Play Video

Skill Acquisition – 5 Minutes with Bo Hanson

Bo Hanson
4x Olympian, Director, and Lead Consultant

Find out the one thing that every elite athlete has in common, irrespective of their sport. It is their ability to master skill acquisition. In this video, Bo Hanson explores what the experts in this field are doing and how this links ultimately to self-awareness and self-regulation. Get your 5-minute professional development boost now.

Skill Acquisition Transcript

At Athlete Assessments, you know that we focus on understanding yourself as being the pillar or foundation towards athletic success or coaching success. When we’re talking about understanding yourself one of the vital components of this is how we apply that knowledge of ourselves to acquiring skill. Now skill acquisition here in Australia is a topic which is very successfully covered by some researchers and professors in this particular area. There is a lot of professional teams that employ the services of skill acquisition specialists. We’re looking specifically at the most effective way to develop a technique into a consistent technique so that it becomes a skill under pressure and that’s a challenge for every single athlete. I was recently attending a conference and this topic came up and I started linking back to the type of stuff that we do. Because when we talk about skill acquisition what we’re relating it to is an athlete’s ability to what we call ‘self-regulate’.

Self-regulation is inherently linked to an athlete’s level of self-awareness, how well do you understand yourself and be able to put yourself in a position where you can execute your skill in pressure. Self-regulation from a skill acquisition perspective relies on four components. The first one of these components is what we call self-planning. What’s been found is that athletes that have the ability to self-regulate invariably achieve better results than those that don’t. The first step being self-planning. That looks like an athlete that turns up to practice with a plan in place in terms of their goals that they’d like to achieve for that practice, what they technically would like to do better. Perhaps even looking at some footage of themselves performing in the past and looking at the key areas they have in their own mind as to what they want to improve on for this session.

It’s absolutely athlete-driven, the whole concept of self-regulation is it’s done by self. Instead of, what often is the conversation is a coach telling the athlete that today you’re going to improve in this and this and this. These are your goals for today. Self-regulation means we take accountability for doing that ourselves.

The next step is from self-planning to self-monitoring. Once we’ve got a plan in place, we need to monitor our progress towards achieving that particular plan. That is as we go through the practice session, literally taking stock of what am I doing, am I executing what I said I was going to execute? And getting feedback from others. The next step from self-monitoring is self-evaluation.

Self-evaluation happens after a technical drill that you’ve executed and particularly after a practice session where you stop and think back on what you’ve just done and you evaluate your progress. So you may be looking at the goals you were looking at in the self-planning stage. I encourage athletes to give themselves a ranking out of ten. If you said you wanted to improve in this particular area of your technique, it’s the end of session now, where are you at?

At Athlete Assessments, we’re experts in the people side of sport. We know sport and live high-performance every day. Our reputation and proven success at the elite level speaks for itself. The results that our National, Olympic, Professional and Collegiate team clients achieve directly reflects their focus on getting the people side right.

Looking to catch up?
You can watch all videos in the 5 Minutes with Bo Hanson series.

At Athlete Assessments we’re here to provide you with excellence in service and to help you be your best. If there is anything we can do to be of service, don’t hesitate to contact us.

You can watch all videos in the
5 Minutes with Bo Hanson series.

Share this post with your friends

Athlete Assessments Team Program

Athlete Assessments'


Where so many other factors in sport, across sports programs and organizations are very similar, managing the ‘people side’ well differentiates the mediocre and truly great. DISC Profiling will take your team’s performance to the next level, allowing you to get ahead and stay ahead.

Our team packages include DISC Assessments plus importantly, a series of consultations via video conference. Our goal is to use the information of the DISC profiles to the benefit of your program and coaching and make it as useful and practical as possible.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Learn more about Athlete Assessments

About Us

We are the unrivaled experts in the ‘people side’ of sport…

What We Do

We specialize in helping our clients create and sustain winning results...

DISC Profiling

Learn how to master the people side of sport using DISC Profiling...

Shopping Cart

Bo Hanson

Senior Consultant & Director

Bo Hanson’s career within the sport and the business sector spans over 25 years, delivering leadership, management, and coach development. In addition to his own athletic career comprising of four Olympic appearances and including three Olympic medals, Bo has worked for many years with coaches and athletes from over 40 different sports across the globe. Bo was also the winner of the Australian Institute of Training and Development (AITD) 2023 Award for L&D Professional of the Year, for his dedication to L&D and transformational work across various industries.

After a successful career in sport including four Olympics and three Olympic Medals, Bo co-founded and developed Athlete Assessments in 2007. Bo now focuses on working with clients to achieve their own success on and off ‘the field’, and has attained an unmatched track-record in doing exactly this.

Headshot Bo
BoRowing-Atlanta Olympics

Now, watch us interrupt him for a round of quick fire questions.