Five Evidence-Based Principles of Effective Practice and Instruction

David T. Hendry, Paul R. Ford, A. Mark Williams, Nicola J. Hodges

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter provides some evidence-based principles of effective practice and instruction to help guide practitioners who work with athletes to create efficient, challenging, and engaging practice sessions. The main goal of practice is for participants to acquire skill that transfers to improved performance in the competition format of the sport. Games-based activities contain what is known as variable practice conditions, in which each attempt at a skill is slightly different in some manner to the other attempts. The opposite of variable practice is constant practice, in which a singular skill is performed with no variations in conditions. Setting an appropriate level of challenge during practice is arguably one of the most critical aspects of coaching. The reason that coaches use drill-type activities is to reduce the challenge of the sport for learners. In games-based activities, the challenge point can be modified through the manipulation of task constraints to decrease or increase difficulty.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Sport Expertise
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781317691181
ISBN (Print)9781315776675
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes

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