Gradual Build Up

Gradual Build Up involves breaking down skills into simple subroutines, which are usually learnt in the order they are performed.  By learning the first or most simple parts of the skill, the learner can experience success and can move quickly onto the more difficult parts of the movement.  As each staged is mastered, more difficult subroutines can be gradually added until the learner is performing the entire skill.

e.g. When learning to do a headstand gradual build up could look like:

  1. On knees, practice making a triangle base with forehead and hands.
  2. Slowly walk knees into chest and then walk back out again.
  3. Once knees are in at chest, bounce up to attempt a tucked headstand position.
  4. Repeat stage 3 but extend legs into full headstand.

Each of the stages gradually directs the process of learning the headstand in a controlled and safe environment.  Each increase of difficulty is an achievable progression from the last as it doesn’t make the performer think about too many things at once.  This is an advantage of gradual build up which is an excellent method of practice for performers in the cognitive stage of learning.

Method of Practice: Gradual Build Up
Used with: Novice or Cognitive Performers



  • Allows practice in safe environment
  • Doesn’t give learner too much to think about
  • Increases difficulty only when performer is ready
  • Allows feedback to be given

  • Doesn’t replicate performance conditions meaning it is not effective in advanced stages of learning
  • Experienced performers will find it boring

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