Posted by: lindsay | April 2, 2011

SRL & Sport: Example of SRL in Sport

SRL & Sport

Example of SRL in Sport

SRL in sport prezi from Lindsay McCardle on Vimeo.

As you know, SRL is comprised of four phases. In this example, we follow Lucas through these four phases.

Lucas competes in Olympic Weightlifting.

  1. Task Understanding : Lucas breaks down what is important in doing the squat clean. He perceives that there are two ways to get under the bar:
    • Lift the bar high enough to get it on your shoulders.
    • Lift the bar just high enough to get your body under the bar.
  2. Goal Setting & Planning : Lucas sets a goal to improve his hip extension in the beginning of the movement. To do this, he plans to work on just the start of the squat clean, called the pull.
  3. Strategy Enactment : Lucas uses mental cues such as, “arms like chains” to remind himself to use his hip extension in order to get the weight up.
  4. Adapting : Lucas monitors his performance against how he knows the movement is supposed to feel. He keeps a journal with notes on how he does each day. When he runs into problems, he asks a coach for help.

In your athletic training, you likely go through these steps too. Take some time to reflect on how you go through these phases. Pick a skill or drill that you’ve done recently & fill in this SRL in Sport Chart to show how you engage the SRL processes.

Back to SRL & SportSRL & Sport: What is SRL?

Go to SRL & Sport: Example of SRL in School



  1. I enjoyed the practical examples that you provided in regards to self-regulated learning. As a Human Kinetics major, and sports enthusiast, I was attracted to the example that you provided. It seems that Lucas learned to self-regulate throughout a number of years of experience in sports. He is mindful of his ability to monitor and evaluate his performance but I’m sure it took time, practice, and support to develop these skills. I remember when I was a young athlete and my coaches tried to teach me to be conscious of the decisions I was making on the field, by saying: “why did you go outside instead of inside or why did you pass instead of shoot?” These lessons allowed me to reflect on my performance and over time I began to observe, judge, and reflect on my performances as they were happening without prompting from my coaches.

  2. SRL is an important area to teach students. I try to incorporate the idea of mastery of a task instead of trying to just pass a test. Just passing a test does not ensure the student understands the concepts. One area that I am finding very challenging is teaching students that they are accountable for their own learning. The idea that the teacher is not teaching properly, to me, is a concept of the past. The internet opened up access to a multiplicity of different teachers and teaching styles, at no cost. If students tells me in class they do not understand a concept, I usually ask how many YouTube videos they viewed on the topic. I advise students they have access to a lot of information online and if they do not understand something in class, it is their responsibility to get more information about the topic.

    I like that this post is about how athletes can apply their athletic training to their academics. Starting with the end goal is an important starting point. Athletes competing at high levels have to set goals and monitor their progression, especially in individual sports (like Olympic lifting). Self-Regulated Learning is about learners starting with their end goal in mind and working backwards to make a plan to accomplish the specific task. The cycle of forethought, performance, and self-reflection is important in both education and athletics. After any performance (or task), looking back to see what went right and what went wrong is a way for athletes and learners to better their skills – keeping in mind that SRL must focus on areas that are within their control. Blaming a referee or teacher for not doing their job properly is giving the power to them and displacing accountability, which is a factor that one has no control over. Instead, one should focus on what they can control and improve in areas that need adjusting. Athletes and students should not strive for perfection because that is not an obtainable goal. Instead, both groups should strive for excellence because excellence is a way of continually improving oneself.

    Thank you for the great post,

  3. Thanks so much for this post. I am an elementary physical education teacher and was looking for strategies for teaching my students how to regulate their learning of the skills that are being taught in class. As I am teaching 30 students at a time, it is important that students have self-regulatory skills because I am not able to give students one-on-one instruction. Using self-regulated learning, students will be able to improve their athletic skills without me having to consistently provide guidance.

    The SRL steps provided above are a great tool for students to self-regulate their learning in physical education. The SRL in sport chart will help me a great deal in teaching my students how to self-regulate and improve their skills on their own

  4. I am currently in the middle of aiming to achieve my own self-regulated goal, doing a handstand for 1 minute, and after reviewing this article, and through the research that I have done on my own, I am really starting to understand the value that is placed not only on self-reflection and self-monitoring, but also on the idea of conferencing. By engaging with experts and our colleagues regarding our performance when working toward our goals, we are able to see areas that need improving that may be overlooked. As well, sometimes we may be more hard on ourselves and might not easily reward our progress in the same way that our support systems would. At this moment in time, I am really trying to think of ways to improve my handstands; How can I continue to make progress? How do I know if I’m really on the right track? How can I ensure that I’m being proactive and my posture is good? Are there any tips or tricks that I might be missing out on? As much as the interest provides great resources for finding the answers, to ensure that my personal progress is evaluated efficiently, I need to directly seek the input of others (specifically those with a greater degree of expertise than myself) in order for me to continue to make the progress I need to get further to my goal. Thus, I have decided, as much as I had planned on completing this goal on my own using mostly information about handstands on the internet, it’s time to seek expert advice. Perhaps this can easily be done by connecting with a yoga instructor online or visiting one in person. Either way, by having someone address my posture specifically, I will be able to better understand the areas that need improving in order to get me closer to my goal.

    Moreover, this idea of engaging in conferences and mentoring or coaching is not at all restricted to SRL in sport but it should be exercised in all areas of SRL. To engage with others and to share our knowledge is a great way to develop a better understanding of our goals in learning. It allows us to engage in a reflective discourse wherein we can develop a richer knowledge of what it is that we are setting out to learn and the best way of getting to where we want to go.

  5. I enjoyed that I was able to relate directly to this blog on self-regulated learning within sport. Through my many years of athletics, I never once heard the term ‘Self Regulated Learning’ before beginning my Masters program. After the first month of my course, I began relating self-regulated learning to the different aspects of my life and found that I was better at self-regulating through athletics than I was academically. I really like that this article breaks down self-regulated learning into the four steps and how it is specific to Lucas’s Olympic weightlifting goals. It is interesting how the same processes are used to help athletes achieve their goals and help students achieve their academic goals. I reflect back and wonder how this type of knowledge would have impacted me as an athlete when I was younger.

  6. Having been a player and a coach for team sports, I truly believe self-regulated learning a sport contexts helps to elevate a player’s skill, especially for team sports. Since coaches do not have the time to provide individual attention to each athlete, those who ask questions outside of practice, evaluate and reflect outside of practice have more to gain. Participating in practice is similar to being in a classroom, where this is an instructor to help and guide you along the way. For athletes who have the disciple to review and gather more information from outside sources gain new knowledge, skills and techniques. Providing a journal for athletes is a great tool for them to keep track of their goals, ask questions and reflect on their own performance.

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