Introduction This report will explain the difference between learners and how they perform each different skill in AFL

Introduction
This report will explain the difference between learners and how they perform each different skill in AFL. The skills include kicking (drop punt), marking and tackling.
Kick
An AFL kick is an open skill as the environment experiences changes such as the opponents and weather conditions like rain will affect the skill. It is a complex skill because there are multiple actions that need to be performed such as guiding the ball down to the foot and following the leg through. It uses large muscles groups, making the skill a Gross skill. It is also an externally paced skill as the environment and opponents can affect the rate of performing the skill.
Mark
Marking a footy, similarly to kicking is an open skill because of factors like weather and opponents affecting the skill. It is a simple skill as it just involves jumping and catching the ball. Performing it also uses large muscle groups, so it is a gross skill. Marking is an externally paced skill as the opponents can interfere by spoiling the ball and the environmental conditions can also affect it.
Tackle
Tackling an opponent in footy is an open skill as the environment is unpredictable and any opponent can have an effect. It is also a simple skill because it doesn’t involve many actions and doesn’t take much thought process. Performing a tackle requires large muscle groups, meaning it is a gross skill. Finally, it is externally paced as the environment and opponents can influence it, such as being bumped out the way by another player.

Cognitive level
Kick
Things that you would see in a cognitive stage learner performing a drop punt would be lack of control, they wouldn’t guide the ball onto their boot, wouldn’t line their body up with the target and wouldn’t point their toes. You can see this in the cognitive example video (in appendix) where he doesn’t do these things, causing the ball to spin wrong and not go where planned.
Mark
If a cognitive stage learner attempts to mark the footy we might see them just stick their hands up and expect the ball to land in the hands and they won’t meet the ball in the air. We would also see lack of coordination and timing with the footy. The example video for marking shows the boy runs with his arms out and doesn’t jump, this easily allows opponents to spoil a mark.

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Tackle
When a cognitive learner performs a tackle, we would see that they just wrap their arms around the opponent and just bear hugs them. Instead of aiming for the hips, trapping the arms and dropping their weight to the ground. In the video we see multiple players on the red team do exactly this.
Associative
Kick
If an associative learner was kicking a ball, we would see them doing most things correctly but there may be a few errors still. Some things we might see are, guiding the ball onto the foot, following the leg through and lining up with the target. But they aren’t as fluent as an autonomous stage learner. In the example video we see that the player does everything right and kicks the goal, but he rushes and doesn’t take his time to line himself up with the goal to increase his chances.
Mark
For an associative learner marking the ball, we may see them doing it correctly and most of the time making no mistakes. But when they are under pressure they may not process input as fluently, therefore making errors and lacking efficiency. In the video provided for the associative stage mark, we can see that the player marked the ball fluently in space, although he didn’t meet the ball with his hands up high.
Tackle
While watching a tackle being performed by an associative learner, the characteristics seen would be mostly precise but may not be able to adapt under high pressure situations. The video of a tackle laid by an associative learner shows the player attacking the hips and dropping his weight causing the opposition player in black and white to lose balance and drop with him.
Autonomous
Every skill for an autonomous learner would be fluent and executed effectively and efficiently. They would also be able to adapt to high pressure circumstances and environmental conditions such as weather conditions like rain or heat. This is because the athletes can focus on other things as they can perform the skill automatically since it is well learned. In the autonomous stage video, the athletes that are shown perform these skills perfectly and especially in the tackle, adapts to the opposition player jumping to sidestep him. The athlete uses this to his advantage and attacks his hips to bring him to the ground.
Coaching methods
Cognitive
• Short and simple instructions
• Manual demonstrations. (Guiding the athlete. For example, swinging a tennis racquet with the athlete so they can get the correct input)
• Strong motivation
• Make it enjoyable for the athlete
• Athletes are not always aware of what is right and wrong or how to correct errors, so give basic feedback
Associative
• Start to provide more general feedback to the athletes
• Visual demonstrations
• Athletes now know the basics of the skills – train with more game like conditions
Autonomous
• Skill is well learned so athlete doesn’t need to focus on execution
• Athlete will understand verbal instructions and demonstration
• Focus on game plan instead of skills
• Practice should be game standard

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