S-Cool Revision Summary

S-Cool Revision Summary

Whether learning new skills or performing previously learned skills, the brain controls all thoughts and actions and will use information received from the sensory organs and information stored in the memory to decide the action to be taken.

An Information Processing Model consists of four sections:

  1. Input

    This is the information sent by the sensory organs to the brain.

  2. Decision Making

    The brain makes decisions based upon the information received as to what cause of action is required.

    The speed of decision making is restricted by Limited Channel Capacity and Selective Attention.

    Making decisions requires perception and memory to make sense of this information. Perception allows some anticipation to be made.

    There are two forms of memory

    Short-term memory (STM), where information is stored for a short time.

    Important information coming into STM will be transferred to the long-term memory.

    Long-term memory (LTM) has a huge capacity to store all kinds of information that can be quickly retrieved at any given time.

  3. Output

    Messages are sent to the muscles, via motor neurones, that stimulate them into co-ordinated contractions producing the action for the desired response.

    As a result of the action the brain receives further information. This is known as the feedback loop and enables further decisions to be made.

  4. Feedback

    It is through feedback that progress and learning occur. There are two main forms of feedback.

    Internal Feedback

    The proprioceptors are the organs that provide internal information and feedback about a movement. This information is relayed back to the brain.

    External Feedback

    This comes from outside the body through sound and vision and will provide information about the performance this is known as knowledge of performance and the result this is known as knowledge of result.

    External feedback provides valuable information during, after and for the next time the sequence of body movements will be performed.

    Positive and Negative Feedback

    Any good performance has a positive effect for next time. A good word from the teacher/coach, peer or any significant other will have a very positive effect.

    Failure to succeed could give negative feedback and have the opposite effect of a next performance.


Irrespective of whether a person is being taught or coached with the best facilities available, learning will not take place unless the learner is motivated.

Motivation is the driving force that compels people to do something.

Intrinsic Motivation

It is the challenges, satisfaction, sense of achievement and a desire to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle that drives many people to take part in physical activities and sport.

Extrinsic Motivation

Some people are driven by the rewards: financial gains, trophies and medals and other award schemes such as those seen in schools, peer groups and family.


Arousal levels in sport are important.

Too little arousal causes the level of involvement to be low.

Too higher level of arousal could cause control of behaviour to be lost.

Studies have shown that there is an optimum level of arousal and this has produced the inverted 'U' theory and clearly links levels of performance with levels of arousal.

Different sports and sportspeople require different arousal levels

Goal Setting

To continue developing and improving as a performer, setting targets and gaols can provide an aim to the necessary training and therefore enhance motivation.

The National Coaching Foundation (NCF) believe in setting goals in sport is important and use the SMARTER system.

Specific - goals should be focused and specific

Measurable - there must be some assessment that so that progress can be judged

Accepted - the goals must be jointly set between performer and coach

Realistic - the performer must be able to achieve the goals

Time phased - target dates should be set for goals to be achieved

Exciting - the performer should see the goals as challenging and rewarding

Recorded - goals should be written so that coach and performer can judge progress


Eysenck suggests there are two main personality traits.

Answering the questions of Eysenck's personality test can determine where an individual falls in this two dimensional model.

Sports psychologists have tried to link personality types with different sport types in order to identify the best people for the sport.

There has been little success with this approach.