Examining Impulse-Variability Theory and the Speed-Accuracy Trade-Off in Children’s Overarm Throwing Performance

in Motor Control
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year subscription

USD  $76.00

1 year subscription

USD  $101.00

Student 2 year subscription

USD  $144.00

2 year subscription

USD  $188.00

This study examined variability in throwing speed and spatial error to test the prediction of an inverted-U function (i.e., impulse-variability [IV] theory) and the speed-accuracy trade-off. Forty-five 9- to 11-year-old children were instructed to throw at a specified percentage of maximum speed (45%, 65%, 85%, and 100%) and hit the wall target. Results indicated no statistically significant differences in variable error across the target conditions (p = .72), failing to support the inverted-U hypothesis. Spatial accuracy results indicated no statistically significant differences with mean radial error (p = .18), centroid radial error (p = .13), and bivariate variable error (p = .08) also failing to support the speed-accuracy trade-off in overarm throwing. As neither throwing performance variability nor accuracy changed across percentages of maximum speed in this sample of children as well as in a previous adult sample, current policy and practices of practitioners may need to be reevaluated.

Molina is with the Dept. of Health, Physical Education & Recreation, Missouri Western State University, St. Joseph, MO. Stodden is with the Dept. of Physical Education and Athletic Training, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC.

Address author correspondence to Sergio L. Molina at smolina@missouriwestern.edu.
  • Belkin, D.S., & Eliot, J.F. (1997). Motor skill acquisition and the speed-accuracy trade-off in a field based task. Journal of Sport Behavior, 20, 16–28.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bernstein, N. (1967). The co-ordination and regulation of movement. Oxford, UK: Pergamon Press.

  • Cattuzzo, M.T., Dos Santos Henrique, R., Ré, A.H., de Oliveira, I.S., Melo, B.M., de Sousa Moura, M., … Stodden, D.F. (2016). Motor competence and health related physical fitness in youth: A systematic review. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 19(2), 123–129. doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2014.12.004

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chappell, A., Molina, S.L., McKibben, J., & Stodden, D.F. (2016). Examining impulse-variability in kicking. Motor Control, 20(3), 222–232. PubMed doi:10.1123/mc.2014-0062

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

  • Engelhorn, R. (1997). Speed and accuracy in the learning of a complex motor skill. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 85, 1011–1017. PubMed doi:10.2466/pms.1997.85.3.1011

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Faul, F., Erdfelder, E., Lang, A.-G., & Buchner, A. (2001). G*Power 3: A flexible statistical power analysis program for the social, behavioral, and biomedical sciences. Behavior Research Methods, 39, 175–191.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fitts, P. (1954). The information capacity of the human motor system in controlling the amplitude of movement. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 47(6), 381–191. PubMed doi:10.1037/h0055392

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fitts, P., & Posner, M.I. (1967). Human performance. Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole.

  • Fleisig, G., Chu, Y., Weber, A., & Andrews, J. (2009). Variability in baseball pitching biomechanics among various levels of competition. Sports Biomechanics, 8(1), 10–21. PubMed doi:10.1080/14763140802629958

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gentile, A.M. (1972). A working model of skill acquisition with application to teaching. Quest, 17, 3–23. doi:10.1080/00336297.1972.10519717

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hancock, G., Butler, M., & Fischman, M. (1995). On the problem of two-dimensional error scores: Measures and analyses of accuracy, bias, and consistency. Journal of Motor Behavior, 27(3), 241–250. PubMed doi:10.1080/00222895.1995.9941714

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Holfelder, B., & Schott, N. (2014). Relationship of fundamental movement skills and physical activity in children and adolescents: A systematic review. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 15, 382–391. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2014.03.005

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Juras, G., Slomka, K., & Latash, M. (2009). Violation of Fitts’ law in a ballistic task. Journal of Motor Behavior, 41, 525–528. PubMed doi:10.3200/35-08-015

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Langendorfer, S.J., & Roberton, M.A. (2002). Individual pathways in the development of forceful throwing. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 73(3), 245–256. PubMed doi:10.1080/02701367.2002.10609018

