Adapting a task

Once the activity, game or sport is adapted overall, the next challenge is to teach/instruct a specific task or skill. A basic way of achieving this is by task analysis.

Task analysis

This method requires the instructor/teacher to identify the following sequential stages of a task/skill before engaging the youngster. The method offers a very basic framework through which a task could be approached in the planning or in the session itself. No two teachers/instructors will probably arise at the identical set of details within these stages. They should observe the task and decide from their experience and the learner’s starting point, the following:

  1. an indication that the activity it is about to begin – awareness
  2. the signal that it has begun – initial phase
  3. the main control object – body/equipment aspect
  4. the manipulation/action to be made – technique/skill
  5. the adequacy of the response-success

Teaching point

Once the learner has had an appropriate number of attempts for exploration and personal experience of the task, then the teacher can decide what would be the most appropriate teaching point (Instructors and coaches would call these coaching points). for this early learning stage to achieve some success. The teaching point must link the learner to the process of the task/skill action.

A teaching point must have two aspects:

  • an identifiable beginning point (x)
  • a consequential matched action (y).

For example:

  • “Lucy, when you see the ball in my hand (x) … put your hands out in front of you” (y)
  • “Lucy, as the ball moves towards you (x) ... try to place your hands under it” (y)

If you carefully watch a successful experienced teacher at work you will be able to observe how they can construct a series of very skilful teaching points which will ‘cause’ the learner to achieve the outcomes or overall task successfully.

Advanced teaching and coaching

This basic approach – involving task analysis - should then, of course, be developed in a much more sophisticated manner by utilising the theories of motor skill learning plus teaching and learning methodology. It is not within the remit of this site however to go down this route.

In-service consultancy

Project Adapted provides an in-service consultancy in this area. For further information please contact us.

Still need help?

Doug Williamson
+44 (0)1949 829 313