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Yuri Hanin, Tapio Korjus, Petteri Jouste and Paul Baxter

Exploratory studies examine the effectiveness of old way/new way, an innovative meta-cognitive learning strategy initially developed in education settings, in the rapid and permanent correction of established technique difficulties experienced by two Olympic athletes in javelin and sprinting. Individualized interventions included video-assisted error analysis, step-wise enhancement of kinesthetic awareness, reactivation of the error memory, discrimination, and generalization of the correct movement pattern. Self-reports, coach’s ratings, and video recordings were used as measures of technique improvement. A single learning trial produced immediate and permanent technique improvement (80% or higher correct action) and full transfer of learning, without the need for the customary adaptation period. Findings are consistent with the performance enhancement effects of old way/new way demonstrated experimentally in nonsport settings.

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Mero Antti, Paavo V. Komi, Tapio Korjus, Enrique Navarro and Robert J. Gregor

This study investigated body segment contributions to javelin throwing during the last thrust phases. A 3-D analysis was performed on male and female javelin throwers during the finals of the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. The subjects were videotaped from the right sight of the throwing area by two NAC high-speed cameras operating at 100 frames per second. Both men’s and women’s grip of javelin and body center of mass displayed a curved pathway to the right from the left (bracing) foot during the final foot contact. The position of the body center of mass decreased at the beginning of the final foot contact, but after the decrease period it began to increase. Simultaneously with the increase, the peak joint center speeds occurred in a proper sequence from proximal to distal segments and finally to the javelin at release. Release speed correlated significantly with throwing distance in both male and females.