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Logan, S.W., Robinson, A.E., Wilson, A.E., & Lucas, W.A. (2012). Getting the fundamentals of a movement: A meta-analysis of the effectiveness of motor skill interventions in children. Child: Care, Health and Development, 38(3), 305–315.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lubans, D.R., Morgan, P.J., Cliff, D.P., Barnett, L.M., & Okely, A.D. (2010). Fundamental movement skills in children and adolescents: Review of associated health benefits. Sports Medicine, 40(12), 1019–1035. PubMed doi:10.2165/11536850-000000000-00000

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Magill, R., & Anderson, D. (2013). Motor learning and control: Concepts and applications (10th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

  • Roberton, M.A. (1996). Put that target away until later: Developing skill in object projection. Future Focus, 17(1), 6–8.

  • Schmidt, R.A., & Sherwood, D.E. (1982). An inverted-U relation between spatial error and force requirements in rapid limb movements. Further evidence for the impulse-variability model. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 8, 158–170.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Schmidt, R.A., Zelaznik, H.N., Hawkins, B., Frank, J.S., & Quinn, J.T. (1979). Motor-output variability: A theory for the accuracy of rapid motor acts. Psychological Review, 86, 415–451. doi:10.1037/0033-295X.86.5.415

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SHAPE America. (2013). Grade-level outcomes for K-12 physical education. Reston, VA: Author.

  • Sherwood, D.E., & Schmidt, R.A. (1980). The relationship between force and force variability in minimal and near maximal static and dynamic contractions. Journal of Motor Behavior, 12, 75–89. PubMed doi:10.1080/00222895.1980.10735208

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Southard, D. (2002). Change in throwing pattern: Critical values for control parameter of velocity. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 73(4), 396–407. PubMed doi:10.1080/02701367.2002.10609039

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Southard, D. (2009). Throwing pattern: Changes in timing of joint lag according to age between and within skill level. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 80(2), 213–222. PubMed doi:10.1080/02701367.2009.10599555

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Southard, D. (2014). Changes in kicking pattern: Effect of experience, speed, accuracy, and effective striking mass. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 85, 107–116. PubMed doi:10.1080/02701367.2013.829383

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stodden, D.F., Goodway, J.D., Langendorfer, S.J., Roberton, M.A., Rudisill, M.E., Garcia, C., & Garcia, L.E. (2008). A developmental perspective on the role of motor skill competence in physical activity: An emergent relationship. Quest, 60(2), 290–306. doi:10.1080/00336297.2008.10483582

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stodden, D.F., Langendorfer, S.J., Fleisig, G.S., & Andrews, J.R. (2006). Kinematic constraints associated with the acquisition of overarm throwing part I: Step and trunk actions. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 77(4), 417–427. PubMed

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Urbin, M.A., Stodden, D.F., Boros, R., & Shannon, D. (2012). Examining impulse-variability in overarm throwing. Motor Control, 16, 19–30. PubMed doi:10.1123/mcj.16.1.19

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Urbin, M.A., Stodden, D.F., Fischman, M.G., & Weimar, W.H. (2011). Impulse-variability theory: Implications for ballistic, multijoint motor skill performance. Journal of Motor Behavior, 43, 275–283. PubMed doi:10.1080/00222895.2011.574172

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Urbin, M.A., Stodden, D.F., & Fleisig, G. (2013). Overarm throwing variability as a function of trunk action. Journal of Motor Learning and Development, 1, 89–95. doi:10.1123/jmld.1.4.89

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • van den Tillaar, R., & Ettema, G. (2006). A comparison between novices and experts of the verocity-accuracy trade-off in overarm throwing. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 103, 503–514. PubMed doi:10.2466/pms.103.2.503-514

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Whiting, H.T.A. (Ed.). (1984). Human motor actions: Bernstein reassessed. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: North-Holland.

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 75 75 34
Full Text Views 9 9 6
PDF Downloads 6 6 6