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Closed and Open Practice

Last year, I had a conversation with an advocate of ecological psychology explanations of skill acquisition and a constraints-led approach (CLA) to coaching. I've seen many demonstrations of CLA at conferences and online, and read examples in scholarly literature. I commented to the person I was talking with that mostly what I had seen presented as a CLA looked, from a pedagogical perspective, very much like what we use to call 30 years ago "conditioned games". Many of the activities were 'familar' practice tasks. However, a few examples looked like closed drills, while other examples looked like open drills. It seemed that the way CLA was discussed on social media that it could be 'everything and anything' at times. That is not a criticism of the "theory". People familar with my work will know that I believe a CLA provides a very good explanation as to why deliberately designed practice activities for play with purpose can be educatively effect…

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