HSC Core 2: Factors Affecting Performance

This module should occupy approximately 30% of total course time

Module Description

This compulsory module examines the factors that affect performance. In this module, students explore the physical and psychological bases of performance. They experience and critically analyse approaches to training and skill development and investigate the contributions of psychology, nutrition and recovery strategies to performance.


In this module, students investigate the following critical questions:

  • How does training affect performance?
  • How can psychology affect performance?
  • How can nutrition and recovery strategies affect performance?
  • How does the acquisition of skill affect performance?
    This module enables students to take action to influence their own performance and enhance that of others through coaching applications.

    Opportunity is provided in the HSC option Improving Performance for more detailed consideration of factors affecting performance and the considerations of a coach in supporting the performance of athletes.


    A student:
    H7 explains the relationship between physiology and movement potential
    H8 explains how a variety of training approaches and other interventions enhance performance and safety in physical activity
    H9 explains how movement skill is acquired and appraised
    H10 designs and implements training plans to improve performance
    H11 designs psychological strategies and nutritional plans in response to individual performance needs
    H16 devises methods of gathering, interpreting and communicating information about health and physical activity concepts
    H17 selects appropriate options and formulates strategies based on a critical analysis of the factors that affect performance and safe participation.

How does training affect performance?
Students learn about:
Students learn to:
> energy systems
- alactacid system (ATP/PC)
- lactic acid system
- aerobic system
> analyse each energy system by exploring:
– source of fuel
– efficiency of ATP production
– duration that the system can operate
– cause of fatigue
– by-products of energy production
– process and rate of recovery
> types of training and training methods
- aerobic, eg continuous, Fartlek, aerobic interval, circuit
- anaerobic, eg anaerobic interval
- flexibility, eg static, ballistic, PNF, dynamic
- strength training, eg free/fixed weights, elastic, hydraulic
> assess the relevance of the types of training and training methods for a variety of sports by asking questions such as:
- which types of training are best suited to different sports?
- which training method(s) would be most appropriate? Why?
- how would this training affect performance?
> principles of training
- progressive overload
- specificity
- reversibility
- variety
- training thresholds
- warm up and cool down
> analyse how the principles of training can be applied to both aerobic and resistance training
> physiological adaptations in response to training
- resting heart rate
- stroke volume and cardiac output
- oxygen uptake and lung capacity
- haemoglobin level
- muscle hypertrophy
- effect on fast/slow twitch muscle fibres
> examine the relationship between the principles of training, physiological adaptations and improved performance
How can psychology affect performance?
Students learn about:
Students learn to:
> motivation
- positive and negative
- intrinsic and extrinsic
> evaluate performance scenarios to determine the appropriate forms of motivation, eg golf versus boxing
> anxiety and arousal
- trait and state anxiety
- sources of stress
- optimum arousal
> explain the difference between anxiety and arousal in terms of the effects on performance
> psychological strategies to enhance motivation and manage anxiety
- concentration/attention skills (focusing)
- mental rehearsal/visualisation/imagery
- relaxation techniques
- goal-setting.
> research case studies of athletes from different sports and ascertain the nature of their motivation and the psychological strategies they employ.
How can nutrition and recovery strategies affect performance?
Students learn about:
Students learn to:
> nutritional considerations
- pre-performance, including carbohydrate loading
- during performance
- post-performance
> supplementation
- vitamins/minerals
- protein
- caffeine
- creatine products
> recovery strategies
- physiological strategies, eg cool down, hydration
- neural strategies, eg hydrotherapy, massage
- tissue damage strategies, eg cryotherapy
- psychological strategies, eg relaxation.
> compare the dietary requirements of athletes in different sports considering pre-, during and post-performance needs
> critically analyse the evidence for and against supplementation for improved performance
> research recovery strategies to discern their main features and proposed benefits to performance.
How does the acquisition of skill affect performance?
Students learn about:
Students learn to:
> stages of skill acquisition
- cognitive
- associative
- autonomous
> examine the stages of skill acquisition by participating in the learning of a new skill, eg juggling, throwing with the non-dominant arm
> characteristics of the learner, eg personality, heredity, confidence, prior experience, ability
> describe how the characteristics of the learner can influence skill acquisition and the performance of skills

> the learning environment
- nature of the skill (open, closed, gross, fine, discrete, serial, continuous, self-paced, externally paced)
- the performance elements (decision-making, strategic and tactical development)
- practice method (massed, distributed, whole, part)
- feedback (internal, external, concurrent, delayed, knowledge of results, knowledge of performance)
> design a suitable plan for teaching beginners to acquire a skill through to mastery. The plan should reflect:
- appropriate practice methods for the learners
- the integration of relevant performance elements
- an awareness of how instruction may vary according to characteristics of the learner
- how feedback will be used as learners progress through the stages of skill acquisition
> assessment of skill and performance
- characteristics of skilled performers, eg kinaesthetic sense, anticipation, consistency, technique
- objective and subjective performance measures
- validity and reliability of tests
- personal versus prescribed judging criteria
> develop and evaluate objective and subjective performance measures to appraise performance

1. Identify the 3 energy systems and describe each one (must include: source of fuel, duration of the system, by-products, recovery rate and a sporting example where the energy system is dominant)
2. Identify the characteristics of the FITT principle and create a 5 week program for a 17 year old wanting to increase their fitness?
3. Evaluate the 3 levels of skill acquisition providing examples for each level?
4. Justify the role of supplementation in meeting the dietary needs of athletes.
5. Critically analyse the use of feedback throughout the various levels of skill acquisition?


Description of the 3 energy systems, will assist with answering sample questions.

This video provides an outline of the 3 levels of skill acquisition.

Sports Fitness Advisor
5 little facts about Lactic Acid
Peak Performance
Anaerobic Training
Stretching Routine
Sports Psychology Videos
Anxiety AssessmentBrianMac Psychology
AIS Carbohydrate Loading
AIS Hydration
Skill Acquisition