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Phillip J. Hill, Melitta A. McNarry, Leanne Lester, Lawrence Foweather, Lynne M. Boddy, Stuart J. Fairclough, and Kelly A. Mackintosh

This study aimed to assess whether sex moderates the association of fundamental movement skills and health and behavioral outcomes. In 170 children (10.6 ±0.3 years; 98 girls), path analysis was used to assess the associations of fundamental movement skills (Get Skilled, Get Active) with perceived sports competence (Children and Youth—Physical Self-Perception Profile), time spent in vigorous-intensity physical activity, sedentary time, and body mass index z score. For boys, object control skill competence had a direct association with perceived sports competence (β = 0.39; 95% confidence interval, CI [0.21, 0.57]) and an indirect association with sedentary time, through perceived sports competence (β = −0.19; 95% CI [−0.09, −0.32]). No significant association was observed between fundamental movement skills and perceived sports competence for girls, although locomotor skills were found to predict vigorous-intensity physical activity (β = 0.18; 95% CI [0.08, 0.27]). Perceived sports competence was associated with sedentary time, with this being stronger for boys (β = −0.48; 95% CI [−0.64, −0.31]) than girls (β = −0.29; 95% CI [−0.39, −0.19]). The study supports a holistic approach to health-related interventions and highlights a key association of perceived sports competence and the time children spend sedentary.

Open access

Fei Tian, Yaqi Zhao, Jixin Li, Wenjin Wang, Danni Wu, Qiang Li, Liyun Guo, and Shaobai Wang

Context: Many methods used to evaluate knee proprioception have shortcomings that limit their use in clinical settings. Based on an inexpensive 3D camera, a new portable device was recently used to evaluate the joint position sense (JPS) of the knee joint. However, the test–retest reliability of the new method remains unclear. This study aimed to evaluate the test–retest reliability of the new device and a long-arm goniometer for assessing knee JPS, and to compare the variability of the 2 methods. Design: Prospective observational study of the test–retest reliability of knee JPS measurements. Methods: Twenty-one healthy adults were tested in 2 sessions with a 1-week interval. Three target knee flexion angles (30°, 45°, and 60°) were reproduced in each session. Target and reproduced angles were measured with both methods. Intraclass correlation coefficients, standard error of the measurement, and Bland–Altman plots were used to quantify test–retest reliability. Paired t tests were used to compare knee JPS (absolute error of the target-reproduced angle) between the methods. Results: The new device (good to excellent intraclass correlation coefficients .74–.80; standard error of the measurement 0.52°–0.61°) demonstrated better test–retest reliability than the goniometer (poor to fair intraclass correlation coefficients .23–.43; standard error of the measurement 0.89°–2.07°) and better test–retest agreement (respective mean differences for the 30°, 45°, and 60° knee angles: 0.11°, 0.13°, and 0.41° for the new system; 0.84°, 1.52°, and 1.18° for the goniometer). The measurements (absolute errors of the target-reproduced angles) with the goniometer were significantly greater than those with the new device (P < .05); the SDs of repeated measurements with the goniometer (1.50°–2.41°) were greater than with the new device (1.08°–1.38°). Conclusions: Given that the new device has good reliability and sufficient precision, it is the better alternative for evaluating knee JPS. Goniometers should be used with caution to assess knee JPS.

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Linh Q. Vu, Rahul Agrawal, Mahdi Hassan, and Nils A. Hakansson

Human rolling, as turning in bed, is a fundamental activity of daily living. A quantitative analysis of rolling could help identify the neuromusculoskeletal disorders that prohibit rolling and develop interventions for individuals who cannot roll. This study sought to determine whether crossing the arms over the chest would alter fundamental coordination patterns when rolling. Kinematic data were collected from 24 subjects as they rolled with and without their arms crossed over their chest. Crossing the arms decreased the mean peak angular velocities of the shoulders (p = .001) and pelvis (p = .013) and influenced the mean duration of the roll (p = .057). There were no fundamental differences in shoulder and pelvis coordination when rolling with the arms crossed over the chest, implying that the arms may not have a major role in rolling.

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Sally Taunton Miedema, Ali Brian, Adam Pennell, Lauren Lieberman, Larissa True, Collin Webster, and David Stodden

Many interventions feature a singular component approach to targeting children’s motor competency and proficiency. Yet, little is known about the use of integrative interventions to meet the complex developmental needs of children aged 3–6 years. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of an integrative universally designed intervention on children with and without disabilities’ motor competency and proficiency. We selected children (N = 111; disability = 24; no disability = 87) to participate in either a school-based integrative motor intervention (n = 53) or a control condition (n = 58). Children in the integrative motor intervention both with and without disabilities showed significant improvement in motor competency and proficiency (p < .001) as compared with peers with and without disabilities in a control condition. Early childhood center directors (e.g., preschool and kindergarten) should consider implementing integrative universally designed interventions targeting multiple aspects of motor development to remediate delays in children with and without disabilities.

