In the Merriam-Webster dictionary skill is defined as
a: the ability to use one's knowledge effectively and readily in execution or performance
b: dexterity or coordination especially in the execution of learned physical tasks
learned power of doing something competently : a developed aptitude or ability
In Russian there are two words for different kinds of skills, "умение" (umeniye) and "навык" (navyk). The first word designates skill in the above three (1a, 1b, and 2) senses. The second word designates the kind of skill which doesn't require voluntary actions.
For example, a basketball coach teaches a kid to shoot a ball: the coach shows how to put a ball in a hand, how to locate and move an arm, how to use legs, how to release a ball, etc. After few attempts (let's assume that the kid is very talented) the kid is able to execute a shot in the way the coach taught him/her. The kid has acquired a shooting skill in the sense of умение (umeniye), because the kid still has to pay attention to his/her body position, arm movement, releasing technique... But after several days of practice the kid doesn't have to pay any attention to those things, because all these movements are done automatically (unlike, for example, shot selection). So the skill in the sense of умение (umeniye) became the skill in the sense of навык (navyk).
So I'm wondering is there a word in English to designate this notion of skill.
I have considered several options, but I’m not sure of their accuracy. The word ‘habit’ seems like the closest one. However, the main distinctive feature of the word ‘navyk’ is automatic or involuntary trait of an action, so the English analogue has to have the same feature. To me the main feature of the notion ‘habit’ is an inclination to do something in a particular manner. For example, I could say ‘I have a habit to eat eggs for breakfast’. Habit in this context doesn’t require any skill, while shooting a basketball does. Moreover, I could lose a skill (or even ability) to do something, but a habit could remain, I just won’t be able to satisfy my habit (or it would be more difficult if I lose a skill in the sense of 'navyk').
The word "skill" could be applied not only to physical activities, such as shooting a basketball, but also to mental activities. For example, we can say “communication skills” or “mathematical skills” etc. And the distinction between the two types of skills I mentioned in the original question is applicable for mental activities as well.
Let me give an example of what I believe is called a spelling skill. For most of the words we use we don’t have to think about how to spell them, because we read or wrote them too often. But in some cases we have to think about the correct spelling by remembering some rules or etymology of a particular word. Here, again, we can distinguish two kinds of skills: first is the one I called “navyk”, and the second one is “umeniye”.
This example illustrates that the notion of muscle memory, which has been offered, doesn’t really fit the concept I’m trying to find a word for.