on different movements and beats to make it more aesthetically pleasing for the audience.

CONSISTENCY

Definition
Consistency is the ability to perform skills / movements correctly over and over again.

Impact on Performance
Accuracy and Consistency are key for an effective performance. For example, a setter in volleyball always being able to set the ball at an appropriate height and place for their team mate to perform a more powerful spike and therefore put the other team under more pressure.

In tennis it is important to consistently serve with power and accuracy. If your serve is inconsistent you have more chance of double faulting or your opponent may find it easier to return the ball with an attacking shot.

To be consistent you must be at the automatic stage of learning. This means that you do not have to think of how to perform the skill as it becomes instinct/natural to use the skill in the correct situation.

SPECIAL QUALITIES

IMAGINATION

Definition
Imagination is when you are creative with your skill set during activities.

Impact on Performance
Imagination is required when performing in subjective activities. These are activities which are based on how the performance looks. They can also be described as aesthetic activities and the result depends on the opinion of the judges. Some examples of subjective activities are Gymnastics, Dancing, Diving, and Synchronised swimming. Performers can also be required to use their imagination and be creative in objective activities. Objective activities are where the performers achieve a definite score that can be measured in some way. For example, you may need to use your imagination to outwit your opponent in a 1 v 1 situation in basketball, hockey, rugby or football by changing direction quickly or using an unpredictable skill. Using your imagination is closely linked to being creative and performing with flair.


CREATIVITY

Definition
Creativity is the ability to perform unusually, innovatively and uniquely. It can be described as being able to face a problem and create a solution that is not expected or is different from the normal. Being creative can be shown in different ways, such as tactically or through a series of skills in the activity.

Impact on Performance
Some athletes are naturally gifted with skill and ideas and are willing to try different things in their sport which are seen to be creative. Others need to gradually learn and practice “alternative” skills in order to be more confident with them in a challenging situation. For example, in basketball when dribbling down the court at speed with support team-mates on either side you could disguise the pass by look to your team-mate on your left and passing to your team-mate on your right as you approach a defender.

FLAIR

Definition
Flair is the ability to instinctively perform uniquely or with style.

Impact on Performance
Having good flair can allow you to deceive an opponent as the skill you execute will be unexpected. No flair may result in your performance becoming predictable making it easy for an opponent to be able to read what you are about to do before you execute the skill. For example, a lack of flair and disguise in your play may lead to an opponent anticipating and intercepting a pass to a team-mate in basketball, football, hockey or rugby.

ADJUSTMENT

Definition
Adjustment is the ability to alter, change or move your body/body parts slightly in order to be in the desired position to perform a skill/action more effectively.

Impact on Performance
For example, in hockey, you might quickly alter your feet position and rotate your body to control/stop a ball with the front stick as opposed to attempting a reverse stick stop. You might also be more competent in performing the front stop and therefore more likely to keep possession/control of the ball. This would allow you to play a stronger front stick pass/shot more quickly. In table tennis, you might adjust/alter your footwork to allow you to play a forehand shot as opposed to using a ‘weaker’ backhand shot. This could benefit your performance as it could allow you to play a more attacking forehand drive shot and put your opponent under pressure.

QUALITY OF PERFORMANCE

CONTROL (very similar to Touch)

Definition
The ability to manage yourself or a moving object. E.G. Ball/racquet/stick etc.

Impact on Performance
In sport there are two types of object control.

Propulsive – sending an object away (e.g. throwing, kicking, striking, batting)

Receptive – receiving an object (e.g. catching, dribbling a ball, receiving a shuttlecock)

Propulsive skills are easier because you are in control of the object that you send away. In contrast, receptive skills require perceptual and coordination skills to move one’s body into position to receive the oncoming object.

You must also have control of your body, this is important in all sports where balance is important and to have a strong base from which to execute skills from. It is especially important in Gymnastics where control is a key element of performance.

Having a high level of control will allow you to execute both simple and complex skills to a high level. This will in turn allow your performances to look more fluent and will allow you to develop a good repertoire of skills. Any model performer in an activity will display a high level of both object and body control.

Having a low level of control will have a major impact on performance as you are unlikely to be able to perform skills to a high level. Your performance will not look fluent as you will lack the necessary control. Novice performers will have a lack of control in their performance.

FLUENCY

Definition
Fluency is regarded as the smoothness or flow in which actions/movements are joined together to perform one skill or multiple skills together with ease and grace.

Impact on Performance
A badminton player needs to link the subroutines of the overhead clear together in order to complete the action efficiently and smoothly (fluently) – being able to track back underneath the shuttle, turn side on, transfer weight, swing arm quickly to hit the shuttle and return to base. Performing actions with fluency will make them appear automatic and natural.


A team performance may also relate to being ‘fluent’ in their style of play- the ability to link passes, dribble at speed and move off the ball in an efficient, flowing movement. Progressing with ease and grace from one end of the pitch/court to the other.

EFFORT

Definition
The amount of work you are putting into the performance in order to be successful.

Impact on Performance
In basketball, applying effort in passing during a performance can ensure that the timing, weight and accuracy of the pass are successful. Lack of effort may lead to a mistimed pass, the pass falling short of the target, or not being on the correct trajectory to the receiver. When training for an activity, effort is required to ensure that you are working at the correct levels to bring about improvement. Lack of effort can lead to skill level plateau where no improvements are made.

ACCURACY

Definition
Accuracy is the ability to direct a ball, shuttle or any other object used in an activity to a target area with precision. A performer can also demonstrate accuracy performing movements with precision so that they look exactly like a model performance.

Impact on Performance
For example, you could demonstrate accuracy in badminton through returning an overhead clear to the back tramlines on your opponent’s side of the court or by placing a penalty flick in hockey accurately to the corner of the goal away from the goalkeeper. A dancer may also demonstrate accuracy by performing a sequence of dance steps in an exact order with precision and correct technique.

TOUCH (very similar to Control)
Definition
Is a person’s ability or dexterity when making contact with a stationary or moving object; predominantly using a piece of equipment or part of the body. Touch refers to a performer’s ability to control an object during an activity.

Impact on Performance
Touch is essential to performance in several activities where control and possession of an object is required. A drop shot in badminton requires a soft touch in order to place the shuttle over the net with the right amount of speed and height. This will result in your opponent being unable to return the shuttle or having to return with a high defensive shot. This will ultimately lead to you winning the point or playing a smash/attacking shot next. Having a poor touch can lead to loss of control or a misplaced pass. In volleyball, ‘touch’ is important when setting the ball to a teammate. If you do not touch the ball with the correct height or accuracy it can lead to your teammate hitting the net with their shot or being unable to play an attacking shot. This can result in the loss of points or have an effect on the timing and accuracy in the next shot. In football, a good first touch will ensure you keep possession of the ball and help you to be able to perform your next skill. Think about receiving a strong pass inside the penalty box in football. If you have a good touch and are able to control the ball from under your feet quickly then you will have more time to have an effective strike at goal. A poor touch could result in lack of control, a missed opportunity for a shot at goal or losing possession.