Can we use different practices during training? Opinion Mariano Martínez


Mariano Martinez is director of Tennis Concept and International Tennis Academy of Elche, a project that collaborates with the Miguel Hernández University of Elche and with working in various research projects related to tennis. National tennis coach for the RFET degree in psychology, is currently working on three research areas: adherence sports programs and motivation; Leadership and teamwork; psychological variables that influence performance.

Sport in general has advanced greatly in recent years, and consequently tennis too. This has been possible thanks to the many studies conducted, the degree of professionalism that is being made by the coaches, new technologies, materials, etc .. would like to take the opportunity afforded me to explain some models and methodologies we use.
Using the definition of (Oña, Martinez Moreno and Ruiz, 1999), we can consider motor learning as a change in motor behavior, which remains stable and is a product of practice. Viewed this way the practice becomes essential for learning to occur. In this way we can use the practice related to motor performance, physical practice, practice imagined, guided practice, modeling or instructions.
It should make a distinction between open and closed skills, classification that Poulton used in the 50s in order to focus the teaching and practice of sports.

By closed skills we can put as an example the tennis serve, (to some scientists it is), not for me. Distance, position, ball remains stable or almost. In this case the repeated execution of the proposed model and the goal of approaching the perfection of execution strategies that will raise the coach in order to achieve maximum efficiency.
Open skills are considered those where conditions vary during the execution of a skill (Parlebas). Consider a hit a ball right over a match.The place since that hit vary from one to another ball, placing it, angulation, will also vary where the opponent, etc .. This is found if the coach should vary the conditions of practice, since this never will run during the game the same way as in training.
Seen this way is clear that tennis is an open skills sport, including service in my opinion. Then the questions I ask myself are the following: Why continue to teach a methodology so close in many occasions, especially with younger ?. Why we continue to attach much importance to the technic? For me the ideal implementation model that is different from the technique. Why do we continue to models based on the repetition of the same gesture and under the same conditions?

First talk about contextual interference that has been defined as a way of organizing the variable practice during various motor skills, so that high levels of interference will result in a deterioration in performance during the acquisition phase, but positive effects for learning in terms of retention and transfer (Schmidt and Lee, 1999; Ruiz, 1995; Lee and Magill, 2001). The example of contextual interference maximum would play a game.
To illustrate the types of practices in a way that everyone can understand use the following nomenclature, and these scenarios:

F= Forehand, B= Backhand S= Serve V= Volley

Imagine a coach with a basket with 100 balls to throw and one with 50 balls to service. • PRACTICE SHUFFLE It is a condition of high contextual interference. the tasks are presented in random sequence. (FBVS, BVSF, SFBV, … ..). This would be more contextual interference. • PRACTICE IN BLOCK Low contextual interference condition. all practice trials before introducing another task or a variation thereof are performed. (FFFF, BBBB, SSSS, VVVV ….). This would be the lowest contextual interference • SERIAL PRACTICE • Each task practice for a block of trials is randomly varied. (SFRV, SFBV, SFBV….). It is be situated in the middle of the above, like the COMBINED PRACTICE. Each task is repeated over a block of trials, being varied randomly display order of the blocks. (SSSS, FFFF, BBBB, VVVV FFFF, VVVV, BBBB, SSSS, …)

In conclusion we can say:

1.-High contextual interference conditions produce hardier memory strokes over long periods of retention and less dependent on context or learning initial conditions, which would facilitate the transfer to new tasks (Del Rey, 1982).
2. Random practice produces a more effective learning and retention tests transfer practice in blocks, but transitory negative effects and deterioration during the acquisition phase. (Magnuson and Wright, 2004).
Now everyone should think and analyze what kind of practices we organize for our students. In my opinion I think we should be open to new teaching systems and the use of material adapted to help us get better learning by our students. If and readers deem it appropriate we may be giving notes on game-based systems, ecological approach, cognitive styles of teaching, work variability, etc …, which are much more current and are having greater acceptance by students as well as better results than traditional ones.

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