Constraints and Newell’s Model

Constraints and Newell’s Model

Three Types of Constraints (Hamilton, 2002)

1.Individual: A person’s unique mental and physical abilities that affect their movement; two types of individual constraints

  •    a. Structural: Individual growth patterns and biological make up; e.g. body fat composition or weight
  •    b. Functional: Behavioral make up; e.g. Attention span or anxiety

2. Task: Rules, goals, and equipment that are used to perform a specific motor task; e.g. using a smaller soccer ball for younger children

3. Environmental: Social or physical aspects of the environment that affect motor skills; e.g. the rowdiness of the fans or poor weather conditions26-308-1-PB

Negative constraints children in our program may have
1. Individual:

  • a. Not enough strength to shoot or pass the ball effectively
  • b. Above average weight or body fat

2. Task:

  • a. During early teenage years gender differences become increasingly aware among athletes in body type and performance
  • b. Female hands are smaller than male hands

3. Environmental:

  • a. Pressure from parents about playing time for their child
  • b. Rowdy fans

Positive constraints as solutions to negative constraints
1. Individual:

  • a. Medicine ball training to increase strength when passing/shooting
  • b. More practices, playing time, and training to help decrease excess body fat and weight

2. Task:

  • a. Separate boys and girls into different teams and not allow them to play each other
  • b. Females will use a smaller ball so it is easier for them to manipulate

3. Environmental:

  • a. Playing the children an equal amount of time or being penalized
  • b. Having a coaches training to discuss what to do when problems like rowdy fans arise

To have a successful basketball program it is important to address negative constraints and find solutions for them by possibly creating positive constraints. The high school rules for basketball are too advanced for children ages 11-14 and too focused on winning. With our program we want to decrease the “must win mentality” and focus more on making the game fun, but also meeting physical activity guidelines.


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