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Practice Makes Perfect and the Transfer Principle

            Many athletes of vary skill and ability have often been told that "you will play (in the game or event) just like you practice", by their coaches. I myself, as a high school and collegiate distance runner was often told to "run in practice like you run on race day." Looking back, I now know that my coaches were using the Principle of Transfer to maximize my performance. Coaches are always trying to motivate their athletes and so it is common for coaches to say "you need to practice like you play". Athletes often dismiss this statement as just another "line" designed to make athletes work hard in practice. The Principle of Transfer however is not just something coaches say for motivation it is, in fact, an important part of training. Historically, there are several examples of athletes and teams preparing in conditions that were very close to the competition conditions and having great results in the competition. Results in competition can be minimized if The Principle of Transfer is implemented incorrectly. The Principle of Transfer requires a connection in the athletes mind between the practiced task and the competition task. If there is no connection the transfer is less effective. Finally, practice tasks that are repeated, drilled, and learned have often shown the positive results of the Transfer Principle. The purpose of this research paper is to show that the Principle of Transfer, when implemented properly, has produced tremendous results in all types and levels of competitive athletics.
             How is the Principle of Transfer defined? "The Transfer Principle suggests that learning and performing one activity affects the performance of related skills and activities. This principle is important for designing practice strategies that have the greatest positive impact on competitive performance. (Wood, 2009). Transfer of learning is defined as the influence of previous experiences on learning new skills or performing skills in new contexts.

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