The purpose of this study was to describe third grade children’s movement responses to dribbling tasks taught by four accomplished teachers and how children’s dribbling varied with changes in task constraints. Children in four intact classes were videotaped during three dribbling lessons as part of their physical education program. Videotapes were analyzed to provide descriptions of children’s movement responses. Typically, when children dribbled while walking or jogging they controlled the ball, pushed with finger pads, and looked at the ball. When dribbling tasks were more difficult, in general, there was less ball control and more slapping with palms (less mature patterns) while at the same time more instances of children lifting their heads to look up (a more mature pattern). Task constraints had differential impacts on different dribbling elements. One implication is that teachers need to consider this differential impact in designing practice conditions and in selecting assessment tasks.
W. Chen is with the Division of Kinesiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109; I. Rovegno is with the Department of Kinesiology, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0312; J. Todorovich is with the Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611-8205. M. Babiarz is with the Wyomissing Area Jr/Sr High School, Wyomissing, PA 19610-6012.