CAN NOVICE LEARNERS BENEFIT FROM A COGNITIVE PREPERFORMANCE ROUTINE? A THEORETICAL MODEL FOR SELF-PACED TASKS
 
Lidor, R., The Zinman College of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Israel
 
A preperformance routine has been defined as a systematic sequence of motor, emotional, and cognitive behaviors that are demonstrated on a regular basis immediately before the execution of self-paced tasks. The routine encompasses movements, thoughts, and emotions, prior to action, or even during the action, with the intention of optimizing the preparatory state and execution capabilities of the performer. In a typical learning situation, preperformance routines are taught only after the learners have some experience with the pertinent sport skills. The point that is emphasized in this paper is that preperformance routines should be learned, experienced, and used during every stage of developing a skill, including the early phases of learning. Therefore, a three-phase instructional model is proposed in order to provide sport psychologists, coaches, and consultants with a framework that can assist them in introducing routines in early stages of learning. The model reflects psychological characteristics most likely to appear while executing self-paced tasks. In Phase 1, the principles of the routine are presented simultaneously with the mechanics of the sport skill, without allocating a great deal of additional time and effort to these principles. During Phase 2, imagery and focusing attention strategies are introduced. In Phase 3, evaluation procedures on the outcome of the performance as well as on the usefulness of the routine are developed. Psychological and educational recommendations are provided for each phase in order to assist sport psychologists and coaches in applying the model during their practical work with beginning athletes.