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Laurie Stickler, Hayley Hall, and Barb Hoogenboom

Context: Competitive cross-country runners train at much higher loads and with greater demands than recreational runners, posing a unique set of physiological and psychological challenges. Thus, identification of factors influencing health and nutritional choices in male cross-country runners is needed to help combat energy-related health issues. Purpose: To assess male college cross-country runners’ perspectives regarding sport-related health and the factors impacting their eating behaviors. Design:Cross-sectional survey. Participants/Methods: The Runner’s Health Choices Questionnaire was distributed to male college cross-country runners. Responses were analyzed using quantitative descriptive statistics. Results: One hundred nineteen runners completed the survey. Runners reported a diverse range of factors impacting eating and health behaviors from athletic performance enhancement to enjoyment of food. Less than 6% of athletes ranked athletic trainer, registered dietitian, or physician as often consulted for nutrition/health information. However, 75% of runners said they would be somewhat likely or very likely to make dietary or health changes if given new or additional information by a health care provider. Conclusion: Male cross-country runners appear to try to balance a global desire to be healthy with individual preferences. Athletes may be receptive to nutritional education that utilizes a biopsychosocial model with mental and psychological health support, and intentional effort is needed to support runners’ overall health.

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Karl M. Newell and Gareth Irwin

This paper examines the influence of task and skill level constraints on the generality of proximal–distal control for within-limb movement coordination. Analysis and synthesis of the experimental findings leads to the proposition that proximal–distal is one of several within-limb patterns of coordination, including: the reverse distal–proximal sequence, simultaneous activation of segments, and other sequence variations of this. The probability of particular patterns occurring is induced by task constraints and skill level of the individual, together with their evolving biomechanical consequences, including: open/closed chain, absorption/propulsion of force, magnitude of momentum, and accuracy/timing. We develop the theoretical perspective that classes of task constraints induce particular types of neuromechanical organization to within-arm or within-leg segment coordination. In this task constraint framework, proximal–distal within-limb organization is a particular rather than a general case for within-limb coordination. The limitations of anatomically-based accounts of directional change for within-limb organization are discussed with reference to a general functional degrees of freedom task constraint framework for movement coordination and control.

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Guilherme M. Lage, Larissa O. Faria, Natália F.A. Ambrósio, Athos M.P. Borges, and Tércio Apolinário-Souza

For over 40 years, the contextual interference effect in motor learning has been investigated. While the difference between levels of contextual interference experienced under blocked and random practice are well established, the difference in the levels of contextual interference experienced under serial and random practice is still ambiguous. Therefore, a meta-analytic review was conducted to clarify this inconsistency. We focused on one question: Do random practice and serial practice have the same effect on motor learning? ISI Web of Science, PubMed, and Scopus database were searched. Nine studies were included. The results of our meta-analyses show that serial and random practices present the same results in terms of performance in retention and transfer tests. This result is aligned to the original finding of the contextual interference effect, as well as its explanatory hypotheses. In addition, a complementary explanation in defense of the same mechanisms operating in serial and random practices is discussed. In conclusion, our results suggest that serial practice present high contextual interference.

Open access

Seyyed Mohammadreza Mousavi and Takehiro Iwatsuki

Expectancies for success and autonomy support have been shown to facilitate motor learning and enhance motor performance. The purpose of the study was to examine whether we replicated (a) enhanced expectancies and autonomy support intervention enhanced motor skill learning in children, and (b) identified the underlying psychological mechanism. Sixty children kicked soccer balls with their dominant leg to a squared area target. Participants were randomly assigned to one of the four groups: enhanced expectancies and autonomy support (EE/AS), enhanced expectancies (EE), autonomy support (AS), or control (CON) groups. Participants learning the skill were or were not provided enhanced expectation instructions by making the task success easier and provided an opportunity to choose one of the three colored balls during their practice. Two days later, they performed retention and transfer tests. Results indicated that the EE/AS group had the highest scores, with main effects of autonomy support being significant and enhanced expectancies being marginally significant for the retention test and significant for the transfer test. The EE/AS group had the highest self-efficacy and perceived choice scores. Therefore, having high expectancies for success and being autonomous were important ingredients for facilitating motor skill learning in children.

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Elena M. D’Argenio, Timothy G. Eckard, Barnett S. Frank, William E. Prentice, and Darin A. Padua

Context: Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are a common and devastating injury in women’s soccer. Several risk factors for ACL injury have been identified, but have not yet been examined as potentially dynamic risk factors, which may change throughout a collegiate soccer season. Design: Prospective cohort study. Methods: Nine common clinical screening assessments for ACL injury risk, consisting of range of motion, movement quality, and power, were assessed in 29 Division I collegiate women’s soccer players. Preseason and midseason values were compared for significant differences. Change scores for each risk factor were also correlated with cumulative training loads during the first 10 weeks of a competitive soccer season. Results: Hip external rotation range of motion and power had statistically significant and meaningful differences at midseason compared with preseason, indicating they are dynamic risk factors. There were no significant associations between the observed risk factor changes and cumulative training load. Conclusions: Hip external rotation range of motion and power are dynamic risk factors for ACL injury in women’s collegiate soccer athletes. Serial screening of these risk factors may elucidate stronger associations with injury risk and improve prognostic accuracy of screening tools.

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Matteo Briguglio, Roberta Galentino, Sara De Michele, Bernardo Dell’Osso, Leonardo Fogassi, and Mauro Porta

The learning process in humans requires continuous contacts with environmental stimuli, especially during neurodevelopmental growth. These functions are assisted by the coding potential of mirror neurons to serve social interactions. This ability to learn imitating the observed behavior is no longer necessary during adulthood, and control mechanisms prevent automatic mirroring. However, children with Gilles de la Tourette syndrome could encounter coding errors at the level of the mirror neurons system as these cortical regions are themselves the ones affected in the syndrome. Combined with impulsivity, the resulting sign would be a manifest echopraxia that persists throughout adulthood, averting these individuals from the appraisal of a spot-on motor control.