Lab 1 Abilities

Statement of the Problem

The purpose  of this laboratory experiment is to develop a better understanding of the role of motor  abilities in skilled performance.


Chapter 1

Materials Needed

•   Set of speed stacks

•   Stop watch

•    Instructions for sport stacking:

•   Rules:

•   Individual  Information Form

•   Individual  Data Sheet


The objective of this task is to complete the 3-3-3 stack as quickly as possible.


Watch  10 yr. old William Polly’s 1.68 second Cup Stacking (3-3-3) World Record performance video on YouTube:

Next,  use Table 1.2 in Chapter 1 (p. 19) to determine  which of Fleishman’s motor abilities would be needed to become highly proficient at speed stacking.  Rate yourself on the abilities you have identified—with  1 being not proficient and 5 completely proficient—by circling the corresponding number  on the Personal Rating section of the Individual  Information Form.

Training Phase

Complete  10 practice trials stacking three cups up and down (see for instructions).


Following the practice trials, divide into pairs to complete 8 timed trials of the 3-3-3 stack. The goal is to complete the two 3-3-3 stacks as quickly as possible. You will take turns in the role of experimenter and participant. The experimenter will start the trial by issuing the commands “Ready,  set, go” and record the participant’s time using the individual  data sheet provided. Following the completion of 8 trials, switch roles and record the results on a new data sheet.


1.  Compute the total  time used by adding the times from trials 1 through 8 for each participant and record the result on the  Individual  Data Sheet.

2.  Calculate  the mean time for each participant by dividing the total  time by the number  of trials (8).


1.  Based on the comparison of mean times and personal  rankings  of each participant, would you conclude that a relationship exists between abilities and skill performance?  Explain your answer in detail.

2.  Discuss what factors,  if any, may have influenced the results.